Cyclones prepare for another weekend of competition


Photo: David Derong/Iowa State Daily

Iowa State’s Trent Weatherman competes in the final round for the 157-pound wrestling championship of the Harold Nichols Open against Nebraska-unattached George Ivanov on Saturday, Nov. 13 at the Bergstrom Indoor Training Facility. Weatherman made it to the finals, but was shut down by Ivanov in a 11-6 defeat.

Jake Calhoun

For the third weekend in a row, the ISU wrestling team will have a plentiful amount of wrestling ahead of it.

No. 23 Iowa State (3-0) will be traveling to Omaha, Neb., to compete in the Omaha Open on Saturday, followed by a return home to face Old Dominion (0-0) in a dual meet Sunday.

“We’re just happy to be competing,” said senior Jon Reader. “We’ve been training hard and putting in the work and really wrapping our heads around what coach is implementing and just loving to compete. That’s the atmosphere we’re in right now in just laying everything on the line and competing.”

The ISU coaching staff has encouraged all of the freshman redshirting this year to enter the Omaha Open unattached Saturday. Competing unattached means Iowa State complies with NCAA guidelines pertaining to athletes redshirting.

However, assistant coach Yero Washington said four to six backups and non-starters will be donning cardinal and gold singlets at the tournament.

The following day, Old Dominion will be coming to town fresh off a Saturday dual meet against Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls.

The Monarchs’ top-ranked wrestler is senior James Nicholson, who sits seventh in the nation at 125 pounds. Nicholson, who hails from Des Moines, is the team’s only undefeated wrestler at 5-0.

Iowa State’s Patrick Hunter vividly remembers his bout with Nicholson in the semifinal match of the 125-pound championship bracket at the Hokie Open two weeks ago.

“I gave up a couple cheap points on the edge of the mat, gave up another point at the end of the period, so that’s a six-point swing right there,” Hunter said. “So [this time] I just need to stay solid, stay smart and stay on my attack, put my pressure on him, and just wrestle a smart match and not give up stupid points against a quality kid.”

The Monarchs’ other ranked wrestler is senior Kyle Hutter, who is ranked No. 12 at 133 pounds. Hutter is 7-2 this season with four major decisions. His only two losses were in the championship matches of the Hokie and Binghamton Opens, where he took second place in both events.

Last weekend at the Harold Nichols Open, redshirt freshman Cole Shafer placed fourth in the 184-pound bracket. The Heber City, Utah, native is almost back to 100 percent after recovering from an illness that affected his conditioning and energy.

“My cardio was real low, and it took a lot out of me just strength-wise,” Shafer said. “I lost a lot of weight, so it took me a while to build back up to where I was, and I’m still trying to get my cardio back and work it in.”

Shafer will be in contention with fellow redshirt freshman Tyler Christensen and true freshman Matt Riley for the starting spot at 184 pounds for the Cyclones.

The grappling is set to begin at 9 a.m. Saturday in Omaha, Neb. The dual meet will be held at 7 p.m. in Hilton Coliseum.