We all know David Carr and Yonger Bastida. Who else is primed to make their names as Cyclone stars?
Last Season: 16-3, 11th at NCAAs, 3rd at Big 12s
Tournament Preseason Rank (FloWrestling/InterMat): 11/11
Dual Preseason Rank (InterMat): 10
Ceiling: NCAA Trophy. Big 12 Champions. It will take a lot to go right, but a top 3 NCAA finish is possible. Behind Penn State there is a ton of parity in college wrestling this season. The same goes for the Big 12 as Mizzou returns a ton and Oklahoma State revamped their roster, but Iowa State has been right there with those teams in the past. It’s David Carr’s last season. NCAA’s are in Hilton South. Will that be enough for the stars to align?
Floor: Another season outside the top 10. Iowa State has done a lot of things right, but has yet to put it together in March. Every program Iowa State views as peers is inside the top 10 regularly. It’s time to make it happen.
Early Season Matchup to Watch: November 26th vs #8 Iowa. This isn’t the highest-ranked team Iowa State will see before the New Year, but it may be the toughest matchup. This edition will be broadcast on ESPN. If you thought past installments were intense, remember this: Iowa State stole a top recruit right out of the Hawkeye wrestling room specifically because of the actions of Iowa’s coaching staff. Hilton will be rocking. The streak must end.
125: Kysen Terukina
Last Season: 3-1 – Injured in All-Star Match
Preseason Rank (FloWrestling/InterMat): 18/18
Ceiling: All-American. Big 12 Champion. 125 is absolutely wide open this year. Terukina has top tier wins. On his best day he can beat anyone in the field.
Floor: National Qualifier. Consistency has been an issue in Terukina’s career and he’s yet to put it together at NCAAs.
Early Season Matchup to Watch: November 19th vs. #5 Eric Barnett of Wisconsin. Last year Terukina surged up the rankings when he took out the 2x All-American to start his season. The rematch will be insane.
133: Garrett Grice or Evan Frost
Last Season: Grice – 13-2 in Redshirt season at Virginia; Frost – 19-5 in Redshirt season
Preseason Rank (Flo/IM): Grice – UR/17; Frost – 22/UR
Ceiling: Round of 12. Big 12 Finalist. This weight has some serious top-end talent but not much depth behind it. Both these guys have a signature win. For Grice it’s over Navy’s national qualifier, Brandon Feretti. For Frost it’s over UNI’s R12er Kyle Biscoglia.
Floor: Staying home. These guys still have a lot to prove.
Early Season Matchup to Watch: November 26th vs #11 Brody Teske of Iowa. This is a great measuring stick match and an opportunity for the Cyclones to flip that dual on its head.
141: Zach Redding or Jacob Frost
Last Season: Redding - 18-12 @ 133, Round of 12, Big 12 Finalist; Frost – 18-4 in redshirt
Preseason Rank (Flo/IM): Redding – UR/18; Frost — 17/UR
Ceiling: All-American. This is a deep weight class but, Redding is a bit under-ranked due to moving up a weight. He nearly made it happen last year and won’t need to spend as much time on weight management. Frost looked great in the wrestle-off and got a win over NCAA qualifier Josh Edmonds of Mizzou last season. Both will get tested with the tough Big 12 schedule.
Floor: National Qualifier. Maybe the cut wasn’t causing the consistency issues. Maybe Frost isn’t ready to string wins together in his first trip to NCAAs.
Early Season Matchup to Watch: December 18th vs #14 Vince Cornella of Cornell. Cornella beat Redding 6-1 at Collegiate Duals last season, but Redding was bumping up to fill in for an injured Casey Swiderski.
149: Casey Swiderski or Anthony Echemendia
Last Season: Swiderski – 15-12 @ 141, Round of 12, 4th at Big 12s; Echemendia – 13-2 wrestling unattached
Preseason Rank (Flo/IM): Swiderski – 14/15
Ceiling: All-American. Big 12 Champion. A healthy Swiderski at the right weight class will be dangerous. He had a tough learning curve as a freshman, but I think he’s a lot closer to #5 Brock Mauller of Missouri than he is to where he’s currently ranked. And if Echemendia is the guy it probably means he’s turned into the wrestler Dresser thought he could be in 2019.
Floor: Round of 16. It is very hard for me to see Swiderski doing anything but climbing the rankings.
Early Season Matchup to Watch: December 18th vs Meyer Shapiro of Cornell. Cornell is the only school with multiple 4x NCAA champions. Some think Meyer Shaprio could be the next.
157: Cody Chittum or Jason Kraisser
Last Season: Chittum – 3 Senior level freestyle medals, Class of 2022 #1 P4P recruit; Kraisser – 22-15, Round of 16, 4th at Big 12s
Preseason Rank: Chittum – UR/17; Kraisser – 13/UR
Ceiling: High All-American. Big 12 Champ. There’s a reason Chittum is as highly touted as he is. He’s often compared to ISU assistant coach Brent Metcalf. This is one of only three weights where the Big 12 champ will not be defending their crown… and the contenders are all youngsters.
Floor: Round of 16. Maybe Chittum’s freestyle success won’t translate to D1 folkstyle success and Kraisser is still our best option. He could still climb from this spot, but the floor is here.
Early Season Matchup to Watch: November 26th vs. #2 Jared Franek of Iowa. Cyclone fans will remember Franek from his battles against David Carr as an NDSU Bison. He hit the portal when NDSU coach Roger Kish left for Oklahoma. There’s plenty of emotions between these programs about Chittum leaving. This match will let us know if All-American is too low of a ceiling for the super recruit.
165: David Carr
Last Season: 26-1, NCAA Finalist, Big 12 Champion
Preseason Rank (Flo/IM): 2/2, FloWrestling #3 Pound For Pound
Ceiling: National Champion. Hodge Trophy Winner. Carr beat rival Keegan O’Toole of Missouri twice, he just dropped the biggest match of the series. He’s got one more shot to return to the top of the podium.
Floor: NCAA Finalist. 165 is very deep again, but Carr and O’Toole have separated themselves from the field to the point I’d be very surprised if another wrestler could break into the top 2.
Early Season Matchup to Watch: November 19th vs. #4 Dean Hamiti of Wisconsin. Carr won this match 7-5 last season. This is the first of possibly five top 10 matchups Carr will have before the New Year.
174: MJ Gaitan
Last Season: 9-5 in Redshirt season
Preseason Rank (Flo/IM): 33/29
Ceiling: Round of 12. Gaitan showed awesome flashes last season, but he’s yet to show he’s ready to stand on the podium.
Floor: National Qualifier. At the very least Gaitan is going to get Cyclone fans out of their seats.
Early Season Matchup to Watch: December 18th vs. #22 Luca Augustine of Pitt. A battle of young up-and-comers that Augustine won 6-4 in last season’s dual.
184: Will Feldkamp (transfer from Clarion)
Last Season: 29-6, 7th @ NCAAs, MAC Champion
Preseason Rank (Flo/IM): 5/5
Ceiling: All-American. Feldkamp is a pinner and will quickly become a fan favorite. If Iowa State wins a trophy in March, he will be a major points contributor.
Floor: Round of 12. Feldkamp was lights out after the new year last season. Before that was another story.
Early Season Matchup to Watch: December 18th vs. #16 Jonathan Loew of Cornell. Loew was an All-American in 2022, but lost last season to injury. He will likely climb the rankings before this matchup.
197: Julien Broderson
Last Season: 19-13 @ 174, 8th at Big 12s
Preseason Rank (Flo/IM): 26/26
Ceiling: Round of 16. I think this is a more natural weight for Broderson, but 197 is as tough as ever. Penn State’s Aaron Brooks and NC State’s Trent Hidlay are up from 184 and Stephen Buchannan is back in the fold for Oklahoma.
Floor: Staying home. The Big 12 is deep and it will be difficult to earn an allocation. The Cyclones may be needing a good performance in Tulsa to reach Kansas City.
Early Season Matchup to Watch: December 18th vs. #18 Stephen Little of Little Rock. Little made waves this offseason by placing 2nd at the U20 Freestyle World Team Trials. It should be a fantastic matchup for Broderson who has freestyle chops himself.
285: Yonger Bastida
Last Season: 18-9 @ 197, Round of 16, 6th at Big 12s
Preseason Rank (Flo/IM): 9/7
Ceiling: All-American. Honestly, that could be lowballing. The sky’s the limit for dynamic heavyweights like Bastida. He’s got some worthy competitors in his way including U23 World Champion Wyatt Hendrickson of Air Force, who is a style nightmare.
Floor: Round of 12. I think a lot of the late-season struggles of last year were due to not being in the optimal weight class. On full feed and with blazing speed, Bastida will be a problem for all but the top heavyweights in the country.
Early Season Matchup to Watch: December 18th vs. #8 Dayton Pitzer. You may remember Sam Schuyler’s late-match heroics against Pitzer to win the dual last January. Pitzer is a smaller, mobile heavyweight that may match up well against Bastida.