CEDAR FALLS — The glow was still shining bright around Northern Iowa’s wrestling team Monday.
Drew Foster’s national championship performance in Pittsburgh over the weekend was still fresh on head coach Doug Schwab’s mind.
Foster became UNI’s first NCAA champion since Tony Davis won in 2000, but what Schwab remembered most from Foster’s post-victory remarks had nothing to do with the Mediapolis native.
“Listening to him talk, and the things he valued, the things he talked about, he didn’t talk about himself,” Schwab said. “If I could think of someone who better represents what I think of our program, a small town Iowa kid ... you could go on and on.
“If you look at the 20 finalists, there are not many stories like that.”
Schwab also talked about the heartbreak of guys like senior Josh Alber, along with Jay Schwarm, Max Thomsen and Taylor Lujan, and the elation of junior Bryce Steiert becoming an All-American for the first time.
“It’s bittersweet. You end on such a high, but there are a lot of painful moments through that tournament,” Schwab said.
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Schwab said despite the heartache of many of those guys, the best picture he saw all weekend after Foster’s win was that of those five teammates embracing him and the joy that they had for him.
“That is what we talk about all the time, being selfless and that it is bigger than you,” Schwab said. “It is a huge deal. A huge deal for the program and the visibility of our program. And, for our other guys in our room. I tell you what, we have guys in that room that are capable of being a national champion. Multiple ones.
“That victory was for the UNI wrestling program.”
SOFTBALL: After taking two of three from Missouri State over the weekend, the Panthers head to Wisconsin today for a doubleheader before their home opener this weekend at Robinson-Dresser Sports Complex against Evansville.
“Any time you can go on the road and get two out of three in our league is a good thing,” head coach Ryan Jacobs said. “I feel good about accomplishing that the last two weekends. Now we get back home and hopefully that will re-energize us a little bit.”
In addition to the two wins over the weekend, other positive news was the return of former Waterloo West all-state pitcher Jaclyn Spencer, who pitched a complete game victory against the Bears in her first action inside the circle.
“Getting Jaclyn Spencer back this weekend was a lift for our pitching staff,” Jacobs said. “She came out and did a great job against Missouri State. A very good match-up for her.”