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Seven Good Minutes with Tim Harner
Today, the "Seven Good Minutes" segment sits down with Tim Harner, who will be making his fourth-career trip to the national event after retaining his 141-pound title for the third-straight season at this year's NCAA East Regional Qualifier.
The series, which began on Sunday with an in-depth look into Shaun Smith, Liberty's national qualifier at 157 pounds, concludes today, as the 2009 NCAA National Wrestling Championship kicks off tomorrow in St. Louis, Mo., inside the Scottrade Center.
Seven Good Minutes Segments
Shaun Smith – March 15
Chris Daggett – March 16
Christian Smith – March 17
Tim Harner – March 18
This year's quartet gives Liberty 14 national qualifiers since the program was reinstated after a 12-year hiatus for the 2006-07 season. The Flames posted a 12-9-1 dual meet record this past season, culminating with their third-straight NCAA East Regional team title.
Audio Interview with Tim Harner
Tim Harner's 2008-09 season truly has been a tail of two different halves. The Norristown, Pa., native opened the year a two-time reigning NCAA East Regional victor at 141 pounds and ranked No. 17 in the NWCA preseason rankings in the weight class.
However, Harner, along with the Flames coaching staff, decided to move up to 149 pounds, challenging the rising senior during the summer months.
He won his first three bouts of the season at 149 pounds, but struggled in the new weight class over the next month, as he only won four of his next nine matchups.
After a 1-2 showing at the Reno Tournament of Championship, Harner returned to his former weight class, showing immediate positive results. He finished 3-2 at the Southern Scuffle and has reeled off a win in 14 of his last 15 bouts.
During the 15-match stretch, 10 of his 14 victories have come by fall, helping raise his record to 18-3 at 141 pounds (25-8 overall). Spotlighting the impressive stretch was a 10-2 major decision over N.C. State's Joe Caramancia, who was ranked No. 11 nationally at the time of the squabble, on the Wolfpacks' home mats.
Harner posted back-to-back falls to claim his third-straight NCAA East Regional title on March 7, earning the 141-pounder his eighth-consecutive win and his fourth trip to the national championship. He transferred to Liberty from Rider after his freshman year, where he was a national qualifier for the Broncos at 133 pounds in 2005.
Harner suffered an early setback during last year's national championship, falling to eventual third-place finisher and No. 2 seed, Charles Griffin from Hofstra, 11-0, in the opening round.
However, he came storming back in the wrestleback bracket, recording decision wins over Maryland's Jon Kohler (12-5) and Old Dominion's Ryan Williams (10-5), before bowing out of the event in a 5-0 decision to No. 10 seed Cody Cleveland of Chattanooga.
Harner's Career Record at Liberty
Total: 94-36 (collegiate record, including his 2004-05 season at Rider [26-15/133 pounds): 120-51)
Harner's Career at the NCAA National Championship
2005: 1-2 (133 pounds)
L – Drew Headlee (Pittsburgh) – Dec., 1-6
W – Matt DeLorenzo (Columbia) – Major dec., 11-0
L – Matt Sanchez (Cal State Bakersfield) – Major dec., 3-13
2007: 0-2 (141 pounds)
L – Kyle Terry (Oklahoma) – Dec., 5-2
L – C.J. Ettelson (Northern Iowa) – Fall, 2:51
2008: 2-2 (141 pounds)
L – Charles Griffin (Hofstra) – Major dec., 0-11
W – Jon Kohler (Maryland) – Dec., 12-5
W – Ryan Williams (Old Dominion) – Dec., 10-5
L – Cody Cleveland (Chattanooga) – Dec., 0-5
Career record at the NCAA National Championship: 3-6
Getting to Know Tim Harner
6-0, 141 pounds
What is your favorite Bible verse and why?
John 3:16, because it says it all.
I know it's not good for me, but I love to eat …
Anything I shouldn't eat, before a match.
What was the best movie you watched over the last year?
I came to Liberty because …
I knew the life I would live at Liberty would elevate my wrestling career.
Share something about one of your teammates that someone outside the program would never know without you telling them.
Patrick Walker (heavyweight) kicks 50-yard field goals like it's his job.
Who is your favorite Bible character and why?
Job, because I love stories about characters who struggle, but still find a way to overcome adversity.
My earliest memory while competing in my sport is …
Crying in the wrestling room after every practice.
The best part of being a Liberty student-athlete is …
Being able to have the opportunity to watch the University grow as fast as it is.
My dream job would be …
An athletic director for a Christian university.
What is the best book you have ever read (other than the Bible)?
"Wild at Heart" by John Eldredge
If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
I would want to fly, because I hate walking, anywhere. Plus, gas is so expensive.
If I were named "Coach for a Day", I would make my coaches (and why) …
Cut a lot of weight.
My favorite thing about being a part of the Liberty wrestling program is (and why) …
Being coached by a person who cares more about my personal life than my performance.
If you could have dinner with three people throughout history, who would they be and why?
Jesus, George Washington, and John Hancock. A lot can be learned from these individuals. All of them were leaders.
My personal goals this season are …
To leave everything I have on the mat.
What cartoon character are you most like (and why)?
Road Runner, because I can find a way out of anything and everything.
If someone would look at the songs on my iPod, I would be embarrassed for them to see I have this song is …
"Who Let the Dogs Out" by the Baha Men
The first thing people notice about me when they meet me is …
I look more like a basketball player, as opposed to a wrestler.
When you were a little child, what did you want to be "when you grew up" and are you pursuing it still as a career/profession after graduation?
No, because I wanted to be a fighter pilot, but now I'm not a fan of heights.