ISU wrestling’s Gadson, Weatherspoon crowned Big 12 champions

Ryan Young

Two Cyclones walked away from the Big 12 Championships with gold medals March 8.

Lelund Weatherspoon and Kyven Gadson won titles at their respective weight classes, and punched their tickets to the NCAA tournament, which is in two weeks.

Gadson went into the tournament with the goal of defending his title, and he didn’t disappoint. The top-ranked wrestler at 197 pounds took on Travis Rutt from Oklahoma in the championship match.

Rutt and Gadson were unable to get the job done in regulation, and sent the match into several overtime periods. By the end of the second tiebreak period, Gadson came up with the win 4-3, earning his second-straight Big 12 title.

Weatherspoon, who made the finals at 184 pounds, took on Oklahoma State’s Nolan Boyd. He found himself down 3-2 with less than a minute left in the period and with 20 seconds remaining, Weatherspoon came up with a takedown, sealing the 4-3 win.

Two other Cyclones advanced to the finals March 8. Gabe Moreno upset No. 1 Colin Johnston of West Virginia in the first round of the tournament, earning himself a trip to the NCAA tournament, but went on to lose in the championship match 4-2.

Mike Moreno also advanced to the finals, but fell to Oklahoma State’s Tyler Caldwell 12-1.

Following the Big 12 tournament, five Cyclones have automatic bids into the NCAA tournament. Both Mike and Gabe Moreno, along with Gadson and Weatherspoon qualified, as well as Tanner Weatherman.

The team will start competition at the NCAA tournament March 20.