Photo by Mark Lundy

It’s been awhile since Ames has had this much buzz about wrestling at this point in the season. Coach Kevin Dresser, and his staff, are way ahead of schedule in their rebuilding of Iowa State’s program.

Iowa State opened the season hosting the Harold Nichols Cyclone Open. In the Open Division they crowned two Champs, Alex Mackall at 125 pounds, and Willie Miklus at 197 pounds. Francis Duggan also earned a title at 285 pounds of the Freshman/Sophmore Division.

Up next for the Cyclones was the Grand View Open. There, they came home with four titles total, two in the Open Division – David Carr at 157 pounds and Danny Bush at 184 pounds, and two in the Freshman/Sophmore Division – Taylan Entriken at 174 pounds and Joel Shapiro at 184 pounds.

The day after the Grand View Open, Iowa State hosted their first dual of the year, held in CY Stephens Auditorium. Iowa State fans would finally get to see Austin Gomez in action! The Cyclones put a thorough thumping on Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville 37-3. Iowa State took nine of ten matches, four of those earning bonus points. Austin Gomez and Jarrett Degen each had a tech fall. Ian Parker and Marcus Coleman earned wins by fall.

The following weekend The Cyclones hit the road to Missouri for the Lindenwood Open. They earned four titles, and three runner-up finishes in the Open Division. Bringing home titles were Gomez at 133 pounds, Jarrett Degen at 149 pounds, Carr at 157 pounds, and Miklus at 197 pounds. Corey Cabanban took first in the Freshman/Sophmore Division.

What came Next on their schedule was the Cy-Hawk series showdown with in-state rival Iowa. Narrowly defeated by a score of 19-18, we got to see some really gutsy performances at 133, 141, 149, 184 pounds. On paper Iowa State was the underdog in each of these matches, however each match was taken by the Cyclones. On top of that, each match was won with less than thirty seconds left in the match. Insert Iowa State in the top twenty of The Open Mat’s dual team rankings.

The UNI Open was next on the slate for Iowa State. Mackall, Carr, and Marcus Coleman 174 pounds each won titles for the Cyclones. Finishing third were Ryan Leisure 141 pounds, Shapiro 184 pounds, and Gannon Gremmel 285 pounds.

Which brings us to last Sunday’s Dual against Ohio. Finally in front of the Hilton faithful. Iowa State beat Ohio handily by a score of 33-6 back in the friendly confines. Earning eight wins out of ten matches, four were bonus point victories; five if you count the forfeit at 125 pounds due to Shakur Laney failing to make weight. The first one came at 141 pounds, with Ian Parker getting a major decision 12-1. Degen kept the bonus points coming at 149 pounds with a fall with four seconds left in the second period. Then at 174 pounds Coleman played a game of takedown and release earning the 14-6 win. Last, but by no means least, Miklus earned a 17-2 tech fall with numerous four point nearfalls.

“I thought we wrestled hard, up and down the lineup,” said Coach Dresser afterwards. He also added, “I’m a big consistency guy, and I felt like we had some consistency with this team, like we did when we were in Iowa City.”

The Cyclones ring in the New Year at the Southern Scuffle on January 1st & 2nd.

Ranked Iowa State Wrestlers  (TOM Rankings Released 12/18/18)

#10 Austin Gomez – 133
#12 Ian Parker – 141
#8 Jarrett Degen – 149
#18 Sam Colbray – 184
#6 Willie Miklus – 197