DES MOINES – Mark Ballweg said he didn’t give the crowd dominated by University of Iowa fans much to cheer about, but the good news for him is he gets another shot.
The Hawkeyes’ senior 141-pounder posted a 3-0 win over Lock Haven’s Dan Neff in Thursday’s first round of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships at Wells Fargo Arena. It was his national tournament debut, failing to qualify at 149 in 2011 and wrestling as a backup to 141-pound national runner-up Montell Marion last year and 2010.
Media was asked how it felt to get the first match done and get his hand raised.
“It feels good to get a win,” Ballweg said. “Of course it feels good to get a win. You don’t want to lose, right?”
Ballweg, Nick Moore (165) and 197-pounder Nathan Burak made their first NCAA appearance Thursday. Ballweg was the only one to win. He said the Hawkeyes have been anxious for this event.
“There are a lot of guys who have been here before and know what it’s all about, but there are a couple guys who haven’t been here before, like me,” Ballweg said. “It’s exciting.”
Ballweg had his right leg taped and covered in a sleeve. He dismissed the injury and refused to use it as an excuse for little offense that included a second-period escape and a late takedown.
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