Match with Hawkeyes personal for U coach

During any given Minnesota wrestling meet, nobody shows more emotion on the bench than assistant coach Mark Schwab.
But come Sunday, when it’s time for the match at 141 pounds, Schwab will stand behind the Gophers bench and remain still.
The reason Schwab won’t show any emotion is simple: Mark’s brother Doug wrestles for Iowa.
It’s a tough subject for Schwab to talk about, but even tougher for him to watch.
“I don’t know if I enjoy it,” Schwab said. “I’ll just watch it, and when he’s done wrestling, I’ll get back into what’s going on.”
Schwab is always getting advice about whom to root for when the Gophers face his brother and the Hawkeyes. But Schwab just ignores them, saying he shouldn’t play a part in the match.
“This has nothing to do with me and Iowa, this is a blood relationship between me and my brother,” he said. “I don’t cheer either way. I’ve had lots of people tell me how to do it, and my word is, they aren’t in my position.”
While Mark may not be playing favorites, the rankings show Doug is ranked third in the nation at his weight class. He’ll take on Minnesota’s Chad Erikson, who is ranked 13th, on Sunday.
And despite the family ties, Schwab doesn’t expect this year’s matchup will be any different from the other nine weight classes.
“He’s going to go out to wrestle to win, and I expect that Erikson is going to go out and wrestle to win too,” Schwab said. “That is the way its got to be.”
Williams Arena ready
The Gophers conducted their practice Monday at Williams Arena to prepare for the atmosphere of The Barn, with a crowd they expect to reach a sellout.
The previous six Minnesota home meets this season have been at the Sports Pavilion.
The last time the Gophers took to the mats at Williams Arena was last season in a rout of Illinois. Nevertheless, coach J Robinson said his guys will know they’re at home.
“This is our place, this is our house,” Robinson said.
Senior Sunday
Sunday will mark the last home meet for Gophers seniors Brandon Eggum, Brock Lesnar and Delaney Berger.
If the third-ranked Eggum remains in the top eight in the nation this year, it will mark the third season Eggum has become an All-American.
Lesnar, on the other hand, was a transfer who only competed for two years at Minnesota. But it’s been rumored that Gophers fans might be able to see Lesnar again next year — on the football field playing for Glen Mason.
Notes from the mats
ù Overshadowed by the big Iowa meet is the Gophers’ opponent Friday.
Minnesota will head down to Fairmont, Minn, to take on Northwestern in its final Big Ten dual meet before they take on the Hawkeyes.
The Wildcats come in with a record of 6-10-1 (1-5 Big Ten). Northwestern lost to the Hawkeyes 41-3 earlier this month in Iowa City.

ù Minnesota football players Dan Nystrom, who kicked the game-winning field goal against Penn State, and Ben Utecht (a wide receiver) are scheduled to sing the National Anthem prior to the Iowa match.
ù As of Tuesday evening nearly 7,000 tickets have been sold for the Iowa meet which begins at 2 p.m. at Williams Arena. Approximately 7,500 tickets remain and can be purchased by calling 624-8080 or 1-800-U-GOPHER, or by walk-up. Prices are $7 for adults and $4 for students. The match will not be televised locally.

John R. Carter covers wrestling and welcomes comments at [email protected]