Six years later: Two wrestlers reunite at Iowa State

197 pound redshirt senior Willie Miklus poses at Iowa State Wrestling media day. 

Zane Douglas

The scene is Southeast Polk high school. The people are two young wrestlers with a large age gap between them.

Redshirt senior Willie Miklus met redshirt sophomore Ethan Andersen at a young age. Miklus is four years his senior, and now, years later, they transferred to Iowa State ahead of this upcoming season.

“We met when he was an eighth grader, and I was a senior in high school,” Miklus said about Andersen. “So, I’ve known [Andersen] for six years now, seven years almost.”

Even though there was a large age gap between the two they have had a relationship since they were at Southeast Polk, and they are now teammates once again.

Miklus is transferring to Iowa State from Missouri, and he is a 25-year-old redshirt senior who sat out multiple years in his college career due to redshirting. Miklus is a three-time All-American and figures to be one of the most effective wrestlers on the Iowa State roster.

Miklus possessed a 97-32 record at Missouri. His top season came last year with a 25-6 record. 

Andersen comes to Ames from Oklahoma State, where he enjoyed a solid season for the Cowboys in the 285-pound division.

“He’s like an older brother to me,” Andersen said. “When bad stuff was going down in my family he was really there for me.”

About six months ago, Andersen’s father passed away. Miklus helped Andersen through the family tragedy and became someone to talk to.

This year, Miklus and Andersen are living together in preparation for the wrestling season.

There is not much surprise about all the transfers around the team, it’s coach Kevin Dresser’s second year as head coach, and he has decided what his vision for the team will be moving forward.

“Well, [Miklus is] a three-time All-American,” Dresser said. “Just from a credentials standpoint, he brings a lot … [he’s] kind of taken over leadership.”

Miklus’ accolades on the mat would earn him enough credibility to be a leader for almost any wrestling team, but it still is surprising to Dresser to see him come into the program and immediately transition into a big role.

Andersen will bring his talents to heavyweight, where he has seen success in his collegiate career so far. At Oklahoma State, Andersen compiled a 20-8 record, including a 15-5 season last year.

“I think he brings a different view of things,” Miklus said about Andersen. “He has a great appreciation for this school.”

The Cyclone Open is just a week away, and soon Andersen and Miklus will get to be seen for the first time in cardinal and gold.