Iowa State sends six to NCAA tournament, Gadson gets No. 5 seed


197-pound redshirt Junior Kyven Gadson is thrown by his opponent during the dual versus Minnesota at Hilton Coliseum on Feb. 23. The Cyclones fell to the Golden Gophers 12-27. Gadson took his match in a 6-4 decision.

Beau Berkley

The ISU wrestling team will be heading to Oklahoma City, Okla., next week with six wrestlers who earned spots in the 2014 NCAA tournament.

No. 1 ranked 197-pounder Kyven Gadson solidified his spot in the tournament after defeating Oklahoma’s Travis Rutt for the second time this season. Gadson won 4-3 in the second tie-breaker round with nine seconds of riding time against Rutt.

Gadson ended the regular season with a 23-2 overall record and 15-0 dual record.

At the 2013 tournament, Gadson was chosen as a sixth seed, which coincided with his sixth place finish. This season, Gadson was selected as the No. 5 seed, despite a belief he could be selected as a No. 1 seed and, despite the difference, it doesn’t change how he approaches the tournament.

“It’s just someone’s opinion of how they think the bracket might turn out based on what’s happened through the regular season,” Gadson said. “I’ve always felt like I was the best guy in the weight class, so it doesn’t create a different mindset for me, I just need to go out and wrestle.”

At 184 pounds, redshirt freshman Lelund Weatherspoon might have surprised some people outside of his team and fan base, taking home the Big 12 title as well as the lone automatic qualifier position at his weight.

Throughout the season, Weatherspoon has gone back and forth between 174 pounds and 184 pounds on his way to a 22-9 overall record, but he said no matter what weight he was at, he was just happy to wrestle.

“I got to the point where I was just happy to be out on the mat wrestling, so whatever coach needed, I said ‘I’ll do it,’” Weatherspoon said. “I had nothing to lose, so I had to go all out anyways. I tried to stay calm more than anything and stay focused, but other than that there wasn’t much pressure.”

Tanner Weatherman will be making his second trip to the NCAA tournament at 174 pounds after falling one win short of All-American status last year. Weatherman is ranked No. 12 by Intermat and finished his regular season with a 21-13 overall record.

Brothers Gabe and Mike Moreno also automatically qualified as runner-ups at 141 and 165 pounds. This will be Mike’s second time at the NCAA tournament and Gabe’s first.

A fourth seed at the Big 12 tournament, Gabe upset the No. 1 seed Collin Johnston of West Virginia. His upset came after a 10-match losing streak that began Jan. 2.

Rounding out the Iowa State selections is Earl Hall, who will be competing at the tournament at 125 pounds in his first season as a Cyclone. Hall completed an 18-10 overall record during the regular season as well as a 7-4 dual record with a total of seven pins, the second best on the team.

The NCAA Tournament will begin March 20 and last until March 22.