WRESTLING: second ranked wrestlers ready for intrasquad meet

Wrestling Media Day, practice 11/03/08. Photo: Jon Lemons/Iowa State Daily

Jon Lemons

Wrestling Media Day, practice 11/03/08. Photo: Jon Lemons/Iowa State Daily

Luke Plansky

The second-ranked ISU wrestling team will hold their intra-squad wrestleoffs at 7 p.m. Friday at the Lied Recreation Athletic Center.

With nine NCAA qualifiers on the roster, most of lineup spots are already decided. NCAA runner-up Jake Varner moved up a weight in the off-season, making the 184-pound weight class, the mostly hotly contested this season.

Junior Joe Curran, who started at 197 pounds as a true freshman in the 2005-’06 season, will compete for the spot against redshirt freshman Jerome Ward.

Fans will get a first look at starters, but eight freshmen as well.

“We’ve got depth,” said coach Cael Sanderson, who is entering his third season as the Cyclones’ head coach. “We’ve got guys that are challenging and have the opportunity to train with and wrestle under All-Americans. Steel sharpens steel, you know. That’s where our future champions are coming from.”

Sanderson is hoping for tournament points out of the 184-pound weight class.

Ward is a two-time Illinois State Champion and two-time Junior National place-winner. He has recovered from tearing both the ACL and MCL in his knee in the summer of 2007.

Rehab stretched into this summer, when Ward was again able to wrestle. He said he feels “everything coming back at a rapid pace now.”

Curran wrestled off for the 197-pound spot last season, but was beaten out by eventual All-American David Bertolino.

Northern Illinois transfer Duke Burk, 174 pounds and a two-time NCAA qualifier, will not wrestle, due to an undisclosed injury.

“It’s a minor thing,” Sanderson said. “He’s wrestling live — we just don’t want to push it.”

Wrestle-off schedule:

125 pounds — So. Tyler Clark vs. fr. Andrew Long

133 pounds — Jr. Nick Fanthorpe vs. fr. Anthony Valles

141 pounds — Jr. Nick Gallick vs. RS fr. Dalton Jensen

149 pounds — Jr. Mitch Mueller vs. sr. Ricky Lundell

157 pounds — Jr. Cyler Sanderson vs. fr. Matt Brown

165 pounds — So. Jonathan Reader vs. so. Nate Carr, Jr.

174 pounds — Jr. Chris Pursel vs. RS fr. Mike Finch

184 pounds — Jr. Joe Curran vs. RS fr. Jerome Ward

197 pounds — Jr. Jake Varner vs. RS fr. Kyle Simonson

HWT — Jr. David Zabriksie vs. fr. Eric Thompson