The Iowa State wrestling team starts their season on Saturday with three duals at the Battle in River City in Jacksonville, Florida. We’ll have more on that later in the week, but first let’s take a look at who you will see in the lineup this season.
The Cyclones return all 3 All-Americans, but lose building blocks of the Dresser era (Ian Parker and Jarrett Degen). There’s new faces (Casey Swiderski), weight changes (David Carr) and unsettled battles (133, 149, 157, 174). The schedule is loaded with great competition. After a great dual season and some shaky tournament performances what are the expectations for this season?
125: Kysen Terukina
Last season: 18-8, 8th at Big 12s, 0-2 at NCAAs
Preseason Rank (FloWrestling/InterMat): 18/24
Ceiling: All American. Big 12 Champion. Terukina started last season 17-1, including a win over eventual Big 12 Champ Killian Cardinale. He’s shown flashes of being a contender.
Floor: National Qualifier. Despite a rough ending to the season, Terukina proved himself a solid 125 lber.
Early Season Matchup to Watch: December 19th vs #7 Brandon Kaylor of Oregon State, Kaylor took 8th at NCAAs last season
133: Ramazan Attasauov or Zach Redding
Last season: Attasauov — 16-8, 3rd at Big 12s, 0-2 at NCAAs, Redding — 7-2 @ 141, 2021 National Qualifier @ 133
Preseason Rank (Flo/InterMat): Attasauov — 20/19
Ceiling: Round of 12. Either could certainly jump a tier, but All American status might still be a round away. Attasauov injury defaulted out of last season’s NCAA tournament, so we will get to see Redding return to 133 at the start of the season. I’m guessing this spot won’t be settled until the New Year or later.
Floor: National Qualifier. Both have shown to be steady performers in what will be an even weight in the Big 12 this year (aside from OSU’s Daton Fix).
Early Season Matchup to Watch: December 4th vs. #15 Cullan Schriever or Brody Teske of Iowa. Whoever gets the start in this match instantly becomes the favorite to win the spot if they get a win here.
141: Casey Swiderski
Last season: #5 Overall Recruit in Class of 2022
Preseason Rank (Flo/InterMat): Unranked
Ceiling: National Champion. The hype around Swiderski is the biggest I can remember around a true freshman in Ames. Before even wrestling a college match many in the national media are predicting an All-American finish. Dresser and staff haven’t shied away from placing expectations on the Michigan native’s shoulders either. Swiderski will get a chance at many of the top tier guys before NCAA’s. #1, #2, #6, #11, #13, #15, #16 and #18 are on the dual schedule.
Floor: National Qualifier. He’s a true freshman. Who knows.
Early Season Matchup to Watch: November 5th vs. #11 Joseph Zargo of Wisconsin. Zargo will be the first of many measuring sticks for the super recruit.
149: Paniro Johnson or Cam Robinson
Last season: Johnson — Grayshirted, 19-6, U20 Freestyle National Runner-up, Robinson — Redshirted, 18-7
Preseason Rank (Flo/InterMat): Johnson — UR/24
Ceiling: Round of 16. Either could prove to be Big 12 finalist contenders, but 149 is deep this year at the national level.
Floor: Staying Home. Johnson beat 3 national qualifiers last season, but we still don’t know a lot about the consistency of these guys. Johnson won last Friday’s wrestle-off 3-2, which is a bit closer than some expected.
Early Season Matchup to Watch: December 4th vs. #8 Max Murin of Iowa. This weight gets put through the ringer with #1, #2, #5, #7 and #8 all on the schedule. It’ll take a lot of grit to hang with Murin.
157: Jason Kraisser or Isaac Judge
Last season: Kraisser — 3-3, 20-10 as starter for Campbell in 2020, Judge — 18-14, 6th at Big 12s.
Preseason Rank (Flo/InterMat): Judge — 24/UR
Ceiling: Round of 16. Kraisser hasn’t wrestled much since 2020, but did beat Judge in the wrestle-off 5-4. Maybe more mat time helps him improve. Judge beat national qualifier type guys up a weight last season, but couldn’t punch his ticket. Maybe he adjusts to 157 well.
Floor: Staying Home. Neither has qualified for nationals before.
Early Season Matchup to Watch: November 5th vs. #18 Garrett Model of Wisconsin. A match that could determine the dual meet.
165: David Carr
Last season: 28-1. Big 12 Champion. NCAA 3rd.
Preseason Rank (Flo/InterMat): 4/3
Ceiling: National Champion. Carr was perfect in 2021. After getting upset in the 2nd round last season and winning 6 straight to take bronze, he’s hungry to return to the top.
Floor: All American. Flo’s got him at #11 in their pound for pound rankings. The obstacles? Also wrestling at 165 this year are 2022 NCAA champion Keegan O’Toole of Mizzou and 2021 NCAA champion Shane Griffith of Stanford.
Early Season Matchup to Watch: November 5th vs. #5 Dean Hamiti. Hamiti placed 6th in the country in his true freshman season last year. It’ll be Carr’s first test up at 165.
174: Joel Devine or Julien Broderson or MJ Gaitan or Manny Rojas
Last season: Devine — 11-11, 7th at Big 12s, National Qualifier, Broderson — 14-5, Senior Freestyle World Team Trials Qualifier, Gaitan — #35 Overall Recruit in Class of 2022, Rojas — #13 Recruit in Class of 2022
Preseason Rank (Flo/InterMat): Devine — 17/25
Ceiling: Round of 12. This weight class is wide open in my opinion. Devine was the guy last year, but it sounds like he won’t be available early due to injury. Broderson was up 3-0 in the wrestle-off when Gaitan reversed him and pinned him. The freshmen are stellar, but likely redshirt. If Devine can add some attacks to his stingy defense he will surprise some people this year.
Floor: National Qualifier. All of the above can compete at the Big 12 level.
Early Season Matchup to Watch: December 19th vs. #11 Chris Foca of Cornell. If we see one of the freshman win this its a sign they’re the guy. If one of the veterans do its a sign they’ve leveled up.
184: Marcus Coleman
Last season: 22-6, 3rd at Big 12s, 7th at NCAAs
Preseason Rank (Flo/InterMat): 5/5
Ceiling: High All-American. Coleman looks to follow up his breakout season by improving on his 7th place finish. Maybe I’m not being optimistic enough. It’ll be VERY difficult to break into the top three at this weight... BUT Coleman’s trajectory might say otherwise. He’s on a collision course with UNI’s #2 Parker Keckeisen for the Big 12 championship.
Floor: Low All-American. Coleman’s resiliency last season after the rare setback was uncanny. He’s a safe bet to make the podium again.
Early Season Matchup to Watch: December 20th vs. #1 Aaron Brooks of Penn State. Iowa State has to win its way into this dual first, but if they do Coleman will get his shot at the 2x NCAA Champion.
197: Yonger Bastida
Last season: 25-7, 5th at Big 12s, 5th at NCAAs
Preseason Rank (Flo/InterMat): 7/6
Ceiling: National Champion. In his first full season of folkstyle wrestling Bastida became one of the country’s must watch wrestlers. He can go on his feet with anyone. If he shored up his mat wrestling in the offseason the sky is the limit.
Floor: Round of 12. Bastida is still relatively a greenhorn in folkstyle and 197 is once again a meat grinder. For example, SDSU’s Tanner Sloan just won a U23 World Silver medal and is ranked 14th.
Early Season Matchup to Watch: December 4th vs. #2 Jacob Warner of Iowa. Bastida’s victory over Warner last year announced his arrival onto the scene. I can’t wait to see Carver’s reaction when he does it again.
285: Sam Schuyler
Last season: 17-8, 4th at Big 12s, National Qualifier
Preseason Rank (Flo/InterMat): 13/16
Ceiling: Round of 12. Schuyler proved himself a top tier Big 12 heavyweight last season, but didn’t have his best results at NCAAs. How far can he climb this season?
Floor: National Qualifier. After being a bit of a question mark transferring in from Buffalo last season, there’s no worries about Schuyler’s consistency now.
Early Season Matchup to Watch: November 5th vs. #12 Taye Ghadiali of Campbell. The battle of 2x NCAA qualifiers will be the feature matchup in Saturday’s Campbell dual.
Last season: 15-1 in duals. Undefeated in Big 12 duals. 3rd at Big 12s. 17th at NCAAs
Preseason Dual Rank (Flo/InterMat): 10/13
Preseason Tournament Rank (Flo/InterMat): 13/14
Ceiling: Another undefeated Big 12 dual season. Big 12 Tournament Champions. Top 8 at NCAAs.
Floor: Top 4 at Big 12s. 6 Dual Losses. Top 18 at NCAAs.
Early Season Matchup to Watch: December 4th @ Iowa. Let’s be honest, this one just means more. After last year’s antics from the circus act out east, the Clones in the best position to win this meet since Dresser arrived. Also keep an eye on December 20th, when Iowa State might run into a former coach who went 159-0 in Ames...