Iowa Wrestling to Introduce and Host New Year’s Weekend Tournament
Iowa and UNI were among the teams scheduled to participate December 29-30 when Northwestern hosted its 58th annual Midlands wrestling tournament in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. According to Iowa's News Now, that event has been canceled this year out of "an abundance of caution" due to the rise of COVID-19 cases.
It didn't take long for the Hawkeye athletic department to spring into action and try to fill the void. They are introducing the "Hawkeye Open" set to take place at Xtream Arena in Coralville New Year's weekend, January 1-2.
Josh Schamberger is President of the group Think Iowa City and the Iowa City Sports Commission, and along with Iowa coaches Tom and Terry Brands, they have partnered with Wrestle Like a Girl to create an event that's been on their minds for years. The cancelation of Midlands allows them to make it happen. Schamberger said, in part, in a statement on Twitter:
As soon as the Midlands news came out, I sent a text to Tom and Terry. I reminded them of my dream of someday hosting a bigtime early season open. I asked them if I could find a way to put it together with our friends "Fight Like a Girl" for January 1 & 2. That is for this year and in light of Midlands having to cancel. Tom said, "you bet we will be there. We back what you have done for us and USAW 100%"...so we are off and running
Here was the official response from Iowa wrestling:
There is no news on additional participating teams or individual student-athletes at this time but a list of teams previously scheduled to participate in the Midlands can be found here. They expect many of them to join the Hawkeye Open, which is open to both male and female wrestlers, and to have the tournament come together quite quickly.
Meanwhile, while they are still finalizing details on tickets to the Hawkeye Open. the Gazette says ticket-holders to the Midlands tournament, which organizers expect to bring back in 2022, can receive a refund at the point of purchase.