PROVO -- The surprisingly strong Cougars, fielding one of BYU's best teams in recent memory, will host No. 1 Iowa December 4 at the Delta Center at 7 p.m.
Iowa, winners of the last five NCAA titles and eight of the last nine, provide the ultimate challenge for the 1-0 Cougars. Three All-Americans and two national champions return from the team that ran away with last year's NCAA title.
The Cougars head into the showdown with four champions from last week's Southern Oregon Open, where BYU clearly dominated the unscored tournament. Among the champions were BYU's nationally ranked duo, Aaron Holker (No. 5, 141 pounds) and Rangi Smart (No. 6, 165 pounds).
"We are in a great position to compete with a national powerhouse in this meet. Our performance in Oregon last weekend was the most impressive performance I've seen by any of my teams since I've been here at BYU," said BYU coach Mark Schultz. "We really need everyone to come out and support the team. This will be the most exciting meet to ever come to the state of Utah."
Iowa wrestling legend Dan Gable, after hearing of plans to cancel the BYU program, arranged for the Hawkeyes to come to Utah to face the Cougars. Gable, often thought of as the greatest wrestler in American history, will attend the meet. Former BYU athletic director and wrestling All-American Rondo Fehlberg arranged for an $80,000 private donation to secure use of the Delta Center.
The meet is designed as a means to help save BYU's wrestling program. The Utah Amateur Wrestling Foundation (UAWF), headed by Ross Brunson, is organizing the meet. "Our main goal is to save the wrestling program at BYU and our main tool to accomplish that is this meet. We are hoping to break the indoor attendance record next Saturday. We want to send a message to people everywhere that the program at BYU is loved and that there are people who care and who don't want to see it go," said Brunson. The current indoor record is 17,000. The Delta Center has a seating capacity of 19,911.
Those wishing to contribute to helping save BYU's wrestling program may do so by contacting Brunson at:
866 E 7905 S
Sandy, UT 84094
phone: (801) 566-8155
fax: (801) 261-8373
General admission tickets are available for $5 through the BYU ticket office at (801) 378-BYU1. Lower-bowl tickets are being sold at local Fred Meyer and Gray Whale stores for $20. BYU students can get in free of charge by showing their All-Sport cards. Proceeds will go directly to the UAWF.