Cyclones struggle, Weatherman advances amid controversy


Redshirt sophomore Kyven Gadson sets up an impending attack on Illinois’ Mario Gonzalez in the first round at 197 pounds at the NCAA Wrestling Championships on Thursday, March 21, 2013, at Wells Fargo Arena in downtown Des Moines. Gadson pinned Gonzalez in 1:41, receiving a standing ovation after doing so.

Jake Calhoun

DES MOINES — A motivating afternoon led to a humbling evening for the ISU wrestling team in day one on the sport’s biggest stage.

The Cyclones sent seven wrestlers to the 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships at Wells Fargo Arena, but found itself with one afloat and four in the wrestlebacks after a controversial evening.

“[Our momentum is] the strongest it’s been in the last three years,” said ISU coach Kevin Jackson after Session I. “I think they understand what they need to do; they can do it at a higher level and better.”

Kyven Gadson received a standing ovation from the crowd at Wells Fargo Arena after he pinned Illinois’ Mario Gonzalez in 1:41 in the first round at 197 pounds. The win advanced Gadson to a bout against Oklahoma State’s Blake Rosholt, whom he has beaten three times this season.

“It’s tough, it’s really tough especially when that person’s good,” Jackson said of beating someone four times in a row. “There’s a little bit of tension between the two, so it’s tough to beat a guy four times.”

Fourth time would be a charm for Rosholt, who scurried away from Gadson in the final period to hang onto an 8-7 win to advance.

The conclusion of the match sparked an eruption of boos from the crowd because the referee did not award any more stalling points to Gadson even after Rosholt continued to back away from his attacks.

“It’s crazy,” Jackson said. “We beat a guy three times, then the guy catches us with one or two little moves and he’s advancing in the NCAA tournament. It’s disappointing.”

In the end, Jackson said the ultimate downfall for Gadson in the match was giving up the 5-point takedown-nearfall move at the end of the first period to fall behind 6-2.

Gadson declined comment after the match.

Gadson will face Missouri’s Brent Haynes on Friday morning in the wrestlebacks. The best Gadson can place now is third overall if he wins the rest of his matches in the tournament.

Upsets galore

The 165- and 174-pounders for Iowa State each pulled off upsets in the first round.

Michael Moreno defeated No. 10-seed Nick Moore (Iowa) 5-3 in the first round at 165 pounds, followed immediately by Tanner Weatherman’s 6-4 victory against No. 10-seeded Dan Yates (Michigan).

Moreno went on to fall to No. 7 Conrad Polz (Illinois) 5-2 to drop to the wrestlebacks, where he will face Bret Baumbach (Stanford).

Weatherman continued his success, upsetting Illinois’ Jordan Blanton in a 16-14 decision that saw takedowns left and right.

“I just went out there and let my offense go, got him on his back a couple times and just went out there and wrestled hard for seven minutes,” Weatherman said.

Familiarity with Blanton, who had beaten him by 15-7 at the Midlands last season, ultimately helped Weatherman this time around.

“I knew his style, I knew his lead-leg, I knew what he was coming with,” Weatherman said. “He’s a goer, he’s a brawler. He goes hard for seven minutes and that’s what I expected.”

Iowa State has five wrestlers alive — Weatherman will continue in the championship bracket while Gadson, Moreno, Boaz Beard (184) and Matt Gibson (Hwt) will continue in the wrestlebacks.

Session III is set to begin at 10 a.m. on March 22.