A look ahead to Iowa State wrestling’s 2023-24 lineup


Owen Aanestad

Iowa State Head Coach Kevin Dresser coaches from the Cyclones’ corner during the CyHawk wrestling dual on Dec. 4, 2022.

Christian Royston, Sports Editor

The Iowa State wrestling team continued to make a splash in the offseason with the signing of All-American Will Feldkamp on Friday.

Along with the addition of one superstar, another found his name in the headlines earlier in the transfer season. Cody Chittum, the No. 1 pound-for-pound prospect in the entire nation, flipped his commitment from Iowa to Iowa State.

With pieces starting to line up on the roster for the upcoming season, it’s a good time to take a look at who the potential starters could be and what to get excited about for the 2023-24 season.

125 pounds

With the heavier weights moving around and new wrestlers coming in, the 125-pound weight class will have a familiar look.

The two obvious front runners for the weight class are Kysen Terukina and Corey Cabanban. Both wrestlers had their time in the spotlight but were plagued with injuries throughout the last few seasons.

Terukina shocked the world on multiple occasions in the 2021-22 season, taking down multiple top-10 ranked opponents. Terukina finished the 2021-22 season with an 18-8 record and earned a trip to the NCAA Championships.

Although Terukina’s 2022-23 season was stopped short due to injury, he started hot with a tough-fought win over Wisconsin’s Eric Barnett, who finished the year in the top 10.

Cabanban also struggled with injuries last season but showed flashes of dependability when it mattered. He looks to be a guy that could step up in Terukina’s place if need be.

133 pounds

Similar to 125 pounds, 133 shouldn’t change too much from the previous season.

The surprise star from the weight class, Zach Redding, is returning with a lot of momentum after solid outings in the Big 12 Championships and the NCAA Championships.

Redding put together an 18-12 season while coming runner-up to Daton Fix in the Big 12s and making it to the bloodround at the NCAAs. Fix would go on to end the season as a top-five wrestler in the weight class and is projected to be top three going into the upcoming season.

The Cyclones also have depth in the weight class with Ramazan Attasauov returning. Attasauov was an NCAA qualifier in the 2021-22 season before battling an injury.

141 pounds

The 141-pound weight class looks to be one of the more intriguing weights for Iowa State.

Casey Swiderski is coming off an up-and-down season, highlighted by a finish in the bloodround at the NCAA Championships. Swiderski started off the season hot, piling on wins while rocketing up the rankings.

However, Swiderski went ice cold in the later part of the season, only finding one win in the month leading up to the Big 12 Championships. Once the tournament season rolled around, Swiderski flipped a switch and found his groove again.

If tournament Swiderski returns next season, he will most likely find himself in the starting lineup.

If Swiderski decides to redshirt his sophomore season and make a bump up in weight class, Jacob Frost could be an option to take over at 141. Frost put together an 18-4 season, wrestling mainly in open tournament events.

The Cyclones also announced the signing of Thomas Freking, a high school star from Minnesota who finished his career with a state title at 138 pounds. Freking could add depth to the 141-pound weight class if head coach Kevin Dresser wants to test him out early in the season.

Iowa State’s Paniro Johnson takes down California Baptist’s Chaz Hallmark during the match on Saturday Nov. 12, 2022. (Daniel Jacobi II)

149 pounds

One spot that looks to be airtight going into the upcoming season is 149 pounds.

Paniro Johnson will be the frontrunner of the weight class following a dominant true freshman campaign. Although Johnson didn’t meet his own expectations in the NCAA Championship, he still finished the year as a Big 12 Champ.

Johnson put together an 18-6 record, with a majority of his losses coming to top-10 wrestlers. Johnson even pushed four-time national champion Yianni Diakomihalis to a sudden-victory round when they wrestled. 

If Johnson continues to show growth, he could make a push for a national title alongside David Carr.

157 pounds

The 157-pound weight class is lining up to be open for anyone’s taking.

Jason Kraisser is returning after finishing his season at 157 by reaching the round of 16 at the NCAA Championships. Kraisser crafted a 22-15 season while being the go-to guy in the weight class.

Although the Cyclones are returning a starter at 157 pounds, the big talk going into next season will be Cody Chittum. 

Chittum projects at 157 pounds and is one of the most dominant recruits in the nation. Chittum not only has success at the high school level, but he also has experience on the world stage.

Chittum won two of the nation’s most prestigious high school events in the Who’s Number One and Super 32 and also has a junior freestyle national title to his name. Chittum also won a gold medal at the Junior Pan-American Games in Colombia last year.

Dresser classified Chittum as an “immediate impact kind of guy,” so there is a solid chance that Chittum will be the next freshman to make a name for himself right off the bat.

DavidCarr Takedown
David Carr takes down opponent on Jan. 27, 2023. (Marijke Mendeszoon)

165 pounds

The 165-pound weight class isn’t one that needs much discussion.

David Carr is set to return for his final season of eligibility after coming runner-up in the NCAA Championship. Carr has cemented himself as one of the best wrestlers in Iowa State history, especially in his weight class.

Carr is only the 11th Big 12 wrestler in history to win four Big 12 titles and is on his way to competing for a historic fifth. Carr is also a national champion at 157 pounds and will look to add to his accolades with a title at 165 pounds.

There isn’t much competition to take Carr’s spot, as the senior plans to finish his Cyclone career on a strong note. Carr has been the anchor of the lineup for years and should continue that trend.

174 pounds

An opposite story of 165 pounds plays out in the 174-pound weight class. 

The Cyclones are returning their starter Julien Broderson, but there is a chance he makes the bump to 184 pounds to add depth to a weight that is losing its All-American. Broderson showed flashes of greatness but couldn’t put it together in the end to make a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

There are young guys that will be biting on the heels of Broderson in the upcoming season. Two Cyclones are returning at 174 after redshirt seasons.

MJ Gaitan and Manny Rojas are both capable wrestlers at 174 pounds and could make a push to the starting lineup. Rojas compiled an 18-6 season in a similar fashion to Frost, wrestling in mostly open tournaments.

Gaitan looked to be the next guy up at 174, putting together a 9-5 season while contributing to some dual meet wins. Although Gaitan still has room to grow, a redshirt season and an offseason of work could help him make the jump to the next level.

The last guy coming into the lineup that has the chance to make a splash right away is Colby Runner. Runner is a two-time state champion from Colorado and was dominant in his weight class. Runner projects to be a 174- or 184-pound guy, so he could be another immediate impact kind of guy.

184 pounds

After losing Marcus Coleman at 184, the Cyclones need a big guy to fill the massive hole left behind.

Coleman built himself into a superstar in the weight class, finishing his Cyclone career as a two-time All-American. Coleman was also a runner-up at the Big 12 Championships.

Although Coleman is a huge loss, Iowa State did a perfect job filling his shoes. The Cyclones replaced their All-American with another All-American.

Iowa State announced the signing of Will Feldkamp on Friday to fill the spot at 184 pounds. Feldkamp finished seventh at the NCAA Championships, earning him All-American honors.

Feldkamp only dropped matches to the eventual champion Aaron Brooks and Coleman. Now Feldkamp looks to bring his talents to Iowa State.

Not only has Feldkamp had success on the national stage, but he was dominant in the Mid-American Conference (MAC). He put together a perfect season against conference opponents, earning a MAC title in 2023. He was also runner-up in his first season in 2022.

The future looks bright for Feldkamp, as he has dominated the bonus point category. Not only did he compile a 29-6 record, but 18 of those wins came from bonus points. Feldkamp was also third in the NCAA with 14 pins.

Along with Feldkamp, the Cyclones added Tate Naaktgeboren, a Marion, Iowa, native who is a top-20 overall prospect in the nation and a two-time state champion. No matter what, the future of 184 looks bright for the Cyclones.

197 pounds

The 197-pound weight class looks to be the only questionable spot for the Cyclones.

With Yonger Bastida moving up to heavyweight, there is an immediate opening for a young guy to take his place. There are options, but none with as much experience as other guys in other weights.

Iowa State’s Yonger Bastida gets his hand raised after defeating Iowa’s Jacob Warner during the CyHawk wrestling dual on Dec. 4, 2022. (Owen Aanestad)

The Cyclones are returning two redshirt freshmen who may find themselves rotating in the starting role. Fernando Villaescusa and Rowan Udell are the two wrestlers who could make an immediate impact.

The Cyclones could also put their hopes on the shoulders of an incoming freshman that has the chance to be the future of the weight class. McCrae Hagarty is a two-time state champion from Waverly-Shell Rock in Waverly, Iowa, and is a multiple-time All-American.

Whoever takes over for Bastida will have big shoes to fill and not much time before they are thrown into the deep end. It could be whoever stays afloat the best that ends up in the starting spot in the upcoming season.

285 pounds

The final weight class that needed help and got it was heavyweight.

With the departure of Sam Schuyler, Bastida has to step up into a big role. Schuyler was the go-to guy at heavyweight for the last couple of years, finishing as a top-10 wrestler last season.

Schuyler was runner-up at the Big 12 Championship and made it to the NCAA blood round. He was a strong anchor to the lineup and closed out many duals for the Cyclones in dramatic fashion.

Now it’s Bastida’s turn to be the big anchor. 

Bastida has all the workings to bulk to heavyweight and find success. He is an explosive athlete and dominant when it matters most.

Along with his superior athleticism, Bastida has experience wrestling bigger guys, as he sparred with Schuyler for most of his career. If Bastida puts on some good size over the offseason, he could be just as dominant as a heavyweight as he was at 197 pounds.

Without anything holding Bastida back, like cutting weight, he now has to chance to be unleashed at his full potential. With the way the rest of the team is lining up, the Cyclones will be a scary force to take on in the 2023-24 season.