Sesker Slant: Random Thoughts as Winter Approaches

By Craig Sesker For The Predicament

It is exciting to see 50 years of The Predicament being celebrated.

It brings back an abundance of fond memories for me.

My parents bought a subscription to the magazine when I first started wrestling in the late 1970s. I remember battling my two brothers to be the first to read the newest issue when it arrived in our mailbox in Tipton.

Reading The Predicament provided me with plenty of enjoyment and motivation as an athlete. Reading about Iowa prep stars like Jeff Kerber, Greg Randall and Scott Morningstar certainly inspired me.

Congrats to G. Wyatt Schultz, Matt Levins and everyone else who continues to contribute to the long tradition of a publication and website I have a great appreciation for.

With the World Championships just completed and the college season about to start, here are a few other random thoughts about the sport:

The Iowa Hawkeyes certainly have the firepower to make a run at an NCAA team title this season. It will be interesting to see how it all unfolds with perennial power Penn State looking strong again.

How good will the 2020 Olympic Trials be? With only six Olympic weight classes in freestyle you will see world champions battling for spots on the team. Jordan Burroughs and Kyle Dake are expected to square off with J’den Cox facing either David Taylor or Kyle Snyder. It will be entertaining. It’s too bad there aren’t eight or even 10 weight classes for the Olympics. Six isn’t nearly enough.

Junior world champion David Carr is a superstar in the making. I can’t wait to see how he fares for the Iowa State Cyclones during his redshirt freshman season. He’s a talented and driven young man with a dynamic style.

Who is ready for Spencer Lee to take the mat again? He is halfway to becoming Iowa’s first four-time NCAA champion. Lee also excels in freestyle where he is an age-group world champion. Will we see him at the 2020 Olympic Trials?

Will Wartburg College bounce back after a rough finish in 2019? I wouldn’t bet against the Knights.

Where will Nelson Brands fit into Iowa’s plans this season? He had a strong redshirt season and now he looks ready to challenge for a starting spot.

The U.S. qualified just 4-of-18 weight classes for the Olympics at the World Championships. The Americans had five world champions, but three were in non-Olympic divisions. Seems to me like all the best American wrestlers should be trying to help their country qualify for the Olympics.

I was happy to see Carver-Hawkeye Arena ranked No. 1 for best college wrestling venue. There isn’t a better place in the world to watch wrestling than Carver. The atmosphere is incredible.

Adeline Gray set an American record by winning her fifth world title in women’s wrestling. She needs to be celebrated alongside all of the great champions in this sport’s history. Women’s wrestling is here to stay and it’s remarkable recent growth can be attributed to people like her. Now Gray needs to go win an Olympic gold medal to cap her amazing career.

There isn’t a better person in wrestling than Dan Gable. He is retired, but he really isn’t. The guy is constantly on the go. He still does a tremendous amount for the sport and is always more than willing to help people. He is a generous and gracious man. Wrestling is so fortunate and blessed to have Dan Gable. He’s the best.

Great to see Grand View adding a women’s program. They continue to achieve amazing feats on that highly successful Des Moines campus.

It was awesome to see Mike Duroe honored and remembered recently at the Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo. He was a great man and a treasured friend to so many of us. It’s still hard to believe Mike is gone. I really miss that guy.

Speaking of the Gable Museum, Jim Miller is doing a great job in his new position there. Millboy was a legendary coach who is as passionate about wrestling as anybody. Stop by and see him at the museum if you have the opportunity.

Looking forward to a fun winter on the high school and college mats. I can’t wait for the season to start.