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Wrestling Preview: Utah Valley & Boise State

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The Cyclone Wrestlers are out in Boise today to take on their first D-1 competition of the season

Iowa State Daily

The Cyclone wrestling team heads to Boise, Idaho today for a triangular meet against Boise State and Utah Valley.   After a dominant showing at the Kaye Young Open two weeks ago, our starters sat out last weekend's Harold Nichols Open in Ames.  So this will be their first real opportunity to showcase themselves against D-1 competition.  Utah Valley and Boise aren't elite teams, but have decent individuals at weights where we have question marks.

Where: Boise, Idaho

When: Utah Valley @ 4PM, Boise State @ 7PM

How to Watch:

Utah Valley Livestream @ 4PM

Boise State Livestream @ 7PM

The biggest story for this early season tune up is weight changes.  At four weights (133, 141, 149, 157), we have wrestlers bumping up from where they were last time we saw them.  And at 184 pounds Lelund Weatherspoon gets the chance to show how he can perform with a full off-season to grow into 184 after a late season move up to that weight last year.

Expected Cyclone Lineup

125: Kyle Larson, SO (4-0)

133: #13 Earl Hall, JR (4-0)

141: John Meeks, SO (0-0)

149: Gabe Moreno, SO (5-0)

157: Luke Goettl, SR (4-0)

165: #3 Mike Moreno, SR (4-0)

174: #7 Tanner Weatherman, JR (4-0)

184: #18 Lelund Weatherspoon, SO (4-0)

197: #3 Kyven Gadson, SR (4-0)

HWT: Quean Smith, SO (4-0)

(Rankings from Intermat)

Key Matches

Kyle Larson vs Chase Talbert (UV) and Carson Kuhn (BS) - Neither Talbert or Kuhn are going to be All Americans this year, but they are solid wrestlers coming off of winning seasons last year.  Which means this will be a good measuring stick to see what we can expect from Larson this season.  With wins we can be pretty confident that Larson will be a .500+ wrestler who will hold his own on the mat this season.  With losses it might be a long year at 125.

Earl Hall vs Jade Rauser (UV) -  This is probably the highlight match of the meet.  Rauser is a two time NCAA qualifier for Utah Valley at 125 and like Hall is bumping up to 133 this season.  What to look for here is for Hall to show more consistency.  Last year he had some amazing wins but also some disappointing losses.  For Hall to climb the rankings and end up back on the podium this season he needs to be putting on a show every meet instead of every other one.  And that starts this afternoon against Rauser.

Prediction

This early in the season it is tough to do match by match predictions.  But my expectation is we'll drop a handful of matches in both meets, especially at the lower weights.  Even so, our big guns at 133 and 165-197 should provide us the points we need for comfortable victories over the Wolverines and Broncos.  There's no reason for either meet to be very close.