Conditioning plan puts wrestlers in better shape for break

Zac Reicks

The ISU wrestling team will enjoy a lengthy holiday break before returning to action Dec. 29-30 at the Midlands Championships held in Evanston, Ill.

The Cyclones are coming off an up-and-down last week where they lost to Iowa 34-7 and then turned around and beat Tennessee-Chattanooga by the same score.

ISU head coach Bobby Douglas’ conditioning plan seems to be working as hoped.

The Cyclones proved to be in much better shape than at the beginning of the season.

“Conditioning is going good,” team captain Aaron Holker said. “Once January rolls around we will focus more on conditioning.”

With a host of nationally ranked teams and wrestlers on hand, the Midlands Open is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the nation. The open is a scoring meet, with teams sometimes allowed to enter more than one wrestler in a weight class; in those instances, both wrestlers score team points.

In addition to Iowa State, nationally ranked collegiate teams represented include No. 2 Minnesota, No. 5 Illinois, No. 7 Lehigh, No. 10 Arizona State, No. 11 Michigan State, No. 12 Boise State, No. 15 Ohio State, No. 19 Pennsylvania, No. 22 Hofstra, No. 23 Pittsburgh and No. 25 North Carolina.

The end-of-the-month event will also draw a number of wrestlers who have completed their collegiate careers.

One Cyclone who has just started his collegiate career is 174-pounder Ken Cook. Cook put his Greco-Roman career on hold for a while to focus on his collegiate wrestling, and the decision could pay off big for the Cyclones.

He won his first match as a Cyclone against Tennessee-Chattanooga and Douglas hopes that will spark his confidence.

“That was a big win for Cook — very huge for him,” Douglas said. “His confidence was suffering like most of the teams. They bounced back and went out and scored points like we wanted.”

The winter break will give Iowa State a chance to recover from injuries as well as to prepare for the tougher part of their schedule.

“We get five or six days off with no practice,” Holker said. “I am not quite 100 percent yet, so the time off will be nice.”