Unusual circumstances, controversy surround Cy-Hawk dual meet


Photo: Rebekka Brown/Iowa State Daily

Boaz Beard, wrestling at 184, fights to keep his Iowa opponent, Vinnie Wagner, from escaping during Iowa-Iowa State meet held Sunday afternoon at Hilton Coliseum. Beard defeated Wagner 10-9, but the Cyclones fell to the Hawkeyes 9-27.

Jake Calhoun

The scoreboard at Hilton Coliseum froze, two wrestlers nearly pinned each other in the same period of a match and another wrestler won with two-tenths of a millisecond of riding time advantage.

It was not just another rivalry dual meet between Iowa and Iowa State for ISU coach Kevin Jackson, whose team lost 27-9 to its top-ranked rival on Sunday.

“For some reason, it just wasn’t the ‘normal’ Iowa-Iowa State match where you just get all-out battles,” Jackson said. “But at the same time, we didn’t compete to the best of our ability.”

At the beginning of the meet during Ryak Finch’s 125-pound match against No. 1 Matt McDonough, the video board with the scoreboard of both the match scoring and team scoring had frozen, causing event staff to improvise while trying to solve the problem.

The problem would not be fixed until the five-match intermission after the Hawkeyes (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) had railed off five straight victories against the inexperienced Cyclones (0-6, 0-2 Big 12).

“This was a very unique dual meet to me,” said Iowa coach Tom Brands. “The way that just things went with the clock and certain things going on and how we were talked to by the referees before the start of the meet. It was just something that was very bizarre to me.”

Brands said he would not elaborate on what he considered to be “bizarre,” but did say he was not sure if all of the controversy was about wrestling.

The Cyclones would find their first victory of the meet in the 165-pound match, where No. 5 Andrew Sorenson beat No. 15 Mike Evans in a 4-3 decision.

Sorenson, the team captain, said the match was frustrating for him.

“I just didn’t get my attacks off and I didn’t move my hands and feet as well,” Sorenson said. “Mostly, he slowed me down in the early periods because he was trying to keep distance and then he decided he wanted to try to wrestle the third period.”

It was the third period where an escape by Evans from the bottom position made the score 4-3, where he then tried to notch his first takedown of the match for the lead.

Hawkeye fans wanted a stalling call on Sorenson, who was warned for stalling with 26 seconds remaining in the match, but never got one as he pulled away with the victory.

Brands appealed to the head table, which led to the deduction of a team point from Iowa — which had led 22-0 before that match.

“Can’t approach the table,” Brands said of what he was told about the deduction. “You can’t approach the table. You’re handcuffed, you’re sitting on your hands and it needs to be more about the wrestling.”

At 197 pounds, a back-and-forth between Iowa State’s Cole Shafer and Iowa’s Tomas Lira got the crowd of 7,616 to its feet, as both wrestlers had each other grappling for a pin and nearly succeeded in doing so.

Shafer and Lira’s scrambles, however, resulted in a 6-6 tie at the end of the first period with each wrestler being awarded a three-point nearfall for their troubles.

Lira’s conditioning proved to be the factor in ending the Cyclones’ three-match win streak, emerging victorious in the 10-6 decision against Shafer.

“He’s got a big motor and he just goes and goes and goes,” Brands said of Lira. “We’ve just got to keep him going in the right direction.”

In the 184-pound match, 15th-ranked Boaz Beard was taken down by Vinnie Wagner with 20 seconds remaining in the match to knot the score at 9-9, threatening his riding-time advantage of 1:19.

Beard was unable to escape before the horn sounded, but the head table found that he had maintained two-tenths of a millisecond of his riding time advantage at the buzzer.

“I know when I looked up at the clock when he called a takedown that it looked like we still had an opportunity to keep up our riding time whether we still had 20 seconds or not,” Jackson said.

“It didn’t feel the same as I’ve experienced some other matches and I don’t know why.”