Three Big Takeaways: Cyclones see success across the board on day one of Big 12 tournament


Lee Chinyama

David Carr at the ISU vs. OSU wrestling meet on Jan. 29.

Daniel Krivacs, Sports Reporter

The first day of the Big 12 tournament was an eventful one for the Cyclones, who are looking to win their first team title since 2009.

Here are three big takeaways from sessions one and two of the Big 12 tournament.  

Five Cyclones punch tickets to the NCAA Tournament  

The Cyclones started the day strong in Tulsa as five NCAA tournament tickets were punched by Iowa State wrestlers. All five competed in the semifinal round later in the day as well. Zach Redding, Paniro Johnson, David Carr, Yonger Bastida and Sam Schuyler all qualified for the NCAA tournament by the end of session one.  

Johnson secured his tournament bid in the quarterfinal round after a 3-2 decision over Oklahoma’s Mitch Moore. Redding earned a 4-2 decision over Hunter Leake of Cal Baptist to secure his trip to the NCAA tournament.

Carr continued his dominant streak and punched his tournament ticket with a win by tech fall against Austin Yant of Northern Iowa. Yant was 11-2 on the season prior to facing Carr. 

In the upper weights, Bastida won by tech fall against Tyce Raddon of Wyoming, then earned a 9-5 decision against Evan Bockman of Utah Valley to advance to the semifinal round. Schuyler’s tournament berth was earned after an impressive 6-0 decision against Northern Iowa’s Tyrell Gordon, who was 12-4 on the season.  

Casey Swiderski earns an NCAA Tournament berth 

It was an up-and-down regular season for the freshman out of Dundee, Michigan. The highly recruited Swiderski had a 9-7 record on the season and was a part of the No.2 ranked freshman class before the season, highlighted by 14-3 Johnson. Despite recent struggles, Swiderski was able to show out on a big stage and punch his ticket to the big tournament in two weeks.  

Swiderski’s day started with a 6-3 loss to Clay Carlson of South Dakota State. That was his only loss of the day. Swiderski had a bye in the first consolation round and faced 10-3 Cael Happel of Northern Iowa in the second consolation round. Swiderski earned an 8-6 decision over Happel and was set to face 8-2 Job Greenwood of Wyoming.  

With all cards on the table, Swiderski earned a calm 3-1 decision against the talented Greenwood and earned his trip to the NCAA tournament with his back against the wall. It has been a challenging season for Swiderski, but he has clearly shown flashes of what he can develop into.

Saturday afternoon saw some of Swiderski’s best wrestling of the year, and it happened on the biggest stage of the season with very little margin for error. Swiderski was the sixth Cyclone of the day to punch his ticket to the NCAA tournament. It was certainly a big moment and a confidence boost for the freshman.  

Five Cyclones will wrestle in the championship round 

The second session concluded with the semifinal rounds, and six Cyclones had semifinal matches. Of the six, five were able to secure their spot in the championship match. Redding, Johnson, Carr, Marcus Coleman and Schuyler all can win their respective weight classes Sunday night. 

The only defeat of the night in the semifinal round for the Cyclones was a 6-0 decision for No. 2 seed Rocky Elam of Missouri against No. 3 seed Bastida. 

Redding earned a 4-1 decision in the semifinal against Kyle Biscoglia of Northern Iowa and will face the No. 1 seed Daton Fix of Oklahoma State in the championship. Fix has a career record of 49-1. 

Johnson will wrestle in the championship round of his first Big 12 tournament against No. 1 seed Brock Mauller of Missouri. No. 3 seed Johnson earned a 3-2 decision against the No. 2 seed Colin Realbuto of Northern Iowa in the semifinal round.  

No. 1 seed David Carr won by 3-1 decision against Peyton Hall of West Virginia. Carr will put his winning streak on the line in a rematch against Keegan O’Toole of Missouri. 

O’Toole was ranked No. 1 and Carr was ranked No. 2 the last time the two met. Carr kept his streak alive and took the No. 1 spot from O’Toole in a 7-2 decision. Sunday night’s match will be for the weight class and potentially much more, depending on team scoring throughout the day.  

Coleman earned a 5-3 decision in the semifinal against Travis Wittlake of Oklahoma State. The No. 2 seed Coleman will face No. 1 seed Parker Keckeisen of Northern Iowa in the championship round. 

No. 2 seed Schuyler defeated No. 3 seed Zach Elam by 3-2 decision in the semifinal and will face No. 1 seed Wyatt Hendrickson of Air Force in the championship round.  

The Cyclones are currently second in team points with 112 and trail Missouri who has 135 heading into the second day of the tournament. Session three will start at noon  Sunday from Tulsa and can be streamed on ESPN+. 

Session four will feature the championship rounds and will start at 8 p.m. Session four can be watched live on ESPNU.