Cyclones end NWCA National duals with 1-2 record

Beau Berkley

For Iowa State, the NWCA National Duals ended earlier than it wanted.

After a first round loss to Kent State, Iowa State handily defeated Hofstra 36-9 to advance in the consolation bracket. The second round of the consolation, however, was not as fruitful.

Iowa State was eliminated from the tournament at the hands of Central Michigan by a narrow 19-18 score.

Earl Hall started the dual off on the right foot for the Cyclones by defeating No. 16 Corey Keener, his second straight victory against a ranked opponent and third his third victory of the tournament.

For Hall, his 3-0 record at the NWCA National Duals snapped a four-match losing streak dating back to Jan. 1 at the Southern Scuffle when he lost in a 3-2 decision to Jamie Franco, who he beat on Sunday in a 7-3 decision.

“It was huge for our team starting the dual off for a win” said ISU coach Kevin Jackson.” “[Hall] looked solid for the two day competition, so it was huge for him and huge for us.” 

The struggle began at the 133 pound weight class, as Shayden Terukina fell to Joe Roth in a close 7-5 decision. At 141 pounds, Central Michigan began to pull away as Iowa State’s Gabe Moreno found himself on his back and pinned by Zach Horan.

It was a tough tournament for Moreno. The Urbandale, Iowa native suffered a pin in the first dual against Kent State and came up short against Hofstra’s Luke Vaith, losing a 5-1 decision.

“It’s a loss of confidence at 141,” Jackson said.” Our expectations for him were high and I just think he might have lost sight of who he is and how good he can be, and not just because of the losses, but how we’ve been losing those matches.” 

At 149 pounds, senior Luke Goettl brought the Cyclones within three points after his 12-5 decision against Scott Mattingly, putting the dual score at 9-6. After Goettl, John Nicholson dropped his third straight match of the tournament, losing a 2-0 decision against Luke Smith at 157 pounds.

The score and tournament fate of the Cyclones sat at 12-6 as junior All-American Mike Moreno stepped up to the mat at 165 pounds. Moreno did not disappoint, winning his third match of the tournament and bringing the Cyclones back within three with a score of 12-9.

But another two-match streak put Central Michigan up 19-9 after Boaz Beard lost by major decision and No. 8 Tanner Weatherman lost a 4-3 decision at 174 pounds.

The two remaining wrestlers, No. 1 Kyven Gadson and heavyweight Quean Smith, would both need a pin or technical fall to bring their teams back into the dual. It was close, but not close enough.

Gadson’s 10-3 decision victory and Smith’s pin 41 seconds into his match were not enough, as the final score read 19-18 in favor of Central Michigan.

No. 1 Minnesota defeated No. 4 Cornell 24-15 to win the NWCA National Duals tournament. The Cyclones welcome the top-ranked Golden Gophers on Sunday at Hilton Coliseum to round out the regular season.