The wrestlers host two Big XII foes this weekend as they return to the mat after a disheartening loss to UNI last weekend. The action will kick off on Friday night with a winnable dual against Oklahoma during which the wrestlers will once again share the mat with the gymnastics team in the second Beauty and the Beast event of the dual. Which gives us another excuse to use a suggestive picture of a gymnast as our lead art. As before, we don’t have a resident gymnastics expert so we’ll limit the analysis to assuring you that there will be flips and clapping involved.
We won’t discuss Sunday’s Oklahoma State meet because WRNL does not advertise snuff films.
|Weight||ISU Wrestler||Record||-||Oklahoma Wrestler||Record||-||Oklahoma State Wrestler||Record|
|125||Kyle Larson||8-9||vs.||Christian Moody UR/16/UR||11-6||Nick Piccininni 12/10/12||13-5|
|133||Earl Hall 12/12/12||17-6||vs.||Jacob Rubio||3-3||Kaid Brock 2/4/3||16-1|
|141||John Meeks||6-8||vs.||Mike Longo||11-5||Dean Heil 1/1/1||17-0|
|149||Chase Straw||14-10||vs.||Davion Jeffries 15/19/13||12-10||Anthony Collica 2/2/2||12-0|
|157||Colston DiBlasi||17-11||vs.||Clark Glass 15/13/11||14-5||Joseph Smith 5/5/5||7-2|
|165||Dane Pestano||7-7||vs.||Yoanse Mejias 15/13/11||5-1||Chandler Rogers 4/6/6||13-2|
|174||Lelund Weatherspoon 8/8/10||17-7||vs.||Matt Read||3-3||Kyle Crutchmer 7/6/8||10-3|
|184||Pat Downey 10/8/8||7-0||vs.||Andrew Dixon||6-10||Nolan Boyd 5/5/6||12-3|
|197||Marcus Harrington||3-6||vs.||Brad Johnson 19/16/19||10-7||Preston Weigel 8/6/8||13-3|
|HWT||Quean Smith||7-6||vs.||Ross Larson||11-7||Austin Schafer 6/6/6||16-1|
Where: Hilton Colosseum, Ames IA
When: 6:30PM, Friday, January 27th
As was noted in our article about allocations a few days ago, Meeks doesn’t have a shot at earning Silver or Gold standard and earning an NCAA allocation for the conference or being being all that competitive for an at large bid. So his only chance at going to St. Louis is to steal a spot. And his path to do that will be a lot easier if he can earn himself a high seed for the Big XII tournament. If he’s going to do that he has to get wins over the remaining unranked opponents that he sees in conference duals. And that starts with an upset over Longo.
Like Meeks, Diblasi is currently behind pace for hitting the Silver standard he would need to earn the conference an NCAA allocation at his weight. However, unlike Meeks, Diblasi still controls his own destiny and could get an allocation by picking up a couple upset wins. A win over Glass would likely push him in to the top 27 of the next coaches panel and also give him a big resume boost if he ended up being in a position where he needed an at large bid. Like at 141, a win here would be an upset. But Diblasi can pin (or be pinned by) anyone. He doesn’t have anything to lose but a lot to gain by going for high risk, high reward techniques on Friday. Live by the funk, die by the funk.
It is likely that we see Downey here if the meet is still in contention once we hit the last three matches. This isn’t a key match for the dual as much as it is for postseason seeding. If Downey bumps up and get another top 20 win he’d have a good argument the top seed at Big XIIs if he went up for the postseason. And getting another quality win would also help him secure a top eight seed at NCAAs despite only having a bare handful of matches at the weight class.
Oklahoma State Dual
Where: Hilton Colosseum, Ames IA
When: 2:00PM, Sunday, January 29th
Weatherspoon and Crutchmer have split two matches over their careers, with Crutchmer winning the more recent bout just over a year ago. This is a big match for Lelund to show he deserves a top 8 seed in St. Louis. Look for this to be a low scoring affair with it likely coming down to who emerges on top during a scramble in the last 30 seconds or so of the 2nd or 3rd period.
With his rib injury at Harold Nichols Downey missed both of the big in season tournaments and with that he lost any chances he might have had to get some statement wins at 184. He’ll get his first shot at a top ten wrestler at this weight in Boyd, a returning All American who took 4th at NCAAs last season. A loss here isn’t the end of the world - Downey is still getting his conditioning back to 100% and honestly his seed at NCAAs doesn’t matter a huge amount because he can beat anybody when he’s healthy and working on all cylinders. But a win would push him in to the top six and keep him on track for remaining undefeated heading in to the postseason.
The wrestlers will take next weekend off before heading out east for duals against Pitt on February 10th and West Virginia on February 12th in their last road trip of the season.