Notebook: Wrestlers reflect on UNI, move forward


Gabe Moreno power slams his opponent at 141 pounds. Iowa State defeated Midland on Friday, Nov. 15, at Hilton Coliseum 38-3.

Ryan Young

The Iowa State wrestling team has been faced with an all-important question throughout the week after its dual loss to No. 5 Northern Iowa last weekend, ‘Now what?’

In fact, when asked if they had anything positive to take from the UNI dual, most wrestlers didn’t have a response.

“We still have an opportunity,” said the No. 1 wrestler at 197 pounds, Kyven Gadson. “I still don’t feel like we’ve wrestled our best, as a team or as individuals. We have the opportunity to either grow from this, or let it hinder our progress.”

The Cyclones (8-4 overall, 1-2 Big 12) fell to the still undefeated Panthers 24-13 last Saturday, winning just four matches on the night.

Even though nearly a week has past, reminiscing about the dual still stings for some wrestlers.

“We’re a young group of kids,” said John Nicholson. “I think that we’re capable of beating good teams, we just haven’t done it yet. We just need to slow down and keep trying.”

What went wrong?

When ISU coach Kevin Jackson reflects on the UNI dual, one thing stands out far above the rest.

“The bonus points are what killed us at UNI,” Jackson said. “You just can’t give up bonus points. They are a concern of ours; we just need to avoid them.”

The Cyclones lost five consecutive matches to the Panthers, three of which resulted in bonus points. Following that fifth loss, Iowa State only had one win under its belt on the night.

“Kids just have to be smarter,” Jackson said. “If you’re being dominated in a match, at some point you have to start thinking about the team and wrestle a different tactical match to avoid those bonus points. I think it is definitely a learning curve.”

The Cyclones rallied a little on the backside, bringing the final score on the night to 24-13.

“We just have to get tougher,” Moreno said. “The dual wasn’t as close as the score indicated. Some places we were just flat outclassed, and that’s one thing. But there’s not much left to say, we need to be tougher.”

Gadson, who was just named the new No. 1 wrestler in the nation this week, knows how important it is not to give up bonus points. The Waterloo native is confident that his heart will prevent him from giving up those extra points.

“You have to wrestle with some heart,” Gadson said. “You aren’t going to beat me by 15 points. I may lose by one point, but you aren’t going to beat me by 15. You just have to wrestle man-to-man out there, and show some heart and effort. It’s just about not wanting to give up those bonus points, and then going out there and wrestling.”

The Cyclones will look to correct these problems this weekend, when they head to Columbus, Ohio to compete in the NWCA National Duals.