Finally returning home after a disappointing few weeks on the road, the #17 ranked Cyclone wrestlers will take on the #21 ranked Central Michigan Chippewas in Ames on Sunday afternoon. And they'll be doing it with a few new faces in the lineup as Nathan Boston makes the move up two weight classes to 141 pounds and Blayne Briceno fills in for an injured Gabe Moreno.
The Chippawas are coming off a 21-11 thumping of Northern Iowa on Friday night and look to be favored against Iowa State in the 125, 141, 149, 157, and 174 pounds matches. If Iowa State is going to turn it around going in to the home stretch of the season they'll need to avoid bonus points at those weights, get bonus out of Earl Hall and Tanner Weatherman, and avoid letdowns in what should be fairly tight matches at 184 and 197. It would also help if Quean Smith doesn't pin himself.
Where: Ames, IA
When: Sunday, January 31st at 2 p.m. CST
|Weight||Iowa State Wrestler||Record||-||Central Michigan Wrestler||Record|
|125||Kyle Larson||18-11||vs.||UR/UR/#19 Brent Fleetwood||16-9|
|133||#9/#9/#8 Earl Hall||23-6||vs.||UR/UR/#32 Corey Keener||11-7|
|141||Nathan Boston||2-4||vs.||#16/#16/#16 Zach Horan||17-8|
||vs.||#9/#12/#9 Colin Heffernan||11-3|
|157||Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer||16-8||vs.||#8/#10/#10 Luke Smith||22-5|
|165||#9/#12/#8 Tanner Weatherman||23-6||vs.||UR/UR/#32 Jordan Atienza||21-12|
|174||UR/UR/#19 Lelund Weatherspoon||18-9||vs.||#9/#5/#7 Mike Ottinger||22-4|
|184||UR/UR/#26 Dane Pestano||19-11||vs.||UR/UR/#29 Jordan Ellingwood||22-9|
|197||Marcus Harrington||5-5||vs.||Jackson Lewis||14-11|
|HWT||UR/UR/#31 Quean Smith||14-8||vs.||Newton Smerchek||11-8|
Rankings from Intermat/Flowrestling/1-21-16 Coaches Panel (Coaches Panel ranks out to 33)
The past couple of duals Iowa State has dropped multiple matches that were either toss ups or where they were favored. The result of that was losing two winnable duals at Arizona State and Oklahoma as well as allowing the Oklahoma State dual to get more out of hand than it needed to be. If Iowa State is going to avoid yet another upset these weights need to take care of business and get wins. Bonus points out of Hall and Weatherman would also go a long way towards securing this meet.
Will this be the last chance for Meeks? Or an opportunity for Boston to get a statement win? Either way, this is a big opportunity for whoever takes the mat for ISU to get a win over a wrestler who will almost surely be an NCAA qualifier. With allocations likely to be scarce at this weight in Kansas City, a win here could be the difference if Meeks or Boston end up needing an at large spot.
Pestano and Ellingwood are both borderline qualifiers and on paper this looks like a toss up match with Pestano being a very slight favorite. ISU can't afford to lose this match if they are going to win the dual, and Pestano can't afford to lose this match if he doesn't want to be sweating come NCAA selection time.
Damn it Quean. Stop pinning yourself.
The matches are split five to five in terms of which wrestler is favored. But lately Iowa State just hasn't been getting the job done. So I'm going to predict a 13-20 loss with ISU dropping at least one match they should have won. Hopefully the team proves me wrong.
The Cyclones wrestlers will head to the West Gym in Cedar Falls on Friday, February 5th for a 7 pm. dual against the UNI Panthers.