Cyclones wrestle back, place eighth at National Duals


File photo: Manfred Brugger/Iowa State Daily

Jon Reader wrestles against Iowa’s Ryan Morningstar on Dec. 6 at Hilton Coliseum.

Jake Calhoun

If the young ISU wrestling team can be called anything, it has earned “resilient”.

No. 13 Iowa State (6-4, 0-1 Big 12) wrestled back to an eighth-place finish in the 2011 NWCA Cliff Keen National Duals in Cedar Falls, despite going 2-3 in the two-day tournament.

The Cyclones experienced two firsts of the season after dropping its first-round dual against No. 2 Boise State (5-2-1, 1-0-1 Pac-10) and its consolation semifinal dual against No. 3 Oklahoma State (7-3, 2-1 Big 12).

The loss to Boise State was the Cyclones’ first loss to an opponent other than Iowa of Kevin Jackson’s two-year career as coach, and the loss to Oklahoma State was the Cyclones’ first conference loss since Feb. 15, 2009, when they lost to Missouri 18-15 in Columbia, Mo.

After the loss to Boise State, the Cyclones reeled off two victories against Northern Illinois (2-7, 0-1 MAC) and No. 7 American (7-3, 2-0 EIWA) before its loss to Oklahoma State.

Jon Reader and Kyle Simonson went a perfect 4-0 heading into the team’s rematch against the Broncos.

Reader added another win to go 5-0 after an 8-2 decision over the Broncos’ Jake Swartz. The senior 174-pounder is now 23-0 on the year and is ranked No. 1 in Intermat’s national polls.

Jerome Ward sat out for the remainder of the tournament after sustaining a knee injury in his 3-2 loss to Boise State’s Matt Casperson in the Cyclones’ first dual against the Broncos. Ward’s absence allowed fellow 197-pounder Phil Hawes to compete for the cardinal and gold.

Hawes went 2-2 with victories over Mike Lukowski of Northern Illinois and Casperson in the Cyclones’ rematch with the Broncos.

True freshman Brandon Jones saw his first action of the season at 125 pounds after wrestling at 133 in place of redshirt freshman Ben Cash. Jones went 1-3 with his only victory coming against American’s Thomas Williams by a 7-2 decision.

Andrew Sorenson was the third Cyclone with four wins, going 4-1 in all five dual meets with his only loss coming to Oklahoma State’s Dallas Bailey in a 4-3 decision. The 165-pounder returned after sitting out of the Midlands Championships to nurse an ankle injury he has been dealing with this season.

Iowa State returns home for a Jan. 16 dual meet against No. 6 Minnesota.