Iowa State was without three starters when they took on defending NCAA champions Penn State on Tuesday night. Penn State did not lose a single match outside of the 125-pound weight class in pool play. They tallied 8 pins and 3 tech falls on Monday. Kysen Terukina, Casey Swiderski and Sam Schuyler all missed the dual with injuries. The trio is expected to return in January. Facing an uphill battle, the Cyclones won 4 of 10 matches, dropping the dual 22-12.
Action started at 125 where Corey Cabanban put together a complete match. He doubled off for a takedown late in the first period. He followed that up with a second period rideout and an escape in the third to win 4-0 over PSU’s Gary Steen. I hope to see Cabanban against more high level competition this season.
At 133, 2x NCAA Champion Roman Bravo-Young used a big third period to win 10-2 over Ramazan Attasauov. The Cyclone nearly scored on a footsweep from his Russian tie in the first period, but they went to the second scoreless. RBY rode an ankle for most of the that period before locking up a cradle for two backpoints with short time. RBY then got an escape and three takedowns in the third to lock up the major decision.
Bumping up to fill in at 141 was Zach Redding. He took on PSU’s #4 Beau Bartlett. Bartlett opened up scoring with a second period escape and added a go-behind takedown. Redding matched his escape, but Bartlett scored on another go-behind. It looked like Redding cut the lead to two points late in the match, but he was called for an illegal mat return (for leaving his feet to backtrip, which always happens and is never called). Bartlett walked away with a flimsy 8-3 win. If Swiderski sees him in March, I like our guy.
Paniro Johnson locked up with bluechip recruit Shayne Van Ness at 149. This match started with another scoreless first period. Van Ness got an escape to take a 1-0 lead into the final period. Paniro tied it with an escape of his own, and took the lead with a slick underhook throw by. That was enough for a 3-2 bounce back win for Johnson after taking his first loss of the season in OT on Monday.
At 157 Jason Kraisser wrestled a scrappy match against PSU freshman Levi Haines. He trailed 4-3 in the second when a minute long scramble resulted in no points. Haines scored with an upper body attack in the third period and eventually took the match 8-3. Its clear Kraisser is willing to tie up and let it fly in those positions and I think he’ll connect on one eventually. Let’s hope its in a match that matters. At the dual’s halfway point Iowa State trailed 10-6.
David Carr wrestled a veteran’s match at 165. He scored a takedown a minute into the first period, got out right away in the second and stayed on the gas. The Nittany Lion Alex Facundo used the “put myself in a potentially dangerous position so the ref stops it” defense to keep Carr from getting another takedown. Riding time made it a 4-2 victory for Carr. At this point in the year it seems like a lot of inferior wrestlers are going to try to deploy the same gameplan Oregon State’s Hunter Willits used to beat Carr last season.
At 174 Julien Broderson stepped out with a tall task in front of him. He faced 2X NCAA Champ Carter Starocci, who kicks off the Penn State murderers row. Broderson didn’t back down. Ultimately Starocci won 5-1, but Broderson did his job.
In a top 5 184-pound matchup, Marcus Coleman made himself the story of the tournament by taking out #1 and 2X NCAA Champion Aaron Brooks! Trailing 3-0 midway through the second period, the Cyclone senior used a crafty roll to take Brooks from his feet to his back. Brooks was pinned, pinned, pinned, but the stripes didn’t slap the mat. That was no problem for Coleman, who took a 6-3 lead into the third period before adding an escape and reversal to ice the match. After Brooks’s performance in the all-star meet, most people (including myself) thought he’d put together a perfect season. But Marcus Coleman wrestled fearlessly and threw a wrench in everyone’s thought process when it comes to 184. With two matches remaining, Iowa State trailed 13-12.
MARCUS COLEMAN!!— Iowa State Wrestling (@CycloneWR) December 21, 2022
He takes out No. 1 Aaron Brooks, 9-7!
Yonger Bastida took the mat at 197 against defending NCAA Champion Max Dean. Bastida was in deep on a single leg in the second period, but Dean scrambled for a takedown of his own to build his lead to 3-0. Bastida chose down in the third and escaped, which is not automatic for him against elite competition. It was too little, too late, however and Dean took the match 4-1.
At heavyweight Iowa State forfeited to top ranked Daniel Kerkvliet. Sam Schuyler suffered a strained bicep in his Monday win over Oregon State. He was the only Cyclone heavyweight to make the trip to New Orleans. In fact, the lightest guy available was way down at 174. I do think we may have seen Schuyler if things went a little differently. Say Coleman gets the pin and Bastida wins.. ISU enters heavyweight just needing not to give up a pin or forfeit... I think he guts it out for the win. That’s not how it happened though, so Dresser went with the safe move, avoiding the risk of Schuyler getting further injured.
FINAL SCORE: CYCLONES 12, NITTANY LIONS 22
Good teams win, great teams cover. Iowa State entered as anywhere from 14 to 17 point underdogs. They were much closer than that. To get a win against the dynasty that is Penn State wrestling in the Cael Era, almost everything has to go your way. Missing three starters is not exactly what I would consider “having things go your way.” Overall, the Cyclones took a few lumps this weekend. That’s the point of entering a tournament like this. But almost everyone leaves with their stock higher than when they got there.
The Cyclones are back in action New Year’s Day at the prestigious Southern Scuffle tournament. The Midlands website also lists Iowa State as a participant, so I expect a small contingent to compete there. Following that they wrap up the non-conference schedule with #3 Arizona State in Hilton Coliseum. You’re not going to want to miss that one.