Cyclones return to competition at West Virginia


Photo: Blake Lanser/Iowa State Daily

Michael Moreno claims the 165-pound title at the 2012 Harold Nichols Cyclone Open on Saturday, Nov. 10, at Hilton Coliseum.

Dan Cole

The ISU wrestling team will travel to Morgantown, W. Va., this weekend for a showdown with new Big 12 member West Virginia.

West Virginia (1-5, 0-2 Big 12) is an unfamiliar foe for the Cyclones (4-3, 0-1) given its recent admission to the conference. This will be just the Mountaineers’ third Big 12 dual meet ever.

“We had a great week of training in our preparation for West Virginia,” said ISU coach Kevin Jackson. “The guys are looking forward to competition; it’s been a couple weeks now. We watched [West Virginia] wrestle against [Oklahoma], seen their results from Oklahoma State, and they have some kids that can wrestle. So, it’s heightened our sense of urgency a little bit since we’ve gotten a chance to really watch them.”

Iowa State is hitting a hot part of its schedule, having won its last three duals, all during a road trip to the East Coast. The winning streak is the longest for the Cyclones since the 2010-11 season, but they are still in search of their first Big 12 victory since 2009-10.

Three Cyclones who wrestled at least twice during the East Coast trip went undefeated. No. 19 Michael Moreno went 3-0 at 165 pounds during the trip, while No. 20 Tanner Weatherman (174) and No. 9 Kyven Gadson (197) both went 2-0.

“We’ve got four duals left, trying to win out those four duals, and I’m trying to really dominate,” Moreno said. “I’m winning a lot of matches, but I’m still not to where I want to be. I have to make sure I capitalize on my opportunities.”

The Mountaineers have lost their last five meets after opening the season by blowing out Johns Hopkins 43-0.

Both Iowa State and West Virginia have been defeated by Oklahoma in Norman, Okla., this season. The Cyclones fell to the Sooners by a tight 19-15 margin while the Mountaineers were beaten 25-14.

“They have a good coaching staff,” said ISU assistant coach Travis Paulson about West Virginia. “They’re going to come out and try to get their first Big 12 win, but I think that we just need to go out and initiate tie-ups and have heavy hands and take the fight to them, and we’ll be fine.”

Following this meet, the Cyclones will return home for three duals in one week — their final home duals of the season.

The meet at West Virginia is set to begin at 2 p.m on Jan. 26.