Cyclones head south for pair of weekend duals


Photo: Jordan Maurice/Iowa State Daily

Senior Andrew Sorenson throws his Missouri opponent in their 165-pound match, adding two points to his 20-2 victory Sunday, Jan. 9, at Hilton Coliseum. Sorenson was one of three Cyclones to win during the meet.

Jake Calhoun

Coming off its first home victory of the season, the ISU wrestling team has yet another tough test ahead of it.

The No. 16 Cyclones (2-9, 0-4 Big 12) will travel south to face No. 7 Oklahoma (8-2, 2-1) on Friday and No. 2 Oklahoma State (6-0, 2-0) on Sunday.

In November, Iowa State hosted both teams, having given up bonus points in seven total matches to lose by a combined 51-22.

“Just expect better performances,” said senior Andrew Sorenson, who is ranked fourth in the nation at 165 pounds. “Our guys have been wrestling really competitively the last four or five weeks. But the biggest thing is showing consistency.”

Chris Spangler, who is ranked sixth at 174 pounds, will not be making the trip for the Cyclones, having sustained a concussion at the Midlands Championships in late December.

On Tuesday, ISU coach Kevin Jackson said Spangler has not passed his concussion test, yielding Mikey England to start in his place. The redshirt freshman is 1-2 in dual competition since taking over for Spangler.

“I’m just going to go out there and hopefully improve on my last performance against a kid I think I can beat,” England said of wrestling against Oklahoma’s Nolan McBryde. “I just have to go out there and prove it to myself.”

Jackson said redshirt freshman Michael Moreno has the potential to upset both his opponents — No. 14 Matt Lester (Oklahoma) and No. 15 Albert White (Oklahoma State) — this weekend, especially in a rematch against Lester.

“That was a very tight match, Mike’s first match back, and he made some mistakes to lose that match,” Jackson said. “I would expect that to be a little bit different than the first match.”

Moreno is 2-7 this season, but has won two of his last three matches.

Luke Goettl cracked the national rankings for the first time ever this week, nabbing the No. 19 spot at 141 pounds. However, he will be facing No. 1 Kendric Maple (Oklahoma) and No. 8 Josh Kindig (Oklahoma State) — both of whom beat him in the duals in November.

“It’s a major step for Luke Goettl,” Jackson said. “But let’s really find out, ‘Are you capable of really being in the hunt for the national championship?’ That doesn’t mean win or lose, that just means, ‘Are you going to challenge this guy and go score points and get takedowns?'”

Oklahoma sports six ranked wrestlers in its starting lineup and Oklahoma State has eight, making this trip one of the biggest challenges of the season for the team thus far.

“This will be an opportunity to show our growth and for us to have a direct look at how we did versus Oklahoma and Oklahoma State the first time,” Jackson said. “It’s going to bring one of the strongest challenges that we’ve had.”