ISU wrestlers take care of Northern Iowa Panthers

Jeff Stell

The ISU wrestling team completed the regular season with a 29-15 victory over Northern Iowa Sunday at Hilton Coliseum.The Cyclones complete the dual portion of their schedule with a 18-4 record. The next assignment for the Cyclones is qualifying for the national tournament at the Big 12 Conference meet Mar. 3 at Stillwater.The Cyclones won seven of the 10 matches wrestled and picked up bonus points in three of those victories. The Cyclones also got a forfeit at heavyweight.”It was a good dual meet,” said ISU coach Bobby Douglas. “UNI has a good team. They wrestled smart, and they wrestled well. I thought our guys wrestled exceptionally well against a tough foe.”The meet started with Cael Sanderson making Panther Kyle Hansen his 112th consecutive victim with a 21-8 major decision at 184. Sanderson toyed with Hansen in scoring eight takedowns, but couldn’t turn Hansen late in the match to get the technical fall.”That was a splendid performance,” Douglas said. “He wrestled exceptionally well, and he’s been doing that ever since he’s come here. Tonight was a good match for him. They tried to hold the points down, and he showed a lot of offense.”Perry Parks concluded the meet with a 14-4 major decision at 174. Parks trailed 4-1 in the third period, but escaped and took down Eric Brown, turning him three different times using a tilt.”Perry had to make conditioning a factor. And at the end of the match, you could see that conditioning was a factor,” Douglas said.One match before Parks took the mat, Cyclone Joe Heskett improved to 30-3 on the season by pinning Nate Lawrenz with 10 seconds left. Heskett built a 9-4 lead before slapping on a tight cradle to record the fall.Other Cyclone winners were Matt Azevedo (133), Cole Sanderson (157) and Zach Thompson (197). Both Sanderson and Thompson won comfortably but Azevedo had to pull out a 5-3 win in the final seconds.Azevedo gave up an early takedown to Dylan Long but tied the match at 3-3 with a third period escape. With 10 seconds left, Azevedo forced Long down got around for the takedown and the win.Mark Rial won by forfeit for the Panthers at 141, while Eric Dunmire and Keith Weber earned bonus wins at 125 and 141 respectively.Dunmire cruised to a 21-6 technical fall win, and Weber broke open a close match for a 16-4 victory.Weber led 4-2 over Billy Maldonado when he caught Maldonado on his back for a five-point move coming out of a scramble. Weber added a takedown and three-point near fall in the third period.”I’m going to give my guy [Weber] credit because he had some good matches in his career,” said Panther coach Brad Penrith. “Last year he wrestled behind NCAA champion Tony Davis, and he beat some ranked guys. He was deep in almost every shot and got a five-pointer in a flurry and that took some of the wind out of Maldonado’s sails.”The Cyclones now have two weeks off before traveling to the Big 12 meet to start their postseason run. Douglas plans to use the time for evaluation and strategy planning.”We’ve got to still study some film and start getting individual matches planned for the people we’re going to be running into,” Douglas said.