Heskett wins World Team Trials
Heskett breaks through with Trials victory; Zadick and Roberson add to fiery intra-state rivalry 2007 TRIALS COVERAGE PAGE
DATE: 6/9/2007 11:59:00 PM Las Vegas By Jason Bryant
Joe Heskett has been used to being the runner-up, the bride’s maid, second fiddle – or any other cliché you can think of to refer to second place.
Heskett’s now the top gun, the big dog, the head honcho – or any other cliché you can think of that can describe champion.
The Ohio State assistant coach made his first U.S. World Team with a three-match victory over Casey Cunningham in the finals at 74kg at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Saturday.
“The bottom line is with this sport is you have to stay focused,” said Heskett. “It doesn’t matter how you win sometimes, it’s about winning. That’s the biggest release.”
“We put so much time into this, so much time, this is what we do. I’m away from my family for weeks at a time and to get it done, you can’t put into words,” he said.
Staying focused was crucial for Heskett, who advanced to the final after a somewhat controversial call in his win over Kirk White.
“I didn’t know what happened. All I know is that I initiated the throw and he landed on his head out of bounds,” explained Heskett. “I was able to change directions and I felt confident I was able to take his momentum out, but I didn’t know. When you leave it up to the refs or the video, it can go either way.”
“That time it went my way,” said Heskett.
In winning arguably the deepest freestyle weight, which included last year’s world bronze medalist, Heskett was calm, cool and collected following his grueling battle with Cunningham.
“Two of the most respected individuals that I have respect for are Ramico Blackmon and Casey Cunningham. They’re phenomenal individuals and great wrestlers,” said Heskett.
“To win a title at this level, it puts an exclamation point on the year itself and going into the next year,” he said.
Heskett now sets his sight on his first trip to the World Championships and a shot at a medal and qualifying the weight for the 2008 Olympics, a crucial aspect to the September event in Azerbaijan.
“That’s what’s tough about a lot of our weight classes, but 74 kilos has some great wrestlers in it. Donny Pritzlaff is a great wrestler, hard-nosed. I have a lot of respect for him – he took fourth in this tournament.”
Heskett will now sit and await another Buckeye in Sunday’s action, not in the hopes of having said wrestler duplicate his feat, but duplicating the feeling of the feat.
“For as excited as I am, the best feeling in the world was when Tommy (Rowlands) and I both won U.S. Nationals,” said Heskett. “Tommy has a chance tomorrow to get on this team as well. I love the guy and hope the good graces he can pull through tomorrow.”
Heskett’s move from California back to Ohio is what he credits to making an impact – providing “stability, training and comfort” -- and the coaching staff at Ohio State, which includes a notable Olympian.
“Lou Rosselli – He’s the difference maker,” said Heskett.
Another freestyle match that came down to a third-match didn’t determine a world team spot, but it still was as heated and spirited as any rivalry would be.
Especially if the match in question involves a Hawkeye … and a Cyclone.
With U.S. National Champion Nate Gallick out with an injury, world silver medalist Mike Zadick battled Iowa State alum Zach Roberson to a three-match, clinch-filled faux-thriller.
After the two split opening matches where the decisive period ended scoreless and each wrestler was penalized for improper starting clinch position. Zadick taking the first match, Roberson the second.
Zadick’s two-point exposure with 18 seconds to go tied the score at two, but since he scored the two-point move to Roberson’s two one-point moves, Zadick won the bout.
Zadick declined comment, but coach Mike Duroe offered his opinions following the bout.
“We train like that in the room every day. We work situations, Tom (Brands) and I, and we put guys in these situations and they expect that,” said Duroe referring to the two periods coming down to the leg clinch. “Rolling starts, guy not getting his hand locked; Those are things we try to replicate in practice and hopefully the guy’s paying attention.”
But Duroe was aware of that fire between those that come from Iowa City and those that come from Ames.
“Roberson and Coach (Cael) Sanderson and Zadick and Coach Brands. It’s a coach and someone from each other’s coaching staff going against each other, so there’s definitely some competitive juices flowing.”
But Duroe credited the same thing Heskett did – focus.
“You have to stay focused, if you let your emotions get the best of you, you’re not going to be successful,” said Duroe.
“I think Mike did a good job at keeping his composure. He struggled getting to Roberson’s legs a little bit. He didn’t penetrate like he’s capable of penetrating. He did a good job of not letting his emotions dictate what was going to happen.”
Last edited by isu_bub; 06-11-2007 at 06:58 PM.
Re: Heskett wins World Team Trials
The last article said Heskett was a vol. coach at tOSU. Can't we get him to be a free asst with us?
"I believe the state color for Alabama should be primer," Larry the Cable Guy.