Cyclones take on Panthers in Beauty and the Beast event


Photo: Jonathan Krueger/Iowa State Daily

Redshirt junior Boaz Beard reaches for Oklahoma State’s Chris Chionuma in their match at Hilton Coliseum on Feb. 3, 2013.  Beard won his matchup with Chionuma with a score of 8-2 however the Cyclones fell 9-25.

Dan Cole

The ISU wrestling team will host its final home dual meet of the season as No. 20 Northern Iowa comes to Hilton Coliseum for this season’s Beauty and the Beast event, during which both the Cyclone wrestling and gymnastics teams compete simultaneously on Feb. 8.

The Cyclones (6-4, 1-2 Big 12) had their five-dual winning streak — the longest for the program since 2010 — snapped by No. 2 Oklahoma State on Feb. 3.

With only three duals remaining before the Big 12 Championships, the Cyclones must first take down the capable Panthers (8-3, 3-0 WWC), who have won five of their last six duals, including two wins against ranked opponents.

“They’re having a pretty good season,” said ISU coach Kevin Jackson. “[They’re] interstate rivals, so that’s always intense, always fun. There’s a few things we’re going to have to do to wrestle our best but we’re confident that this week of training’s going to allow us to be where we need to be on that day. We’re looking forward to it.”

Beauty and the Beast is an unusual event for the wrestlers because the ISU gymnastics team will be competing against Oklahoma on the night of Feb. 8 in Hilton as well. Competing alongside another sport is a rare occurrence for all athletes.

Despite the irregularity of the event, wrestlers and coaches are excited about the prospect of energy packing into Hilton Coliseum for the two sports.

“It’s always fun to have another competition going on, but once you get on the mat and slap hands, the whistle blows and you forget about everything,” said ISU redshirt junior Boaz Beard, who will go up against No. 6 Ryan Loder at 184 pounds. “I expect to win; I always go into matches expecting to win. Their guy’s pretty tough — he’s top eight, I believe, in the country — so it’s going to be a real tough match.”

Iowa State and Northern Iowa met last season in Cedar Falls, where the Cyclones earned a 19-17 victory.

The Cyclones have been riding a hot streak of performances since their East Coast trip in early January. Despite the fact that they lost to Oklahoma State on Feb. 3, they believe they showed up well and are capable of rolling past the Panthers on Feb. 8.

“I don’t really expect anything short of domination,” said ISU 165-pounder Michael Moreno. “I think if we compete like we did against Oklahoma State then we should blow them out of the water, but we have to compete well, because they are dangerous.”

The Beauty and the Beast event will begin at 7 p.m on Feb. 8.