‘Swagger’ returns for Cyclones in drubbing of Panthers


Photo: Jonathan Krueger/Iowa State Daily

Redshirt sophomore Kyven Gadson throws his opponent Blaize Cabell of Northern Iowa to the mat in the 197-pound match during Beauty and the Beast on Feb. 8 at Hilton Coliseum. Gadson won his match by pinning Cabell after taking a 13-2 lead, and gave the Cyclones six points towards their 23-12 win.

Jake Calhoun

In the sport of wrestling, having “swagger” is not considered a bad thing.

In fact, having swagger boded well for the ISU wrestling team in its 23-12 win against Northern Iowa on Friday night as it notched bonus points in three of its six victories on the night.

Despite the potential distractions of the “Beauty and the Beast” meet, in which the ISU gymnastics team competed simultaneously at Hilton Coliseum, ISU coach Kevin Jackson said his team did what it needed to do.

“They focused on what they needed to do; they went out there and they competed like they’ve been competing for a long time now and got the results that we were expecting,” Jackson said.

Jackson said Tanner Weatherman’s 13-3 major decision against Cody Caldwell at 174 pounds played a huge role in getting momentum going for the Cyclones (7-4, 1-2 Big 12).

“Tanner Weatherman, he jump-started us again big time,” Jackson said. “This Tanner Weatherman, he can be special if we can tie a few other things together.”

On Feb. 3, Jackson said Weatherman’s 3-0 loss to No. 3 Tyler Caldwell of Oklahoma State got things going for the Cyclones, leading the way for upset wins against two opponents ranked in the top 10.

“I wrestled a few bad matches early in the year, went to Midlands, wrestled a horrible first round and after that, things just seemed to click,” Weatherman said.

Weatherman has won six of his last seven matches while scoring bonus points in four of them.

Kyven Gadson (197 pounds) and Michael Moreno (165) also tallied bonus points against the Panthers (8-4, 3-0 WWC).

Moreno closed out the evening with a 10-1 major decision of Jarrett Jensen, during which he continued shooting attacks despite having a comfortable lead with riding time locked up.

“We still have something to prove, we want people to know that we’re Iowa State and that’s something that’s been missing for the past couple years,” Moreno said. “I feel like since [Jon] Reader’s senior year, [that swagger has] been missing and I feel like we’ve finally got it back.”

Moreno said the combination of some early season woes have led to the enhanced fight that has ignited that swagger within the team since its 32-3 loss to Iowa on Dec. 1.

Gadson wrestled with a heavy heart en route to pinning Blaize Cabell in 4:27 seconds, having returned from his hometown of Waterloo, Iowa, earlier in the week to visit his father, Willie. Willie, a former ISU wrestler, is battling an aggressive bone cancer that has since spread to his lungs and liver.

“I think you’re starting to see the real Kyven Gadson,” Jackson said. “The stress and the pressure of his father’s condition had wore on him throughout the year… You could even look out there at him and he looked fatigued and tired in some matches, even though he was dominating.

“But today, there was no fatigue or tiredness on his face at all.”