Three Big Takeaways: Two Cyclones advance to quarterfinals


Lee Chinyama

Marcus Coleman at the ISU vs. OSU wrestling meet on Jan. 29.

Anthony Hanson, Sports Reporter

Iowa State saw two wrestlers advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships Thursday.

Sessions one and two of the three-day tournament in Tulsa, Oklahoma, started with six Cyclones advancing to the second round out of the eight Cyclones that qualified. David Carr and Marcus Coleman came out with two wins on Thursday and still have a chance at a national title.

Coleman defeated Iowa’s Abe Assad 2-1 TB-1, while Carr cruised past his competition in the early rounds. 

Iowa State freshmen Casey Swiderski and Paniro Johnson, junior Zach Redding, senior Sam Schuyler, junior Yonger Bastida and senior Jason Kraisser suffered losses during Thursday’s wrestling matches. 

They remained alive on the backside of their respective brackets with wins in consolation matches. All eight Cyclones avoided elimination and will continue to wrestle over the weekend.

Johnson falls short

Iowa State’s Johnson was enjoying especially high confidence entering the NCAA tournament in Tulsa.

The 149-pounder’s career started with an upset win in November, and since then, he’s had unwavering confidence in himself. He’s made it clear from the start that his goals were to win the NCAA Championship.

Two weeks ago, Johnson upset Missouri’s Brock Mauller to win a Big 12 Championship. The Cyclone freshman announced his plans to “never lose again” just after that win. But Thursday Johnson’s goals fell short as his NCAA Championship bid ended earlier than expected.

No. 5 Johnson started his tournament with a match against No. 29 Alec Hagan of Ohio. Johnson narrowly earned himself the first-round win. Both wrestlers could not score a takedown in the match. Johnson earned the win after 30 seconds of riding time and decided the tiebreaker. Johnson moved on to the second round after the 2-2 TB-1 win.

In the second round, Johnson faced Penn State’s Shayne Van Ness. The pair of freshmen phenoms faced off earlier this season and Johnson recorded the win by a 3-2 decision.

During the first session, Van Ness was down 8-0 to his opponent but battled back to make the score 12-10 before he pinned his opponent.

In Thursday evening’s match between the two freshmen, Van Ness managed a six-point move in the first period. Johnson was nearly pinned, and the move remained the difference in the match. Johnson lost 14-8, and his national championship bid ended.

Carr cruises to quarterfinals

Carr is searching for his return to the top spot of college wrestling. Carr was the 157-pound national champion in 2021 but finished third in 2022.

In the first of three days in Tulsa, Carr breezed to the quarterfinals.

First, Carr faced Josh Kim from Harvard in the first round. Carr advanced to the second round after a 10-2 victory.

In the second round, Carr faced fellow Big 12 wrestler Austin Yant from Northern Iowa. Carr had no trouble advancing to the quarterfinals after he completed a 15-4 major decision win.

No. 1 ranked Carr has defeated the top contender at 165 pounds, Keegan O’Toole, twice since Feb. 15.

All Cyclones stay alive

All eight Cyclones wrestling in Tulsa have the opportunity to wrestle-back in consolation rounds and become All-Americans.

Iowa State freshman Casey Swiderski lost his first-round matchup to Mosha Schwartz from Oklahoma. He responded in the consolation bracket with a win against Carmen Ferrante from Penn by a 7-2 decision.

157-pounder Jason Kraisser was the only other Cyclone to lose in the first session Thursday. He also kept his All-American hopes alive with a 7-2 win over Tommy Askey from Appalachian State.

No. 14 Zach Redding recorded a first-round win Thursday but lost in the second round to Cornell’s Vito Arujau and fell to the wrestle-backs.

Bastida and Schuyler fell to the wrestle-backs in the final two matches for Iowa State Thursday. Schuyler fell to Lucas Davison by a 2-1 decision. Bastida lost his second round matchup in the final 20 seconds after Ethan Laird recorded a takedown and defeated Bastida 3-1.