Cyclone wrestling ready to compete in the Big 12 Championship

David Carr wrestles against Arizona State’s Hunter Balk on Feb. 14 at Hilton Coliseum.

Ellie Bousson

The time has come for the Iowa State wrestling program.

This weekend the Cyclones will head to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where they will compete at the BOK Center for the Big 12 Championship. 

On Wednesday, the Big 12 Conference released the brackets for the Big 12 Championship in Tulsa. The Cyclones will have four wrestlers with a bye in the first round, immediately advancing them to the quarterfinals. The other six wrestlers will have a first round matchup in the tournament. 

Both freshmen with the No. 7 seed Kysen Terukina (125) and Zach Redding (133) will be among the four Cyclones to have a bye in the first round.

Former Big 12 Champion, sophomore David Carr (157) with the No. 1 seed, along with senior Ian Parker (141), No. 1 seed, will also have a bye for their first duals. 

Carr has been a constant to this Cyclone team this season, bringing the high energy and intensity every competition. Though he saw a victory in the Big 12 Championship last year, Carr has a bar to meet this weekend. 

“His mindset has gotten a lot stronger in terms of just battling when he is getting a little tired, scoring points and forcing himself in those third periods to separate himself,” Head Coach Kevin Dresser said. 

Carr has been quite the performer for his Iowa State fans and family, trying new techniques and skills every match. Even with a technical fall victory, Carr still hunts for more points for his team. 

“I just want to be excited … a lot of my wrestling this year, I haven’t done the same takedown twice,” Carr said. ”I am always trying to use different moves, trying to elevate my game. That is fun for me, I am excited to go and try those things out on the mat this weekend.” 

Gannon Gremmel (heavyweight), who has been a top competitor all season and took a loss last year in the Big 12 Championship, earned his way to a No. 1 seed in this year’s championship. 

Gremmel was not given a bye for the first round, contrary to Carr and Parker. He will take the mat early on, going head to head with Chase Trussell from Utah Valley. 

Considering this is Gremmel’s fifth year at Iowa State, he has seen many athletes and classes come through as a Cyclone. 

Gremmel has seen the highs and lows of his teammates and the wrestling program as a whole, and he has yet to be a part of a Big 12 Championship team win. He wants one this weekend.

“I have been here for five years and I haven’t got one yet … it’s time,” Gremmel said. 

Gremmel has been working up to this comeback all year, hoping to get a chance to switch the outcome of last season. Gremmel lost in a 3-2 decision last year in the Big 12 Heavyweight Final against Wyoming’s Brian Andrews. 

“Ending the year on that kinda sucked but I am excited, [Andrews is] on the other side of the bracket, right where I want him,” Gremmel said. ”The only place I want to see him is in the finals, give him something he gave me last year.”

The Cyclones have not had a consistent squad yet this season, with the unusual season, injuries and recovery time consuming high-level wrestlers, but this weekend will be the first time the Cyclones will have a healthy group of guys to compete.  

Redshirt seniors Jarrett Degen (149) and Sam Colbray (184), along with redshirt junior Marcus Coleman (197), were the handful of wrestlers who did not see the mat until late in the season. 

Colbray and Degen were seeded No. 5, while Coleman was placed at a No. 6 seed. All three of these wrestlers will have a first-round competition Saturday. 

The Big 12 Championship will consist of two days of competition, beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday for the quarterfinals and picking up again at 5 p.m. for the semifinals.

The Championship will conclude Sunday after the medal matches at 10 a.m., and then the finals at 5 p.m. 

Here’s how to watch each round of the Big 12 Championships:

-March 6, 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. (Big 12 Now on ESPN+)

-March 7, 10 a.m. (Big 12 Now on ESPN+)

-Final Round March 7, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)