IOWA CITY — For Paul Glynn, a spot in the starting lineup for the Iowa wrestling team comes down to one thing — performance.
The Hawkeye sophomore gave himself a chance to move into the 133-pound lineup spot where Cory Clark won a national championship last season with his work in Iowa’s wrestle-offs earlier this month, defeating senior Phillip Laux in the championship match.
Both wrestlers competed at the Luther Open last weekend, where Laux won the championship and Glynn settled for a third-place finish after losing to Hazen Rice of Wisconsin-Whitewater in the semifinals.
And today when Iowa opens its dual schedule by hosting three opponents in the Iowa City Duals, both Glynn and Laux are listed as potential starters at 133 as they work to earn the starting opportunity in the weight class.
Glynn, a Bettendorf alum, is counting on building around what he learned last year, picking the brain of two roommates who already were in the Hawkeye lineup.
"I spent a lot of time last year talking with Michael Kemerer and Cash Wilcke at home at night, talking wrestling and preparing myself for now," Glynn said. "I’ve been working for this for two years, and I’m ready. I know I’m ready."
That readiness started with what Glynn describes as a productive offseason.
"It comes down to mentally and physically being ready to go, and I feel like the work I put in this summer should give me a chance to make that happen," Glynn said. "The work I’ve put in the past two years has me ready to step in and compete the way we expect to compete."
The Hawkeyes wrestle three times today, facing Iowa Central at 10 a.m., Buffalo at 11:30 a.m. and North Dakota State at 1:30 p.m., and both Glynn and Laux likely will see action.
With five open positions, coach Tom Brands expects Iowa's lineup to remain fluid throughout the first weeks of the season.
"This is a team that will evolve, and we have some good competition going on at a number of weights, which I think is healthy for us," Brands said.
With Clark in the lineup, Glynn wrestled at 141 the past two seasons. After finishing 7-6 in four open tournaments last season as a redshirt freshman, Glynn believes he is where he needs to be at 133.
"I feel good. I feel lighter, more active, and it’s a good place to be heading in the start of the season," he said. "I come into it believing that I’m going to be the guy, that the job belongs to me, and until somebody else takes it away, I’m preparing to be in the lineup."
That mentality is in part of a byproduct of the talks with Kemerer, an all-American last season as a freshman at 157, and Wilcke, who earned an NCAA berth last season as a redshirt freshman.
"A lot of it is the mental part, and I’ve spent a lot of time getting my edge there," Glynn said. "I’ve learned how to study opponents better and prepare myself for whatever I might see in a match. I believe in myself. I believe I’m ready."