Iowa State hosts a pair of Big 12 duals against West Virginia and Northern Iowa

Then-redshirt junior Chase Straw faces off against then-redshirt freshman Spencer Heywood for the first match of the Iowa State vs. Utah Valley dual meet Feb. 3, 2019, in Hilton Coliseum. Straw won by major decision 4-0, and the Cyclones defeated the Wolverines 53-0.

Stephen Mcdaniel

Since the start of 2020, Iowa State wrestling have wrestled in eight duals, but have only had the luxury of being in front of a home crowd once. That dual was the 23-9 loss to Oklahoma State on Jan. 26. The rest have been in enemy territory.

The Cyclones (7-4, 4-1 Big 12) have not one, but two opportunities to get back inside Hilton Coliseum and wrestle in front of the Iowa State faithful when they host West Virginia (3-9, 0-4 Big 12) on Saturday and Northern Iowa (6-3, 5-1 Big 12) on Sunday.

The Mountaineers and the Panthers both offer some solid competition that could prove to be signature wins if the Cyclones can win their respective matches on Saturday and Sunday.

West Virginia

The first set challengers that will be stepping foot in Ames, Iowa, this weekend will be the Mountaineers of West Virginia.

West Virginia hasn’t had the most ideal season thus far, being winless in conference duals and being on the losing end of its last four duals following its 12th place finish at the Southern Scuffle.

“West Virginia is a program that’s got a pretty new coaching staff , we know what kind of shoes they’re in year two,” Head Coach Kevin Dresser said. “But they’ll have some guys that will scrap hard with us.”

While West Virginia has struggled as a whole, it has one bright spot on its roster in the form of the redshirt sophomore Noah Adams.

Adams, ranked No. 2 at 197 pounds, has compiled a 25-0 record so far this season and is looking to make it a perfect 27-0 after West Virginia’s Friday dual with Northern Iowa and Saturday’s dual with Iowa State.

As for the Cyclones, the status of a fellow top three ranked wrestler is still up in the air. That of course is redshirt freshmen David Carr, who’s been ranked at No. 3 for 157 for a good chunk of the season.

“We were pretty intentional about holding him out [last weekend] and just making sure that he feels really, really good,” Dresser said. “If he goes, he goes and if he doesn’t go, he doesn’t go.”

Carr has been dealing with a minor knee injury that Dresser said was suffered during the Oklahoma State dual and has since been held of the previous.

If Dresser and company decide Carr isn’t good to go this weekend, fellow redshirt freshmen Grant Stotts will continue to hold down the spot at 157.

Besides Carr, there are tossups listed at 149 and 174 for the Cyclones, so Saturday’s dual with the Mountaineers will help clear up the starters.

Northern Iowa

The following day, Iowa State will host the Panthers of Northern Iowa.

Prior to the dual, Iowa State will honor four graduating seniors in Chase Straw, Joe Teague, Hank Swalla and Dan Eslick for senior night.

“It’s family to me, I’m going to die wearing cardinal and gold,” Straw said. “It just means so much to me.”

This dual will be unique in the fact that a couple of the bouts will be rematches from the Harold Nichols Cyclone Open on Nov. 10. The dual will also feature a swapping of opponents.

There were two Cyclone and Panther matchups for titles that won’t be seeing a rematch from the Cyclone Open this weekend. Marcus Coleman and Bryce Steiert faced off in the open 174 title match and Sam Colbray and Taylor Lujan faced off in the open 184 title match.

Steiert and Lujan walked away victorious in the Cyclone Open, but now they’ll have to prepare to face their teammate’s Cyclone Open opponent, with Coleman and Colbray swapping weights.

Sunday will now see No. 16 ranked Colbray face the No. 5 ranked Steiert, as well as unranked Coleman facing the No. 4 ranked Lujan.

“I know that Steiert is a brawler and I know that I won’t back down,” Colbray said. “I’m ready for that and I know that I can compete as well

The first rematch that will take places falls at 125, where No. 12 Alex Mackall will take on No. 17 Jacob Schwarm.

Mackall and Schwarm paired up in the open 125 finals, where Mackall exploded for a 19-4 tech fall over Schwarm following a first period where Mackall had trailed 4-3.

The second finals rematch comes at 149, where No. 8 Jarrett Degen could face off with No. 13 Max Thomsen. The open 149 finals saw Thomsen get the best of Degen, with Thomsen recording 12-7 decision over Degen.

The third Cyclone Open finals rematch that’s set to happen is at heavyweight, where No. 14 Gannon Gremmel will face No. 11 Carter Isley. Gremmel got the best of Isley in the beginning of the season when he recorded a 3-1 decision over Isley to win the open 285 title.

There are plenty of opportunities through the weekend for Iowa State to pick up more individual signature wins with March rapidly approaching.

“Really excited to get back home Saturday night and Sunday at 2 [p.m.], it really gives us the feel for the Big 12 tournament or the first two days of the NCAA tournament,” Dresser said. “It’s a weigh in and a weigh in, and a match and a match, you got to do all those things right.”

Saturday’s dual against West Virginia will be at 7 p.m. and Sunday’s dual against Northern Iowa will begin at 2 p.m.