Jan. 25, 2007
WSUI 'Live From Prairie Lights' Reading Chronicles High School Wrestlers Feb. 9
Mark Kreidler, sports reporter for the Sacramento Bee, will read from "Four Days to Glory: Wrestling with the Soul of the American Heartland" in a free event at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, in Buchanan Auditorium of the University of Iowa Pappajohn Business Building.
The reading will be recorded for broadcast by UI radio station WSUI. Hour-long "Live from Prairie Lights" productions, hosted by WSUI's Julie Englander, air at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturdays, and 7 p.m. Sundays on WSUI-AM 910, WOI-AM 640 and KRNI-AM 1010. A program will also be broadcast at 5 p.m. Sundays on KSUI-FM 91.7.
"Four Days to Glory" follows wrestlers Dan LeClere and Jay Borschell as they claim their fourth Iowa State Championships. Legendary UI wrestling coach Dan Gable called the book "A great emotional read ... a story of commitment, discipline and heart. Kreidler vividly portrays what really happens inside the sport."
A review in Entertainment Weekly stated, "Part 'Chariots of Fire,' part 'Hoosiers,' 'Four Days to Glory' chronicles the champs' ruthless obsession to be perfect, while pinning the sport's violence and emotional turbulence."
Wes Lukowsky wrote for Booklist, "To most, wrestling conjures images of steroidal monsters acting out scripted roles in pay-per-view soap operas. There is another, brutally honest version of the sport in which incredibly disciplined young men compete passionately. Nowhere is wrestling more revered than in the state of Iowa, where high-school wrestlers can become legends.
"Kreidler ... spent much of the 2004-05 school year and beyond chronicling the efforts of Jay Borschel and Dan LeClere as they attempted to become only the 15th and 16th individuals in the history of Iowa High School wrestling to win state titles in each of their four years. Each carries the legacy of a wrestling lineage -- their fathers were wrestlers -- as well as the mounting responsibility of history and the sidebar issue of college recruitment.
"The book also functions as an anecdotal history of Iowa prep wrestling and a sociological examination of the Iowa citizenry that has embraced such an elemental sport as its own. Kreidler is an observant, intuitive and inspired scrivener. Readers with even a marginal interest in high-school wrestling will find themselves completely immersed in a little-understood or appreciated sports subculture."
Kreidler has been a regular contributor to ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine.
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