NOTEBOOK: Patience a virtue for ISU wrestling

Jake Calhoun

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Looking at the 32-3 final from the Cy-Hawk wrestling dual meet on Saturday, any ISU fan’s palm will likely meet his or her face.

But ISU coach Kevin Jackson is not pleading for his fan base to be faithful. Rather, he’s advising fans to be patient.

“I’m not telling anybody to be faithful,” Jackson said. “We just want them to realize it’s a season — a long season. We’re two matches [in] and we’re 0-2, so we’re not feeling good about it.”

The Cyclones (0-2) nearly had wins from Boaz Beard at 184 pounds and Matt Gibson at heavyweight, but could not get secure points at crucial moments. The Hawkeyes’ 29-point victory is the largest margin against Iowa State since 1996.

“A lot of people are making a lot out of that,” said UI coach Tom Brands. “I think Kevin Jackson’s trying hard, I’m not going to speak for him.”

ISU wrestlers were not available for interviews after the meet.

Brands said the gap in talent between the teams was made into an issue last season, but said that has not belittled the effort and work his team puts into preparing for its in-state rivals every year.

“Our focus is on what we do — when they come to town or when we go there, we want to perform well,” Brands said. “We get ready for it, it’s important to us.”

Even though Iowa State has fallen to Iowa for nine consecutive dual meets, Brands did throw a compliment to his in-state rival.

“You look at some of the individuals that they have, there’s some capability there,” Brands said of Iowa State.

Mayfield cleared to wrestle

After the meet, Jackson said redshirt senior Max Mayfield has been cleared to compete from a concussion he sustained at the Harold Nichols Open on Nov. 10.

Mayfield, who was the projected starter at 149 pounds, had a concussion last season that kept him out for the majority of the season.

“We need Max back bad,” Jackson said. “No disrespect to Luke Swalla, but we need Max back bad. He’s a senior and provides senior leadership and he’s got experience to give us what we need at that weight class.”

Matt White and Luke Swalla have both competed at 149 pounds in Mayfield’s absence this season.

“We’ve got to get our best guy in there,” Jackson said of the 149-pound weight class. “Max is our best guy, and we haven’t been able to have him since the Cyclone Open.”