Moreno, Slifka shine for Cyclone wrestlers at Kaufman-Brand Open

Darrin Cline

The Kaufman-Brand Open gave the ISU wrestling team a glimpse at some of its future competition, and revealed some areas of improvement for the team. 

In a tournament that featured talent from the University of Minnesota, Oklahoma State and the University of Iowa, among others, the Cyclones were only able to send two wrestlers to a finish in the top five.

Following a strong performance at the Cyclone Open, Michael Moreno carried his momentum into the weekend and rallied for a fourth-place finish. With three early wins, Moreno rolled into the semifinal round where he was thwarted by Cody Yohn of Minnesota. Moreno then fought through the wrestlebacks, eventually dropping the third-place match to Hawkeye Aaron Jansen.

A lackluster performance at the first tournament of the season motivated Cyclone heavyweight Kyle Slifka. The converted football player picked up four wins before falling in the semifinals. His day ended with a fifth-place finish and an impressive turnaround from the previous tournament.

While the championship side of the brackets were a buzzsaw for the Cyclones, the wrestlebacks gave the ISU grapplers a chance to show off their resilience.

Early-round losses plummeted many of the combatants into the consolation pool, but this was not the end of their day. 125-pounder Ben Cash did just this, fighting for four victories, just nearly missing the podium. 

Matt Riley, Mikey England and Joe Cozart followed suit, with Cozart coming all the way back to face off for fifth, a match that he ultimately ended up losing.