Hartung wins despite illness

Sarah Mitchell

IOWA CITY, Iowa — In a match that required several precautionary trips to the mat by a trainer with a garbage bucket in hand, a flu-ridden Gophers grappler defeated his greatest nemesis for the second time in as many weeks.
Gophers senior Tim Hartung, the nation’s top 197-pounder, decisioned Iowa’s 2nd-ranked Lee Fullhart 6-4 in overtime Saturday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena to remain undefeated this season — and prove that a talent gap does indeed exist between the two.
“I felt terrible,” said Hartung after watching Sunday’s dual meet at Wisconsin from the bench. “I had the biggest knot in my stomach. I was just kind of weak and didn’t have any zip.”
If the first two periods provided any indication, Fullhart should have been the victor in what’s been a two-year battle for bragging rights.
A slow-moving first period ended in a scoreless tie. A weak Hartung started the second period in the down position and never shook the defensive status, as Fullhart rode him the entire two minutes.
“I thought he was stalling,” Hartung said. “I was just worried because I didn’t have any energy.”
Fullhart found the scoreboard first with an escape about 15 seconds into the final period. Down 1-0, with time draining from the clock and Fullhart already guaranteed one point for riding time, the ailing Hartung attacked.
Hartung’s first and only points in regulation time were recorded on a takedown with 11 seconds remaining. The match between the two NCAA champions was bound for overtime.
“In overtime, I sort of got my senses back,” Hartung said.
Thirty-five seconds later, the match would end for the run-down pair with a second Hartung takedown. In a pressure position, Hartung won the match, tied the team score at 13-13 and saved No. 2 Minnesota. The Gophers eventually defeated Iowa 19-17.
“They’re both tough kids. They both get in there and get it out,” Iowa coach Jim Zalesky said. “Whoever sets the pace is the one who wins.”
While Zalesky was not quite ready to compliment the unhealthy Hartung, the team captain earned further respect from his teammates and coaches.
“It’s a hell of a deal of courage,” Gophers coach J Robinson.
“He knew we needed to win,” senior Josh Holiday said. “He knew he had to win for the team. He was definitely sick.”
And for Hartung, the success story prevents a season of questions.
“It’s huge just so I don’t have to think about how bad I felt,” Hartung said. “Wondering how sick I was or if he just wrestled well.”