Cyclone wrestlers host Oklahoma tonight in Hilton

Jeff Stell

The ISU wrestling team narrowly defeated Oklahoma two weeks ago at the NWCA National Duals and will square off with the Sooners again tonight at Hilton Coliseum.The Cyclones, ranked fourth, beat the Sooners 19-17 at the National Duals. Iowa State fell behind 14-3 after four matches but won five straight matches to gain the victory.Last season, the Cyclones and Sooners split as pair of close duals. The Cyclones won 18-15 over the Sooners at the National Duals but the Sooners rebounded to pull out an 18-17 win in the conference dual. The Cyclones are coming off a disappointing performance in a 25-14 loss to Oklahoma State January 16. That loss dropped the Cyclones dual record to 14-4.”I think we were disappointed because I thought we had a chance to beat them,” ISU wrestler Cael Sanderson said. “We’re looking down the road and beating them at the NCAA tournament where it matters.”The Cyclones won six of the 10 matches wrestled in their previous meeting with the Sooners, but the only bonus points came from a 16-8 major decision win from Sanderson at 184.The Sooners got a pin from Bo Maynes at 125 and a technical fall from seventh-ranked Jared Frayer at 149.”They’re just a real solid team,” Sanderson said. “They have tough guys at every weight so that makes them a tough dual team.”The dual will feature 12 ranked wrestlers including a pair of matches pitting two ranked wrestlers. At 141, second-ranked Sooner Michael Lightner battles seventh-ranked Zach Roberson, while at 165, No. 2 Joe Heskett meets No. 7 Robbie Waller.Lightner, a three-time All-American, defeated Roberson 7-4 at the National Duals, and Heskett earned a 3-0 win over Waller.Sanderson, Heskett and Cole Sanderson have only had one day of practice this week due to competing in the NWCA All-Star meet Monday in Lancaster, Penn.Cael Sanderson won by a pin in just 39 seconds over Rider’s Shawn Scannel, but Heskett and Cole Sanderson each lost by decision. Cael Sanderson feels the trio will be rested and ready to go tonight.”It really doesn’t make that much of a difference,” Sanderson said. “We’re ready; you always have to be ready when you’re wrestling in the conference. It’s tough to make it to nationals, and these matches play a big role in making it to nationals.”