Takeaways: Iowa State’s trip to the 2020 Southern Scuffle

Iowa State then-redshirt sophomore Gannon Gremmel sets up a takedown attempt during his match during the dual against Missouri.

Stephen Mcdaniel

Iowa State wrestling returns home after making the trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee for the 2020 Southern Scuffle to start out the new year. The Cyclones finished in 15th place after recording 39.5 points and crowning a champion.

Gremmel makes top 10 push

As coach Kevin Dresser pointed out before Iowa State made its trip to Chattanooga for the Southern Scuffle, the Cyclones get the most out of heavyweight Gannon Gremmel when he competes.

Gremmel proved Dresser’s point after Gremmel brought home the Southern Scuffle 285 title.

Going into the Scuffle, the Cyclones made a point to only bring a few selected starters for the two-day tournament in Chattanooga. They decided to send Gremmel, Joel Shapiro and Chase Straw to get some more matches and wins under their belts before heading into conference duals.

Gremmel had the best performance out of any Cyclone, recording a 5-0 record through both days of the Scuffle, highlighted by the last second takedown to beat Cary Miller of Appalachian State and the finals win after Northern Colorado’s Dalton Robertson ha to medically forfeit.

Gremmel’s 285 title marked Iowa State’s first Southern Scuffle champion since 2014.

Currently ranked at No. 12 on InterMat’s rankings, the impressive performance from the heavyweight may just be what he needs to crack the top 10 list at 285.

Problems arise at 149

The last tournament Iowa State competed in before the Scuffle was the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. During the CKLV, top 10 ranked Jarrett Degen was forced to medically forfeit all of his matches on the second day after being a semifinalist for the Cyclones.

Since the CKLV, redshirt sophomore Ryan Leisure filled the role at 149 for the Cyclones amidst Degen’s absence.

Leisure was major decisioned by Chattanooga’s Tanner Smith in the dual following the CKLV and prior to the Scuffle. Looking to get some more experience, Leisure made the trip to the Scuffle with Iowa State.

Leisure started out in the Scuffle by losing in a 13-7 decision to Josh Finesilver of Duke, then winning in a 14-3 major decision over Thomas Lisher for Arkansas-Little Rock.

Problems arose for the Cyclones when Leisure faced off with fellow Big 12 foe Brevin Balmaceda of Oklahoma State. Leisure had to medically forfeit his match and was eliminated from the tournament.

This means that both guys listed at 149 for Iowa State is injured. According to Dresser, Degen could be projected to come back during the Sun Devil duals if everything goes right.

Before that, Iowa State travels to face Utah Valley to start off Big 12 duals on Jan. 9 and there’s a chance that Iowa State may have to forfeit the 149 match if Degen and Leisure can’t compete.

Broderson continues to have a quietly good season

The Cyclones sent three starters to Chattanooga and they had three quarterfinalists at the end of the first day. Two of the three starters were quarterfinalists, being Gremmel and Straw, and the other quarterfinalist was freshmen Julien Broderson.

In the first half of the season, Broderson made his way into finals of the Cyclone Open, UNI Open, Grand View Open and Lindenwood Open. He took home the fresh/soph 184 title in the Grand View Open and the open 184 title in the UNI Open.

Broderson holds a current record of 15-4 record, including 11 wins by falls.

Starting off 2020, Broderson recorded one of the better runs by a Cyclone in the Southern Scuffle.