The floor in Hilton will be a little more busy than usual tonight as the Cyclone Wrestlers and Cyclone Gymnasts will both be taking on squads from Arizona State.
Arizona State is a top heavy squad that features three elite recruits from the past few years but also some lineup holes leftover from the last coaching staff. Given how they match up against the expected Iowa State lineup this is likely to be a back and forth dual with multiple blowout matches for both teams.
There will also be Women’s Gymnastics happening. WRNL lacks a resident Gymnastics writer so the best we can do is let you know that Arizona State and Iowa State appear to be very close in the rankings. It is likely that the gymnasts will do several flips during the meet. Perhaps even a few handstands. And odds are there will be at least one point where someone falls and holds back tears.
Music To Get You In The Beauty & The Beast Mood:
Where: Hilton Colosseum, Ames, IA
When: 6:30PM CST, Friday, January 6th
|Weight||ISU Wrestler||Record||-||ASU Wrestler||Record|
|125||Marcus Simmons 17/14/16||13-4||vs.||Josh Kramer||9-10|
|or||Kyle Larson||8-8||-||Micheal Nguyen||1-2|
|133||Earl Hall 11/13/12||15-5||vs.||Ted Rico||0-2|
|141||John Meeks||5-6||vs.||Nikko Villarreal||3-2|
|149||Chase Straw UR/17/UR||14-7||vs.||Josh Maruca||11-6|
|157||Colston DiBlasi||16-9||vs.||Josh Shields 10/16/14||20-5|
|165||Dane Pestano||7-7||vs.||Anthony Valencia 10/12/9||18-4|
|174||Lelund Weatherspoon 9/11/10||16-5||vs.||Zahid Valencia 3/1/3||19-0|
|184||Pat Downey 10/8/8||4-0||vs.||Conner Small||2-7|
|197||Marcus Harrington||3-4||vs.||Austyn Harris||1-4|
|HWT||Quean Smith||6-4||vs.||Tanner Hall 4/4/5||17-4|
Based on the lineup released by Arizona State it looks like they won’t be bringing their 133 normal starter. Instead ASU will have Ted Rico, a redshirt freshman whose only appearance so far this season is an 0-2 showing at Midlands. Hall will be the heavy favorite and it would be nice to see him act like it for once. Depending on how some of the toss up matchups go ISU might need some bonus points out of 133 and there’s no reason Hall can’t provide some.
Both Straw and Maruca are just outside the top 20 rankings and they likely would have met at Midlands if Straw hadn’t defaulted out after a few wins in the consolations. This will be a tossup match and a win here would help both Straw and the team. It would help Straw because as we noted in our article on NCAA qualification outlooks, Straw is currently on track to earn an NCAA allocation but doesn’t have a huge amount of breathing room for losses to unranked wrestlers. Meaning a win over Maruca would really help solidify him as a top 27 wrestler and keep him on track for a quality RPI. But for the team a win here would also go a long way towards salting away a meet that isn’t likely to have a lot of close matches.
Diblasi will be the underdog in this match but as noted yesterday he needs a win over either Shields or Barnes of Oklahoma to solidify his NCAA chances. Shields is another wrestler who likes to funk so this should be an entertaining scramblefest and it would would be somewhat surprising to not see one of these guys end up with a pin.
This is key just because we’ll find out if Downey is healthy and ready to wrestle the last two months of the season. If we see Powell out again it is time to start wondering if Downey will be a guy who we perennially only see in March.
This could easily come down to the 149 pound match. In the other nine matches it looks like a 17-16 lead for ISU or 17-17 tie depending on how things go. So whoever wins at 149 has a great shot of winning the dual on a 20-17 type score. That said, some pins out of Hall and/or Downey or an upset from Diblasi could blow the meet open for a big win.
The Wrestlers will go east to Chapel Hill, NC next weekend to take on the Tar Heels on Saturday, January 14th.