Joe Heskett

Successful on the mat and successful in the classroom, Joe Heskett is a prototype for wrestlers to follow for life-long success.

Now as a coach at Cal Poly and the 74kg wrestler for the RPW’s Iowa Stalkers, Heskett’s Olympic Dreams fell short in the finals of the 2004 Olympic Team trials; he’s still a fierce competitor with eyes on a berth at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

A four-time NCAA All-American at Iowa State under Bobby Douglas, Heskett was also a four-time academic All-American completing a major in speech communication.

Heskett was one of the most dominant wrestlers ever to come out of Ohio wrestling powerhouse Walsh Jesuit, winning three high school state championships and a 1997 junior freestyle national championship.

Heskett's national title search was elusive for several years. Going into nationals undefeated as a freshman Heskett placed 3rd. Both his sophomore and junior seasons he wrestled in the NCAA finals, but fell short both years in dramatic overtime loses. Finally, as a senior he won his national title by defeating Matt Lackey in a 4 -2 decision.

As a freestyler, Heskett’s placed four times at the U.S. Nationals, including two runner-up finishes in 2003 and 2004. A three-time placer at the U.S. World Team Trials, Heskett finished second to Olympian Joe Williams in the 2004 Olympic Team trials.

Heskett’s dominated the Sunkist International, winning three championships in 2000, 2003 and 2003. He’s also won the Dave Schultz International in 2004.

He also has competed internationally for the United States, finishing third in the Henri Deglane Challenge in Nice, France and competed in the Cerro Pelado Tournament in Cuba in February 2005.

A champion at the NYAC Christmas International in 2002, Heskett was also sixth in the Takhti Cup held in Iran.

At Iowa State, Heskett amassed a collegiate record of 143-9 and racked up 59 falls and on the U.S. National Freestyle ladder, Heskett’s ranked second and should be in great shape to make a run at the next Olympic Games as well as give Iowa fans a relatively friendly face when he dons the Stalkers’ warm-ups, since nearly the entire RPW Iowa team is comprised of former Iowa high school or college wrestlers.


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