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New Limited Edition Dan Gable Singlet

September 30th, 2014 by Tom

Dan Gable Museum releases limited edition Dan Gable singlet

Dan Gable Singlet

WATERLOO, Iowa—The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum has released a limited edition singlet to commemorate the legacy of Dan Gable. Gable won the 1972 Munich Olympics without surrendering a point and coached the Hawkeyes to 15 NCAA team titles in 21 seasons of coaching (1977-1997).

This is the third in a series of limited edition singlets.

The singlet was created and designed by Cliff Keen Athletic. The front of each singlet features Dan Gable as an athlete while training for the 1972 Olympics. The back of the singlet features the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum logo.

Only 100 singlets will be sold. Each singlet will be signed and numbered by Dan Gable. The cost is $200 for each singlet.

All proceeds benefit the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum, a not-for-profit organization based in Waterloo, Iowa.

Anyone interested in pre-ordering a singlet should contact the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum at [email protected] or (319) 233-0745. All sizes are available.

Iowa governor declares Oct. 25 ‘Dan Gable Day’ to honor wrestling legend

October 20th, 2012 by Tom

 The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum announced Wednesday that Iowa governor Terry Branstad will declare Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 Dan Gable Day across the entire state. A special presentation will be made at the NWHFDGM in Waterloo, where Gable was a three-time state champion at Waterloo West.

"Dan Gable embodies commitment, perseverance, and dedication"values that are the foundation of the great state of Iowa and its people," said Branstad in a news release. "I am honored be part of this historic event."

Almost everyone knows Gable's resume, including two-time NCAA champion and three-time national finalist at Iowa State and the 1972 Olympic gold medalist, at Munich, Germany. His Olympic title was highlighted by the fact he didn't allow a single point in competition.

Gable coached the University of Iowa from 1977-1997, guiding the Hawkeyes to 15 NCAA team titles and 21 Big Ten championships. Gable was honored in April with, a bronze statue outside of Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Below is a news release from NWHFDGM:

Dan Gable Day to be declared by governor

WATERLOO"Iowa's greatest sports figure and Iowa's longest serving governor will be the focal point of a special presentation in Waterloo. Iowa governor Terry Branstad will declare October 25, 2012, as Dan Gable Day statewide with a special proclamation to be read at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum.

Gable was born in Waterloo, Iowa, on October 25, 1948. He turns 64 on the day of the presentation.

"Dan Gable embodies commitment, perseverance, and dedication"values that are the foundation of the great state of Iowa and its people," said Branstad. "I am honored be part of this historic event."

Gable won three individual state wrestling titles at West Waterloo (1964-1966) and compiled a 64-0 career high school record. He went on to win two individual NCAA titles at Iowa State University with a career college record of 117-1. Gable won an Olympic gold medal at the 1972 Munich Olympics without surrendering a point.

Gable went on to lead the University of Iowa to 15 NCAA championships and 21 consecutive Big 10 titles in 21 seasons (1977-1997) during his tenure as head wrestling coach. In 2000, Sports Illustrated named him the top sports in the state. There are three statues throughout the state dedicated to Dan Gable's legacy.

The event begins at 9 a.m. with a reception at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum. A short program will begin at 10 a.m. with comments from Governor Branstad and Dan Gable. The proclamation declaring October 25, 2012, as Dan Gable Day will be read aloud by Governor Branstad.

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum is located at 303 Jefferson St. in Waterloo. Contact the museum at (319)233-0745 or [email protected] with questions about the event. This event is free and open to the public.

Chapman will share stories of Iowans on Oct. 18

October 18th, 2012 by Tom

 CHARLES CITY " The Floyd County Community Foundation is hosting an evening of powerful stories about Iowans on Oct. 18.

These stories will be presented by inspirational speaker Mike Chapman at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 502 Clark St.

This event is free and open to the public. The evening will begin with a social hour at 5 p.m., followed by Chapman's presentation at 6 p.m.

Chapman, a native of Waterloo, is the publisher of the Iowa History Journal.

He had a 35-year newspaper career from which he retired in 2002, and in 2009 he retired from an 11-year career serving as the executive director of the Dan Gable International Wrestling Institute and Museum.

Chapman has written 23 books, 14 of them on wrestling, and his articles have appeared in dozens of national and regional magazines.

As a reporter, he has attended 43 NCAA wrestling tournaments, two Olympics and two World Championships. He has won numerous awards for journalism and writing and has been named National Wrestling Writer of the Year five times by four different amateur wrestling organizations.

Chapman is also the founder of WIN Magazine, one of the nation's top amateur wrestling publications; the WIN Memorabilia Show, which draws 8,000 fans each year to the NCAA Championships, and the Dan Hodge Trophy, which goes each year to the top college wrestler in the United States.

He has interviewed,  Ronald Reagan, Muhammad Ali, Robert Redford, Lou Ferrigno and many others.

Chapman has appeared on numerous TV shows - including the networks ESPN, A&E, Fox Sports and Iowa Public Television. He has been the guest on over 200 radio talk shows.

Dan Gable – Olympic Champion

July 30th, 2012 by Tom

The Olympics are full of great, athletes, who train hard, win big, and represent the USA with their, sportsmanship. Heres to the ones that never give up.

Gable surprised by being immortalized with statue

June 26th, 2011 by Tom

Dan Gable Statue CORALVILLE "Dan Gable thought it was just an elaborate retirement party.

He was unaware that by the end of the festivities he would learn that he would be immortalized in front of the very arena that he turned into a Mecca for amateur wrestling.

Gable mouthed the word "Wow" and his fingers slightly rubbed his chin as University of Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta announced to a crowd of nearly 1,000 people at the Marriott Hotel and Convention Center on Saturday that a seven-foot statue would be erected in front of Carver-Hawkeye Arena in time for the 2012 United States Olympic Team Wrestling Trials on April 21-22.

He wasn't expecting that to be part of his retirement bash.

"I wasn't prepared for that," Gable said. "I wasn't prepared for the statue, because my wife (Kathy) broke down someone had to stay strong."

Gable said he had endured an emotional few days, leading up to the event. He might have been tapped out by Saturday night's presentation. It came at the end of a ceremony that contained a number of speakers share stories of his career and what they experienced as the cornerstones of his legacy. Gable said it was unique and interesting to observe.

"There's a lot of stories and things like that," Gable said. "I really enjoyed being here tonight. Usually, I wouldn't want to hear that kind of stuff, but I think everybody had an interesting perspective that could help people."

The night included a highlight video and a taped message from some grandchildren, who said their grandfather likes to drink Mountain Dew and even eat chocolate doughnuts.

Humorous anecdotes were balanced with heart-felt admiration. Tom and Terry Brands, who are the current head wrestling coach and associate head coach for the Hawkeyes, talked about his influence and his unyielding standard for excellence. Ben Peterson, a former Iowa State and Olympic teammate, and others talked about how he balanced being focused on wrestling with an even stronger devotion to his family. Minnesota head coach J Robinson, one of six current Big Ten coaches who for or by Gable, described him as being a flexible coach, a relentless competitor and a focused opponent.

They owned different relationships with Gable over the years and had their unique views, but there were consistent themes with every person who spoke. He was focused, dedicated and driven to be the best on and off the wrestling mat.

"This night was well addressed with a lot of people that really gave interesting perspectives that I thought was helpful to everybody," Gable said. "I'm pretty proud to be associated with it."

He said he was interested in the gracious comments from Robinson, who was an assistant to Gable from 1976-84. Gable said he had never experienced that side of Robinson, who spoke for more than 23 minutes. He zinged the rest of the group for not sharing these things previously.

"I just didn't think they were all as smart as they were," Gable said. "That's what really hit me most.

"They really said some things that made sense to me. I think a lot of them have been holding back on me."

Gable was an undefeated three-time state champion at Waterloo West for legendary coach Bob Siddens, who attended the banquet. He was a two-time NCAA champion and three-time finalist for the Cyclones, posting a 182-1 record in high school and college. Gable, a six-time Midlands champion, went on to become a World and Olympic champion, capturing the gold medal in the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich without surrendering a single point.

Gable is Iowa's all-time winningest coach, posting a 355-21-5 dual record from 1976-97, including a 95-1 mark in CHA. He coached 10 Olympic wrestlers "four gold medalists "and 45 NCAA champions, including 152 All-Americans while winning 15 NCAA team titles highlight by a streak of nine straight. He guided 106 Big Ten Champions as the Hawkeyes won 21 Big Ten team titles.

It was hard for him to identify a signature era during his tenure. Gable said it was hard to differentiate between the decades, but said the late 1980"²s when the string of national titles was snapped was a key time for him as coach.

"I really think I made some major changes in my life that affected my life in an unbelievable positive manner from a coaching and a family point of view," Gable said.

The statue will be sculpted by Larry Nowlan, who created the Nile Kinnick statue in the Krause Family Plaza. It will stand near the West Entrance of the arena and will cost about $75,000, which will be paid for with private donations, according to a news release,

Gable has a couple statues honoring him already, and commented that he didn't have any input on those and that he doesn't really recognize himself in those tributes. This one came as a complete surprise. He thought it would happen some day but not until he was done building his legacy.

"I thought I had still another 20-25 years of accomplishments," Gable said, "and maybe they'd do something like that."

Finding The Next Gable, Smith, or Borlaug

January 16th, 2010 by Tom

It's time to come clean. I've lied in this blog for two and a half years. I've always claimed that I never wrestled and that isn't entirely true. I did win an 8th grade intramural championship at Frank L. Smart Junior High School. In 1963 every boy in Davenport, IA (it was a sexist world) was introduced to wrestling in some way. There were instructional units in our PE classes where we were taught the basics of the single leg takedown, the sitout and the half nelson. At the end of the unit the teacher would organize an intramural tournament and we were encouraged to enter.

At about the same time that I reached the apex of my wrestling glory, 130 miles to the northwest, in Waterloo, a kid named Gable was launching his career. It's a story of 2 choices. I opted for being a really bad basketball player and he chose to become one of America's greatest wrestlers. A few years later, in Del City, OK, some brothers named Smith were exposed to wrestling and chose to pursue their dreams "with John going on to win two Olympic Gold medals and four World Championships.

Long before I, or Dan Gable or the Smiths were born a kid named Norman Borlaug stepped on the mat in Cresco, IA. After his wrestling career at the University of Minnesota, he, too, made a choice "to go an to graduate school and earn a masters degree and PHD in plant pathology. His lifetime of food production research saved millions of people around the world from starvation and in 1970 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Dr. Borlaug said of his wrestling background, "Wrestling taught me some valuable lessons. I always figured I could hold my own against the best in the world. It made me tough (my emphasis). Many times I drew on that strength."

So " what's the one common thread running threw Dr. Borlaug, Dan Gable, John Smith and me? We were all exposed to wrestling at an early age. We may have all taken divergent paths "but we all had the opportunity to learn the values of wrestling. I'm not sure that enough of today's youth gets that opportunity.

What's the answer? I don't know "but here's what I'm trying. I must begin by saying that I love NCAA Division III wrestling. Those guys really "get after it". I've attended a few NCAA Division III Championships and the Saturday morning session might be my favorite part of that event. Everyone wrestling then is already an All-American and is battling to determine his spot on the podium. I'll see more throws, reversals to pins "in general more excitement "in that one session than I might see in a whole season of Hawkeye dual meets. I know that the skill levels are different "but boy do I love watching DIII wrestlers.

What if kids who are new to wrestling got to see all of that fun and action? Would a few of them step on the mat for the first time? Would some of them get motivated enough to stick with the sport when it gets tough? I don't know "but I'm hoping to find out. I'm raising enough money ($10,000) to buy 1,000 tickets to the Saturday, March 6, 2010 morning session of the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships at the US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, IA and giving them away to kids.

The tickets will go to a variety of kids. Many will be reserved for students at flood impacted elementary and middle schools in Cedar Rapids. Local youth organizations like Boys and Girls Clubs will also get some. Most will probably go to youth wrestling clubs. There is no geographical preference for the wrestling clubs " if you want to bring a group to Cedar Rapids, just let me know.
So far, support has been encouraging. Corporate pledges have reached over $4,000, including an extremely generous gift of $2,000 from the Cedar Rapids Marriott. When wrestling writer KJ Pilcher published an article about the project in the Cedar Rapids Gazette just before Christmas, I got another $600 in pledges in three days. Cornell College has allowed me to raise money on-site at wrestling events. To date a total of about $5,600 has come in.

Some folks have suggested that I should be happy with what has already been accomplished. That's like suggesting that Gable should have been satisfied with two NCAA titles after the loss to Owings or telling John Smith that a couple of international championships are enough for any man. I won't stop until we get 1,000 kids in that arena "and I may not stop then.

So, dear readers, I am asking you to help. Several of you already have and to those I offer my heartfelt thanks. But "there's still work to be done. Will you who haven't yet contributed join this elite group of fans?

If you want to make a pledge today email me at [email protected]. I'll collect on your pledge in a couple of weeks when tickets actually go on sale. If you want to just write a check now, please make it to, "Tickets for Kids" and send it to:

"Tickets for Kids"
c/o Jim Brown
130 24th St NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-4936.

Your donation may just be the one that puts the next Gable or Smith or Borlaug on the mat.

Thank you,


PS If you have a group of kids that would like tickets, please email me.


Dan Gable: The Greatest Fighter That Never Was

December 6th, 2009 by Tom

by Robert Gardner

It is often said that one of the best bases to have as a mixed martial artist is wresting. Wrestling, in all of its forms, is a sport that is all about leverage and control.

Many fighters who have come from a strong wrestling background have found great success. Just look across the MMA landscape today as it is littered with champion wrestlers making the transition to the sport.

The reason wrestlers have excelled in MMA is not due solely to wrestling itself. Wrestlers are successful because of the drive, determination, and work ethic that they bring with them.

If there is one man who epitomizes wrestling, drive, determination, and work ethic, it is Dan Gable.

After an undefeated prep wrestling career, the three-time Iowa state wrestling champion chose to attend Iowa State University. While at Iowa State, Gable continued his winning ways by capturing three Big Eight Championships, earning All-American honors all three years.

The only defeat that Gable suffered during his collegiate career came at the hands of Larry Owings. That loss came during the NCAA finals his senior year. That loss helped to fuel a fire inside Gable, a fire that would lead him to greatness.

While attending college and after his collegiate career Gable competed in Olympic freestyle wrestling. Gable was a six-time midlands champion and a three-time USA Freestyle National Champion. In 1971 Gable became World Champion, winning the 68kg division in Sofia, Bulgaria.

In 1972, when the Olympics invaded Munich, the goal was simple; bring home the gold. During these historic Olympics Gable would not only win the gold but he did so without surrendering a single point to his opposition.

In Gable's final 21 Olympic qualification and Olympic matches, he scored 12 falls and outscored his nine other opponents, 130-1; the lone point being scored by Larry Owings.

It is not difficult to imagine that had MMA been an avenue available to the Olympic champion, it would have been something to consider. For many college wrestlers MMA has become the most suitable path to follow the dream of professional athletics.

Gable could have been a force inside the octagon, and would have likely competed at lightweight. The lightweight division has truly become a fan favorite, due to the incredible pace at which the athletes fight. Gable would have surely been at home in that atmosphere.

With an unstoppable shot and flawless transitions, Dan Gable would have ruled the lightweight land. The ability that he possessed to throw and control another human was unreal.

We will never know if Gable could learn to strike, or if he could even take a punch, but we do know that he could wrestle. With his caliber of wrestling, and his work ethic, he would have become a champion.

Filed under Amateur Wrestling, MMA having 1 Comment »

NWCA August Convention to Feature Gable as Speaker

July 27th, 2009 by Tom

The National Wrestling Coaches Association is pleased to announce their 2009 Annual Convention, to be held at the Bahia Mar Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on August 6-9th.

This year's convention features many informative sessions that will be beneficial to both the scholastic and collegiate coaching communities.

The NWCA Convention is the time for coaches to interact with one another outside of the wrestling season, paired with informational sessions on how to take a more proactive approach to being the coach and "CEO "of your team. This year's focus for the collegiate divisions is, "To Protect and Promote Your College Program. " Scholastic Coaches will focus on: Leadership, coaching development, technique and networking.

For the Scholastic Coach:

"¢ Creating and sustaining a positive team culture
"¢ Coaching Development (risk management, recruitment and retention of wrestlers)
"¢ Systematic teaching for success on the mat
"¢ NFHS rules review
"¢ Being a leader in "off the mat " areas

For the Collegiate Coach:

"¢ Best Practices for improving retention and graduation rates of student-athletes
"¢ Creating and sustaining a positive team culture
"¢ Division I "Mock NCAA Selection Process"
"¢ Protecting your intercollegiate wrestling team
"¢ Change of Season Discussion

Highlighting the event will be legendary Coach Dan Gable as this year's guest speaker for the NWCA Conventions opening luncheon on Friday, August 7th. Coach Gable is the University of Iowa's all-time winningest wrestling coach from 1977-1997. His career coaching record totals 355-21-5, leading the Hawkeyes to 15 NCAA Team Championships including nine consecutive championships (1978-1986). In the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, he won a gold medal without surrendering a point to any of his opponents.

He has been appointed to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Gable has also been named the top wrestler of the 20th century by Gannett News Service. He was listed as one of the top coaches in the 20th century by ESPN. Along with being named Iowa's top "sports figure "in the past 100 years.

The convention luncheon featuring Coach Gable will take place August 7, 2009, at noon in the Grandview Ballroom of the Bahia Mar Hotel. Extra tickets for the luncheon can be purchased by calling the NWCA Office.

Also addressing the convention attendees will be Dan Gould the Director of the Institute for the Study of Youth Sports and a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at the Michigan State University. Gould is a professor with a specialty in applied sport psychology. He has co-authored two books, Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology (with Bob Weinberg) and Understanding Psychological Preparation for Sport: Theory and Practice of Elite Performers (with Lew Hardy and Graham Jones).

Gould partnered with the NWCA in 2008 to aid in the development of the Coaching Education Programs and the NWCA Leadership Academy that is being unveiled prior to the convention.

The featured clinicians are Tom Borrelli of Central Michigan University and Brian Smith of the University of Missouri, both coaches who have produced many talented college wrestlers along with promoting their teams to the community.

Coach Borrelli has been the head coach at Central Michigan for 17 years. In that time he has also been named the NWCA Bobb Bubb Coaching Excellence Award Winner and the NWCA and WIN Magazine National Coach of the Year.

Coach Smith has been with the Missouri Tigers for the past 10 years. Smith has local roots growing up in Fort Lauderdale and starting his coaching career at Western High School. Smith has also been honored as an NWCA National Coach of the Year.

There will be an additional technique session specifically for the scholastic coaches hosted by Dave Crowell, Head Coach at Nazareth High School (Pennsylvania). Crowell has been honored five times as the Pennsylvania State Coach of the Year and has also been named an NWCA National Coach of the Year.

Space is still available for coaches wishing to attend, registration can be completed online. The full convention registration is $225; there is a $50 discount for multiple coaches from the same school with the purchase of one full registration. For more information on the NWCA Convention you can contact the NWCA Office at 717-653-8009 or by going to our website at www.nwcaonline.com.

Filed under Amateur Wrestling having 1 Comment »

Caldwell-Metcalf the Owings-Gable of 2009?

April 27th, 2009 by Tom

Portion of a sports columnist from the Creston (Iowa) News-Advertiser drawing some links between Caldwell-Metcalf and Owings-Gable...

Creston/O-M coach Darrell Frain has often told me tournaments are won on the back side of the brackets, and Iowa proved that with its consolation performance on the Saturday morning of this year's NCAA meet in St. Louis. Guys like Ryan Morningstar, Dan Erekson and Phil Keddy were the real heroes for the Hawks, rebounding from disappointing losses to gain important team points in the consolations.

Of course, the most noteworthy match was the unexpected loss by unbeaten junior Brent Metcalf at 149 pounds, and the team point deduction he got for shoving North Carolina State's Darrion Caldwell on the edge of the mat as time expired.

But here's the deal. Metcalf only knows one thing, to wrestle until the final whistle. Caldwell started doing back clips, inbounds, before time expired. Some wrestlers would have shoved that showboat right off the stage in those circumstances. What's with no unsportsmanlike call against Caldwell?

And here's the curious part. In a tiring match against a wrestler (Metcalf) known for his third-period domination, Caldwell took 20 seconds for injury time in the final period because of back spasms. Then, he is able to do back flips with five seconds left?

That was not the sportsmanship that Larry Owings displayed when he shocked the world by beating Dan Gable in Gable's final collegiate match in the 1970 NCAA finals. Gable had won 181 consecutive matches in high school and college until Owings, a Washington sophomore, surprised him in a 13-11 decision. He reached down and helped up a crestfallen Gable afterward.

That match reminded me of Metcalf's loss, in that he didn't wrestle his normal match that day, for whatever reason. Heavy-footed, lethargic, compared to the usual whirlwind of activity.

If Metcalf uses it as motivation like Gable did, going unscored upon in the 1972 Olympics, then opponents better look out next season! You'll see a man on a mission.

Filed under Amateur Wrestling having 1 Comment »

Whatever Happened To… Larry Owings, The Man Who Beat Gable

January 18th, 2009 by Tom

By Bob Sherwin

Seattle Times staff reporter

It's never going to leave, that painful image of defeat. Not in Dan Gable's mind, not in this lifetime. He won't allow it. He clings to it like a drowning man trying to stay afloat, because he understands what once had defeated him also made him a champion.

It doesn't matter that it's been 30 years. Time heals nothing, not the memory, not the legend and not the gap between the two men, Iowa State's Dan Gable, the greatest wrestler of all time, and a confident University of Washington sophomore named Larry Owings.

"I don't think he's out of my head even today, "Gable said recently.

Their epic match 30 years ago altered the lives of both in ways not anticipated and provided the sport with a story to pass down through generations on the scope of a Biblical parable.

"People are still talking about it, "said Ron Good, editor of the Amateur Wrestling News. "It's the biggest upset ever in the sport, and it's a fascinating story."

Owings and Gable, forever linked, met in the NCAA final for the 142-pound weight class. Gable never lost before he faced Owings in that match, nor after it. But in the final 30 seconds of a close, intense, exhausting match, Owings slipped underneath Gable's arms for a leg lift or sweep, putting the erstwhile invincible Gable on his back for the winning points. "It was a move, "Owings said, "I had never done before or since."

Gable was told Owings' comment and said he didn't realize the infamous leg sweep was not a practiced move.

"If he had never tried that before, then that tells me it's desperate. Desperation is something that brings out unusual things, "Gable said. "I had never heard that before. That makes it worse now from my point of view. I kind of wish he had gotten me with his best move."

It happened March 28, 1970, at McGaw Hall, an 8,800-seat fieldhouse on the Northwestern University campus in Evanston, Ill.

Gable was (and is) the god of the sport, a no-nonsense, punishing force who may have been the world's best-conditioned athlete. He would get up in the middle of the night to do pushups, knowing his opponent still slept.

His physical makeup was legendary, his results extraordinary. He went 64-0 at Waterloo (Iowa) West High School and 117-0 in three years at Iowa State (freshmen could not compete then) with NCAA titles at 130 and 137 pounds. He was going for his third title at 142 pounds, and virtually everyone thought he was a lock.

Michael Jordan is the Dan Gable of basketball.

"He was a good, solid all-around wrestler who did not make a lot of mistakes, "said Owings, now director of facilities for the Molalla (Ore.) School District. "He was in excellent condition. In that way, he and I were similar. Conditioning was a big part of my preparation."

Owings ran three miles every morning around the Husky Stadium track, averaging six minutes a mile and sprinting the final quarter-mile in less than a minute. Then he would wrestle two hours a day. He was as relentless and as conditioned as Gable was.

Owings had one more thing Gable didn't have - implacability. He was driven. The pair had met two years earlier, at the 1968 Olympic Trials when Owings was a senior at Canby (Ore.) High and Gable was a sophomore at Iowa State. Gable won 13-4 and went on; Owings never forgot.

"I knew who he was, "Owings said, somewhat disingenuously. If there was one code Owings lived by then, it was a desire to have a second chance against anyone who had beaten him. Gable was one of the few.

Owings had his first chance at the 1969 NCAA Championships but, as he would later regret, decided to wrestle at 130 pounds, avoiding Gable's 137-pound class. That wouldn't happen in 1970. Owings told UW Coach Jim Smith that he was aiming directly at the legend. He would drop down two weight classes, from 158 to 142, just to have a shot at Gable at the NCAAs. Smith would rather have Owings wrestle at 150 pounds.

Smith successfully argued with the seeding committee for his wrestler, who would finish 33-1 that year, to get the second seed behind Gable. It meant that when they met, it would be for the national title - Gable's final college match.

Mike Gerald, who now lives in Austin, Texas, wrote a book on Owings when the two became acquainted in Oregon. He describes Owings as a "Charles Lindbergh persona, quietly confident, "who believed he could equal Gable's strength and conditioning.

When Owings arrived, the mind games, so subtly important in this sport, began. He was interviewed by a Chicago newspaper about his chances against the invincible one, and Owings didn't demur. "I'm not going to this tournament to be a national champion. I'm coming here to beat Gable, "he was quoted.

Gable said a teammate showed him the article. He was intrigued by Owings' swagger. No one had ever said something that, at least no one who could back it up. He took notice of the young Husky, perhaps more than appropriately.

"When I got to the tournament, I still felt fine - that I could win and do everything I thought I could do, "Gable said. "But I was distracted by Larry Owings. It was a name I had not come across too much ahead of time, but I began paying more attention to him. I don't know if he planned it or not, but he got inside my head."

Gable began scouting Owings' matches. He noticed that the UW wrestler was making "all kinds of mistakes but still ended up pinning his opponent. "The pins were accomplished by Owings' best move, an inside reverse cradle that left his opponent unable to escape.

Lyle Ballew, a teammate of Owings', reported back to Owings that during the Iowa State practices, Gable would work with teammates on every possible countermove to the cradle. "It was an indication, "Gerald said, "that Gable was taking him real seriously. He respected his pinning ability."

Both wrestlers advanced through the tournament by pinning each of their opponents. However, Gable had to deal with more distractions than Owings. He was presented with the Man of the Year award during the championships, the media sought him out before and after every match, and he was struggling under the burden of a 181-match winning streak.

Then, just an hour before the match, ABC-TV convinced him to do a short promo advancing the telecast, which would be shown a week later, by having him tell the viewer to watch him finish his career 182-0. The promo never ran.

"There was probably not 10 people in that crowd of 9,000 or so who would have bet on Owings, "Oklahoma State Coach Myron Roderick said. "I thought it would be a contest. Larry was tough. He wasn't scared and had nothing to lose. Dan had a lot of pressure on him. It's hard to win a third NCAA title. Larry took the match to him."

The house lights were dimmed, with only the overhead lights framing the mat in the center of McGaw Hall. The crowd edged forward. Owings wore a black singlet with white trim, while Gable was in cardinal and gold. Each wore white headgear and white kneepads. This was the featured match of the tournament. Of the century.

It was close throughout the three-period match, and the constant crowd noise was deafening. Within the first 30 seconds, Gable got up 2-0 with a takedown, but Owings came back on a takedown and escape to lead, 3-2. By the end of the second period, Owings had stretched the lead to 7-2 and the crowd was hysterical. Referee Pascal Perri described the noise as "comparable to Niagara Falls during the spring thaw."

Gable, who admitted he was uncharacteristically worn down as the match dragged on, remembered telling himself, "Don't get caught in the cradle. Don't get caught in the cradle. "He could't believe he was the one affected by his opponent's reputation.

But Gable made a gritty comeback, as his fans expected him to, late in the match. With less than a minute remaining, the scoreboard showed Owings leading 9-8, but Gable actually had a 10-9 lead. He had two points in riding time that would be rewarded at the end by Perri.

Only 30 seconds remained in the match; and Gable, despite the fact that he could coast to a one-point win, continued to stand up and circle with Owings.

"I had two minutes more riding time, so I was pretty much in control of the match, "Gable said. "(But) I got greedy."

He tried an arm-bar move, coming over Owings' shoulder in an attempt to lock him up and take him down. This was Owings' opportunity, the fateful moment when his never-used leg sweep caught Gable by surprise.

Gable said when Owings grabbed his leg "it was kind of like a slow-motion fall. I didn't know how the referee would score it."

Perri had given Owings two points for the takedown and two for a near-fall, as Gable's shoulders were briefly exposed to the mat. The scorer had not seen the near-fall signal because a TV cameraman had jumped in the way, so Perri stopped the match to explain.

Iowa State Coach Harold Nichols protested. Gable, then and now, says the near-fall was "a judgment call."

Perri brought the two wrestlers back with 17 seconds left for a final grab-and-hold.

"At that point, once I saw the score and only three seconds left, I knew he couldn't get two points, "Owings said.

Owings had won, 13-11.

"Stunned was the word, "Owings said of his first moments as the giant-killer. "He (Gable) was dazed and confused. He was stunned he had lost. We were on our knees at the end of the match. We got up, and he offered me his hand and we shook.

"It was bedlam. They shut down the whole tournament for 15 minutes. The roar of the crowd was unbelievable. It was probably the match of the century. We went at it tooth and nail."

Smith, a man not quite 5 feet tall, ran over and bear-hugged and hoisted his champion. Owings was the first UW wrestler to win an NCAA title, but what mattered was that he had upset a man the Russians reverently called "The Machine, "a man who had won 181 straight matches, 108 by pins.

The fans, said Roderick, "were in shock, as well as excited seeing history. A sophomore had beaten the giant.

"The American people like the underdog, but at the same time there was sadness. Gable was heartbroken. During the award ceremonies, his real feelings came out. Dan stood there crying. It was one of the most emotional scenes I can ever remember."

Gable was given a four-minute standing ovation during his introduction as the ceremonies stopped.

Iowa State had won the national team championship, but Gable's loss dominated the headlines. It also dominated him. He had a chance to face Owings again three weeks later, then again seven months later, but Owings lost in the preliminary round. Gable remembers wrestling an opponent while at the same time watching Owings lose on an adjacent mat.

The match at Northwestern had its impact on both wrestlers. Owings, who said, "I did not really realize the scope of what I accomplished, "never again won the championship, losing in the NCAA finals his final two years. He wrestled Gable one more time, in the 1972 Olympic Trials, losing 7-1. As lopsided as that score was, it was the only point allowed by Gable during the trials or the Olympics.

Owings briefly wrestled internationally and retired in 1973 to his home in Oregon. He coached for a while, then settled into obscurity of teaching and administrating.

Gable's career soared. After his Olympic title, he coached the Iowa Hawkeyes to 21 consecutive Big Ten titles and 15 national championships in his 21 years as head coach, going 355-21-5. He now does university fund raising and works with the U.S. Olympic team.

"After that match, it took me a long time to really admit a lot of things, "Gable said. "I really didn't want to see it or talk about it much. But I have to admit to this day that match made my career, not only the next two years. It had a tremendous impact on my entire coaching career."

Gable said he learned not to take an opponent lightly, to eliminate distractions and accentuate an aura of invincibility and intimidation toward an opponent, just as Owings had done to him.

Gable is in the U.S. Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Okla. Owings, despite a national title and an 87-4 record at Washington (52-1 in dual meets), is not.

"Probably some day, "said Roderick, who is president of the museum. "You can't put someone in because of one match. If he had won two national championships it would be easier, but he never went to the Olympics and didn't do much international wrestling."

But Owings has a prominent spot in the Hall, with a large picture of the match and some mementos. It is annually the most viewed element in the Hall. Moderator: When I visited the Hall in 2006, Owings' singlet worn in the match was on display, right next to Gable's Iowa State uniform, right in the lobby.

Owings has not talked to Gable since 1980, and that was a brief conversation to ask him to consider looking at a wrestler in his district. During the conversation, neither mentioned the match. They haven't talked to each other since.

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