Sanderson reaches Cyclone milestone

Zac Reicks

Cael Sanderson won his 150th career match on Sunday, equaling the school record set by four-time All-American Mike Land from 1975-79.

Top ranked at 197 pounds, Sanderson pinned Scott Hollingsworth in 4 minutes 50 seconds, helping No. 7 Iowa State defeat the 11th ranked Arizona State Wildcats by a score of 31-9. The Cyclones won seven out of 10 matches with four wins accompanied by bonus points.

Iowa State improved to 15-5 in duals this season while Arizona State fell to 9-3.

“It was the best performance of the year,” ISU head coach Bobby Douglas said. “It seems like some of our guys are finally coming into form.”

“Cael had a flawless performance and was typical Cael,” he added.

Iowa State’s win followed perfect form as Joe Heskett led off the meet with a forfeit win at 165 pounds, followed by Nick Passolano’s 11-0 major decision over Nick Frost to give the Cyclones a 10-0 lead.

Passolano’s win led up to one of the most exciting matches of the dual meet as Iowa State’s Austen Palmer scored a takedown with five seconds left in the match to garner a 3-1 decision over Wildcat freshman Will Carr.

“I put myself in a bad situation at the end of the match and had to get a takedown,” Palmer said. “I did what I had to do to win.”

Cyclone junior Aaron Holker provided Douglas with one of the biggest wins of the meet as he defeated top-ranked Eric Larkin 8-5, in the 141 pound matchup. This was just Larkin’s third loss of the season with two of the three at the hands of the scrappy Cyclone junior. The fourth-ranked Holker had defeated Larkin 9-5 at the National Duals earlier this year, and now is someone who will be favored over Larkin come NCAA tournament time.

“Aaron wrestled his best match of the year,” Douglas said.

Improvement is something that Douglas has seen from his team all season and he sees his squad peaking at the right time for the NCAA championships.

“We are starting to climb that mountain,” he said.

To make Douglas’ Arizona State win even more enjoyable was his induction into the ASU Hall of Fame for his stellar coaching career from 1974-1992, including a national title in 1988. Douglas received a standing ovation from ASU’s largest crowd of the season and was glad to get a chance to see old friends.

“It was definitely emotional,” Douglas said. “I haven’t had a chance to reflect yet, but it was a good feeling.”