More USA All Star Match ups announced for Two Worlds One Mat event in Sioux City Iowa April 9

By Tim Tushla | April 08, 2003, 12 a.m. (ET)
AREA COLLEGE COACHES BARTLETT, BAXTER NAMED HONORARY ASSISTANTS SIOUX CITY, IA April 7, 2003 - Two local collegiate mainstays have been selected to serve as honorary assistant coaches at the Two Worlds, One Mat freestyle wrestling meet on Wednesday, April 9 in Sioux City, IA. Northwestern College Coach Paul Bartlett and Buena Vista University Coach Al Baxter will back up Olympic Champions Dan Gable and Tom Brands at the Newman Flanagan Center on the campus of Briar Cliff University. This year's event will feature some of Midwest's best freestyle wrestlers going head-to-head. In 18 seasons, Paul Bartlett's Red Raider wrestling teams have sent 83 grapplers to the national tournament. In that same time, Northwestern has had 19 All-Americans and 8 Scholar-Athletes Bartlett is a native of East Lansing, Michigan, where he was a high school All-American in 1972. He was the junior national champion in 1971 and 1972, and he finished 3rd in the junior world championships in Tokyo in 1971. A highly recruited 118-pounder, Bartlett accepted a scholarship from Iowa State University where he went on to earn 4 letters. As a senior he was second in the Big Eight Conference and advanced to the NCAA national championship quarterfinals. Bartlett spent 2 years as an assistant coach at Iowa State and then 5 years as an assistant at Drake University before coming to Northwestern. Baxter enters joined BVU in 1978 and under his guidance the Beavers have won Iowa Conference titles in 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1988 and 1990. Baxter was given the Lifetime Service Award to Wrestling and inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame (Iowa Chapter)in the fall of 2000. He was one of four people to be inducted at the Iowa High School Wrestling Coaches & Officials Association Annual Convention which was held in Des Moines. Baxter has been awarded many times for his years of successes by most recently being inducted into the NWCA Hall of Fame at the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships in March 1999. Baxter was named Morningside College's Alumni Coach of the Year in 1998. He was inducted into the Iowa High School Athletic Association Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1992. He has been named Iowa Conference Coach of the Year five times and National Coach of the Year in 1990. He is a past president of the NWCA and was also a past president in the Iowa High School Wrestling and Officials Association in 1973. Baxter's Career Record at Buena Vista is 350-105-5 in 24 seasons. His career record at Lisbon High School was 75-14-1 in 9 seasons. At Buena Vista he has produced 37 Academic Scholar All-Americans since 1986, 70 All-Americans, and 6 national champions since 1980. He was a 1969 graduate of Morningside College was earned All-American honors by placing sixth in the NCAA College Division at 190-pounds in 1968.Two More Freestyle Matches Set Two more spots have been filled in the new USA All-Star format - at the two top weights. A former NCAA runner-up Zach Thompson will go against his former Iowa State teammate, Marc Knauer at 211.5 pounds. Thompson finished third at the New York Athletic Club tournament and the World Team Trials in 2002. He just finished his first year as an assistant coach at Iowa State. Knauer was a three-time NCAA qualifier for the Cyclones. The heavyweight contest will feature two nationally ranked wrestlers - one in freestyle and one in Greco-Roman. Tolly Thompson, the 1995 NCAA and US Nationals freestyle champion will face Leroy Gardner, the 2003 NCAA Division III champion and seventh-ranked Greco-Roman heavyweight in the country. Thompson won the 2002 Dave Schultz International, Sunkist Open, NYAC Open and Pan Am titles. Thompson finished second at both the 2001 and 2002 Nationals and placed third at the World Team Trials in 2001. He is a native of Janesville, IA, and was a three-time NCAA All-American for Nebraska and currently serves as an assistant coach at Northern Iowa. Gardner concluded his final collegiate season at Wartburg College with a national championship, helping the Knights to the team crown. He was champion of the 2002 Northern Plains regional and finished sixth at the 2002 World Team Trials Greco-Roman competition.High School Athletes in Exhibitions Four exhibition matches will precede the dual and will feature state champions from each of the tri-states. Three-time South Dakota state champ Derek Pirner of Elk Point will face Nebraska three-time champion Jason Katusin of Platteview. Another Nebraska champ, two-time Class B winner Matt Nelson of Wayne will take on Brandon Bohlke, a 2003 Iowa state champion from Kingsley-Pierson. Bohlke's brother, 2002 champ Justin, is matched-up with Jeremy Degen of Sioux Falls, SD Roosevelt, a third-place finisher this season. Also, South Dakota state champ Aaron Haddorf of Sioux Falls Roosevelt goes against Nebraska state champion Brandon Brown of Plattsmouth.