Big 10 Champs: Tom Brands Q&A

The Iowa wrestlers won the 33rd Big Ten title in school history on Sunday at State College, PA, scoring 141 points which was 27.5 points ahead of runner up Illinois. Brent Metcalf and Dan Erekson won individual championships and nine of Iowa's ten wrestlers qualified for Nationals in two weeks in St. Louis. Read what Coach Tom Brands had to say...

Q: How did you feel about things today?

Tom Brands: Here is the thing. The individuals are doing their job at a high level, the team race takes care of itself and that is what happened. We had two categories today; we had guys when they woke up were where they wanted to be wrestling for championships and we won two out of four. And we had five guys where they didn't want to be, and you still have to do the right things to make sure you are giving yourself the best chance to advance as far as you can even after you don't get what you want.

Q: Did you see that?

Brands: How many matches did we win? Borschel looked good. Falck got third and wrestled strong. Tsirtsis got fourth. Some you do and some you don't.

Q: How about Beatty this morning.

Brands: That was gutsy. We woke up and it was his call and he got ready to go and never talked about not going. We knew that the top four go and you do not leave it to a committee. He did what you do in the post season. He did what you do in the post season and he represented himself after the injury timeout. When he gave up the takedown, his poker face was not on him, he was wearing his emotions on his face. After that timeout, he straightened out and he wrestled a very cool and clear headed match where it was not going to affect him. He took three shots the last 38 seconds, that is huge.

Q: How tough is he?

Brands: We have a lot of tough guys in our room and he is one of them. We are getting tougher. I don't think that is automatic for what Chad Beatty did. It's something where toughness is coming out of you and you have to tough it out and you did.

Q: It was a good way to end things at heavyweight; how far has Dan Erekson come?

Brands: We talk about how far they have come, and he has been doing it all year except for the beginning of the year. Midlands was where he flexed his muscles a little bit and it got better from there. It wasn't like he got hot and went backwards. He has figured some things out. He wrestled as good as he could to win the matches and they were not close. The Illinois match wasn't close, even if the score was. You get a major decision in the finals, I wanted him to get the fall to be like Brent. Be like Mike? Be like Brent.

Q: Your thoughts on Metcalf?

Brands: You could find a highlight reel of him and there are a lot like that. He is doing it over and over and over again.

Q: What can you do the next two weeks to get ready for finals?

Brands: Get ready, sharpen edges and get ready to go.

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