Stoll not content after Worlds showing

Sam Stoll is used to winning. Lots and lots of winning.

Sam Stoll, right, recorded a pin against Abdelatif Mohamed of Egypt in the first round of the United World Wrestling Junior World Championships in Brazil recently. Stoll is a Kasson-Mantorville graduate and redshirt freshman at the University of Iowa.

Sam Stoll is used to winning. Lots and lots of winning.

The big heavyweight hadn't been used to just beating his opponents, but crushing them. As a high school senior at Kasson-Mantorville he pinned every guy he faced.

That in mind, Stoll's mood upon leaving Salvador, Brazil recently was no surprise. It wasn't the best.

Stoll had been wrestling in the Greco-Roman United World Wrestling Junior World Championships for the second time in three years. His goal was to top what he'd accomplished in 2013, when he left the same world tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria with a bronze medal.

Stoll wanted to finish at least that high this time.


It didn't happen. The University of Iowa redshirt freshman started off strong enough, winning his first match 2-0 and his second 4-1.

But then came Georgia powerhouse Zviadi Pataridze in the semifinals, the 2015 European Junior champion. Pataridze never gave Stoll a chance.

"I got beat pretty fast; I just was not ready for the match," said Stoll, who lost by technical fall. "But all excuses don't mean anything. The guy was a tough dude. When you're out there, you have to be ready."

Stoll followed that by losing 5-1 to Turkey's Yildrim Osman in the bronze medal match.

Then came the plane ride home. It seemed like a long one.

"I didn't get a lot of satisfaction there," Stoll said. "My goal was to win it. It stings when you don't at least bring back a medal."

While Stoll was miffed at his results, he was a long ways from wanting to cash in his wrestling chips.

Stoll has yet to wrestle a "real" match at Iowa. He competed as a freshman at Iowa, but his matches never counted toward his team's total. Stoll's results were a mixed bag — at least for him. He finished 18-5 while wrestling unattached.


Ready for major role

While he finally was handed some losses, there were no huge surprises that first season.

Stoll knew that college wrestling would be a whole lot tougher and even more dead serious than he was used to in high school.

It's a primary reason he picked Iowa, because of the seriousness of this elite program.

"You expect to work hard at Iowa," Stoll said. "I was there for a reason, because I like the program and the people around it. I knew what to expect. I knew what I was getting into."

What he hopes to be getting into next is a starting position for the vaunted Hawkeyes. While he's not guaranteeing anything, Stoll sees himself at least penciled in as the team's regular heavyweight, with no obvious choice to knock him out of that spot.

He thinks he's ready in mind and body. That redshirt year was meaningful.

"I took a lot of different things away from that first year," Stoll said. "Just the work ethic that's required and how much more intense everything is."


But his goals go well beyond being introduced as the Hawkeyes' starting heavyweight.

"I want to win an NCAA title," Stoll said. "That's obviously my goal. And after that I want to win an Olympic gold medal."

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