FULL SERIES: CYCLONE PREVIEWS
|SO||Colston DiBlasi||Chase Straw||Brady Jennings||Austin Stotts|
Returning for his sophomore season will be Missouri native Colston DiBlasi, who put together a 22-18 record as a rookie. While DiBlasi didn’t qualify for the NCAAs last season, he certainly made fans take notice of his unorthodox style which resulted in him pinning 15 opponents, which ranked among the leaders in Division I wrestling.
Because of how DiBlasi wrestling style evaluating his freshman year is a bit of a chore. On the one hand he defeated promising Wisconsin redshirt Evan Wick 7-1 at the Midlands, but he also lost to Wick 14-2. In Iowa State’s dual against Wyoming he won 5-3 over Archie Colgan, but at the Big 12 Championships Colgan won 15-0 technical fall. He beat Oklahoma’s Clark Glass, who was ranked in the top 10, at the Big 12 Championships and he also lost to Air Force’s Alex Mossing that same weekend. In a nutshell DiBlasi had moments of brilliance and moments that make you scratch your head. What to expect from DiBlasi in 2017-18 remains a mystery, other than the fact that he will be the chief contender for the starting spot.
In looking at the depth chart it’s noticeably barren at 157 pounds, which is why Chase Straw bumping up from 149 pounds would appear to make sense at least on paper. Outside of DiBlasi all other wrestlers with experience wrestling at 157 were listed at 149 in last year’s roster, including Straw. Furthering the case for Straw to move to 157 is the fact that the Cyclones will have Dante Rodriguez and Jarrett Degen, among other options at 149. As a true freshman Straw competed at 157 and 165 pounds and his wins included UNI backup Isaiah Patton and one of the contenders for the Cyclones at 165, Skyler St. John.
|JR||Skyler St. John||Logan Breitenbach|
It’s true, the Cyclones return their 2017 postseason starter this coming season, but in order for junior Logan Breitenbach to secure his starting spot he will need to take a step forward as incoming transfer Skyler St. John is the current favorite to start at 165 pounds.
To date injuries have plagued St. John from seeing a lot of mat time, but just last season he managed to pick up a fall over (now) teammate Breitenbach at the Pat Flanagan Open. His next biggest win was his 6-5 victory over Iowa’s Jeremiah Moody at the same tournament. While the younger St. John hasn’t had the success his bother Derek, who is now on Iowa State’s coaching staff, he is often credited for having the same qualities. If St. John can manage to stay health he could certainly give a boost to the Iowa State lineup, at the very least as someone who is going to push Breitenbach, who would have been the only returning 165 pound wrestler on the roster had St. John not transferred in.
On the other side of the lineup battle is a junior who was thrust into a starting role after Dane Pestano couldn’t hold the weight. Breitenbach took his lumps going 0-8 in duals for the Cyclones, and going 1-2 at the Big 12 tournament. Injuries have played their part for Breitenbach as well, as he missed the entire first half of last season making his debut in January.