It was a fortunate decision. Lou, who weighs 220 pounds, has splendid maneuverability in a weight class known for pushing, shoving, leaning and boredom. Gable told Lou before his final match, "You're not going to have any problem." Correct. The first to sense this was Lou's opponent, the 265-pound No. 1 seed, Bruce Baumgartner of Indiana State. After messing about for the first period, Banach dominated in the second, scoring six points on a smooth reversal, some stalling penalties against Baumgartner and a near fall. Then, only 45 seconds into the final period, Banach wrapped his opponent in an unyielding cradle and Baumgartner was history.
An elated Lou said, "I picked him up on a single leg, and when he went down, he hit the mat hard. Then I noticed something."
"That he didn't want to get up. He was gassin'. But I really proved something."
"That I can wrestle with the big guys."
Although things have gone well for the Banachs at Iowa, they have been awful for Mike DeAnna, who five years ago was the country's best high school wrestler. Recruiters particularly liked the 83-0 record he racked up in his sophomore, junior and senior years in Bay Village, a Cleveland suburb. There was talk—probably too much talk—that De-Anna would be the first to win four NCAA titles.
But DeAnna met trouble. He hurt his knee as a freshman in the Big Ten championships and ended up third in the nationals. As a sophomore in 1978-79, he frequently looked out of shape, arousing the ire of red-hot Iowa wrestling devotees, and finished sixth in the NCAAs. Then, as a junior, his lack of stamina was attributed to hypoglycemia, a sugar deficiency in the blood. A diet change perked DeAnna up, but he finished only second in the NCAAs.
Then came the nightmare of 1979-80. First, DeAnna had knee surgery in October. Next, a rare malignant growth was discovered on his left forearm. His mother, Jeannette, recalls, "The doctors said if it got into the blood, he'd have a year to live." On Dec. 5, 1979 DeAnna underwent 3� hours of surgery in Iowa City. It was successful.
DeAnna was philosophic about his cancer. He says, "I thought, 'Well, I've had a good time. If I die, I die.' " As for his wrestling, he admits, "I'd like to be going for my fourth NCAA championship. I was thinking about that last night. I could be, I should be—but I'm not. I still haven't won my first one." Now he never will. DeAnna turned in a strangely flat performance ("His body didn't move," says Gable) and was dusted by Oklahoma's Mark Schultz, 10-4.