Gadson wins title, Cyclones place second at Big 12s


Photo: Jonathan Krueger/Iowa State Daily

Redshirt sophomore Kyven Gadson shoots a double-leg on Oklahoma State’s Blake Rosholt in the 197-pound title match of the Big 12 Championships on Saturday, March 9, 2013, at Gallagher-Iba Arena. Gadson won the match 5-4 for the Cyclones’ only individual title.

Jake Calhoun

STILLWATER, Okla. — Kyven Gadson just smiled at the top of the podium as the boos rained down on him.

Gadson, the No. 1-seeded 197-pound wrestler, won Iowa State’s only Big 12 title at the Big 12 Championships on Saturday in defeating Oklahoma State’s Blake Rosholt 5-4. It was in the final minutes of that victory in which Gadson and Rosholt jawed back and forth at each other with the OSU-dominated crowd having a heavy influence.

“I just think it was the intensity of the whole match,” said ISU coach Kevin Jackson. “You had a guy [Rosholt] that was just being pretty aggressive, being pretty physical with his hands, doing a lot of pushing and not a lot of scoring, not a lot of attacking.

“The referee and the crowd — being at home — got behind him. So that created a very stressful, intense situation and I think the referee felt a little bit of that stress and that anxiety.”

The crowd booed Gadson as he tried to scrap with Rosholt while holding a 5-3 lead late in the third period, insisting that he was stalling. Rosholt was awarded one point with two seconds remaining not for stalling, but rather for a penalty Gadson insisted was accidental.

“I think I caught him in the eye with my thumb at the end of the match,” Gadson said. “I was just trying to wrestle hard, wrestle smart and get the job done.”

With the win, Gadson prevented Oklahoma State from crowning nine individual champions at the tournament.

Gadson declined to further elaborate on the exchange between him and Rosholt after the match.

“Kyven didn’t show his true character after that match,” Jackson said. “I don’t think we handled that situation as well as we could have. It’s not something we definitely want to see out of any of our athletes.”

The episode came at the tail end of an otherwise positive tournament for the ISU wrestling team, which finished second in team scoring with 74 points.

It was the first time Iowa State had not finished dead-last in the tournament since 2010, when it finished in second place just 1.5 points behind Oklahoma State.

“We just got that attitude as a team,” said redshirt senior Max Mayfield. “Everyone’s going out and wrestling for seven minutes — that’s what we wanted from the beginning and we’re getting it now.”

Mayfield pulled off the upset of the tournament in the 149-pound semifinals, where he beat No. 2-seeded Nick Lester 4-2 to secure an automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Championships.

“We’ve wrestled a few times now, so I knew what he was looking for and I knew what I wanted to do,” Mayfield said. “I just went out there and really followed my game plan that the coaches set out there for me and it worked.”

The Cyclones secured six AQ bids to the NCAA Championships in Des Moines with the possibility of receiving another later this week.

Other automatic qualifiers for Iowa State include Luke Goettl (141 pounds), Michael Moreno (165), Tanner Weatherman (174) and Boaz Beard (184).