Harold Nichols Cyclone Open provides opportunities for teammates to compete

133-pound redshirt freshman Austin Gomez poses at Iowa State Wrestling’s media day. 

Trevor Holbrook

During Iowa State wrestling’s media day, coach Kevin Dresser pointed out the volume of tournaments this season.

With a tournament format, Dresser and the Cyclones will likely have impromptu wrestle-offs when teammates collide on the brackets.

“We’re going to use the Cyclone open probably as our first round of wrestle-offs,” Dresser said. “I’m a competition guy, if we have to put guys in here toe-to-toe later in the year, we’ll do that.

“But that’s probably not a move I’ll make until the end of the year. I like to see how guys compete, and they’ll get to compete in a couple opens.”

The first tournament begins on Saturday at 9 a.m. with the Harold Nichols Cyclone Open in Ames, Iowa. Not every Iowa State athlete will compete, but each weight features plenty to watch.


Iowa State fans will see a new face at the lowest weight. Rutgers transfer Alex Mackall is the frontrunner, but Iowa State fans will see plenty of athletes at 125 during the Cyclone Open.

Junior Jakob Allison and sophomore Sinjin Briggs will return, but along with Mackall, Iowa State brought in freshmen Corey Cabanban and Charlie Klepps.

“It’s really good because we all have good training partners for each other,” Mackall said about the depth. “We have good guys at [133], good guys at [125], so just using each guy to get better and having different training partners to give us different looks everyday.”


Redshirt freshman Austin Gomez will be the starter at 133. Gomez missed out on the Junior World Team Championships due to injury, and he’ll likely sit out during the Cyclone Open.


This weight is a battle between redshirt sophomore Ian Parker and redshirt freshman Ryan Leisure. Parker was solid with glimpses of a great wrestler last season, but he battled a knee injury. Meanwhile, Leisure is new to 141, wrestling at 149 last season.

Leisure is one to watch at the Cyclone Open with his limited mat time in college.

“He’s definitely grown up,” said assistant coach Brent Metcalf about Leisure. “I think just the naturally progression of just being in this room for a year or two, it makes you tougher.”


Redshirt sophomore Jarrett Degen locks up the 149-pound weight for the Cyclones. Degen was a bright spot for Iowa State last season, traveling to Cleveland as the lone Cyclone NCAA qualifier.


The job belongs to redshirt junior Chase Straw, as long as freshman David Carr remains under the redshirt. Dresser said he’s 98 percent sure Carr will redshirt throughout the whole season, so for now, Straw is the guy.


Similar to last season, 165-pounds is between redshirt senior Skyler St. John and redshirt junior Brady Jennings.

“[165] right now is probably Jennings just because St. John’s banged up with a knee,” Dresser said. “He’s probably a couple weeks away, but those two will battle it out.”


The 174-pound spot is the Ames weight this season. Former Little Cyclone and redshirt freshman Marcus Coleman will hold down 174.

Behind Coleman, redshirt junior Hank Swalla provides depth. Freshmen Logan Schumacher and Anthony Sherry are two to watch at the Cyclone Open, who will impact the Iowa State roster in the future.


One of the more intriguing weights is 184-pounds. Redshirt sophomore Samuel Colbray flashed last season at times at 197, but he was frequently inconsistent. Meanwhile, redshirt senior Danny Bush — another flashy but inconsistent athlete — jumps up to 184 after competing at 174 last year.

Freshman Joel Shapiro is an athlete to follow during the Cyclone Open.


Redshirt senior Willie Miklus is the clear guy at 197. For the Cyclone Open, freshman Hunter DeJong is intriguing. The freshman compiled a 193-18 record at Sibley-Ocheyedan High School with four state championship appearances.


Redshirt sophomores Ethan Andersen and Gannon Gremmel will compete for the spot in the dual lineup, while freshman Francis Duggan redshirts.

“Right now, it’s Gremmel and Ethan Andersen,” Dresser said. “We’re probably going to redshirt Duggan. Duggan looks really good. He competes toe-to-toe with those guys. Right now, I see Gremmel kind of stepping up as an early leader, but there’s a lot to be decided yet.”