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Wrestlers kick off the Big XII season at NDSU

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Coming off a third place finish at the Southern Scuffle a week ago, the #21 Cyclones are headed out to Fargo tonight to take on the #23 ranked Bison in a midweek tilt. NDSU joined the Big XII as an affiliate for wrestling three years ago so this dual also kicks off the conference dual season for Iowa State. There aren't any top ten matchups in this one but this being a conference dual still makes every match important as they will directly impact Big XII tournament seeds. Separately, the Cyclones are a little depleted right now. We already knew that injuries at 165 meant we were going to see a new face. But when the lineup was initially released yesterday morning it showed only backups listed at 141 and 184. Later on in the day Parker and Colbray were added on to the lineup release but it remains to be seen whether they actually made the trip.

Where: Fargo, North Dakota

When: 7:00PM, Wednesday, January 9th

Stream: Flowrestling ($$)

Projected Lineups

Untitled

Weight ISU Wrestler Record - NDSU Wrestler Record
Weight ISU Wrestler Record - NDSU Wrestler Record
125 Alex Mackall 13-5 vs 9/9/9 Brent Fleetwood 15-3
133 9/9/9 Austin Gomez 10-1 vs 17/19/15 Cam Sykora 15-3
141 14/18/11 Ian Parker 14-2 vs Tyler Nein 0-3
or Ryan Leisure 12-8 or Sawyer Degen 8-8
149 11/11/8 Jarrett Degen 14-3 vs Jaden Van Maanen 13-6
157 Chase Straw 9-7 vs Nick Knutson 7-9
or Grant Stotts 1-2 or Luke Weber 4-2
165 Logan Schumacher 12-5 vs 20/UR/UR Andrew Fogarty 10-3
or Zane Mulder 8-5 - - -
174 Marcus Coleman 14-6 vs Lorenzo De La Riva 12-6
184 19/17/19 Sam Colbray 13-5 vs Micheal Otomo 7-5
or Danny Bush 16-8 - - -
197 4/6/4 Willie Miklus 9-1 vs Cordell Eaton 13-5
HWT Gannon Gremmel 15-7 vs Brandon Metz 11-8

*Rankings from Intermat/FloWrestling/TheOpenMat

Key Matches

133

In the dual against Iowa and again at the Southern Scuffle we saw that Austin Gomez can never be counted out of a match until the final whistle blows. Whether its breaking a guy with a half dozen third period takedowns or tossing them on to their back for a pin, Gomez is always a threat. But counting on comebacks can be a dangerous game and eventually it is going to bite him. Sykora isn't an AA threat like Gomez but he is a legitimate top twenty wrestler so it would be nice to see Gomez go out and dominate this one from the start rather than “Casey-at-the-bat”ing the first period before turning things on.

141

This one isn’t a key match for the matchup itself - Parker would be a heavy favorite against either of the NDSU options and if Leisure takes the mat he’ll also be a favorite against Nein or Degen. This is a key match just because we’re going to have to wait and see who Iowa State brings out. Parker hit his head in the round of sixteen at the Southern Scuffle and underwent concussion protocol. He passed and finished the match, but afterwords withdrew from the tournament. And the initial lineup that Iowa State put out on Tuesday morning only listed Leisure at 141 pounds. Parker was only added later on in the day. So it is key to see if one of Iowa State’s better wrestlers is going to be missing significant time due to either a concussion or other head/neck injury. Leisure can do a decent job filling in for duals, but come March Iowa State needs Parker at full strength if they are going to score NCAA points at this weight.

Jarrett Degen’s younger brother Sawyer is listed as an “or” at this weight so there’s a small chance that if the meet is out of hand by the time they get to 141/149 we could end up seeing a brother on brother match.

HWT

Gremmel met up with Dan Stibral, who was the NDSU starter last season and listed as an “or” for this dual, at the UNI Open last month and ended up losing 1-3 in sudden victory. Whether it is Stibral or Metz that takes the mat against Gremmel, this is a big match for the ISU big man to show that he’s made progress throughout the season. Additionally, Gremmel and Stibral/Metz both sit in the second tier of Heavyweights in the Big XII behind White of Oklahoma State and Omdorff of Utah Valley. So this is a big match to help determine who will have to see one of those two guys in the Big XII tournament quarterfinals vs the semifinals.

Prediction

Though the two teams are similarly ranked, Iowa State matches up well against NDSU. The Cyclone’s best wrestler neutralizes the scoring of their best wrestler and 141/184 are two of their weaker weights so ISU will be favored in both even if they end up utilizing backups. As a result I think Iowa State wins this one handily with a score along the lines of 23-10.

Next Up

The grapplers will be back in Ames this at 2:00PM on Sunday for another Big XII dual, this time against Fresno State.