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Keeping up with Iowa State’s early summer sports

TJ+Otzelberger+coaching+against+Mizzou+on+Jan.+28%2C+2023.
Tyler Coe
TJ Otzelberger coaching against Mizzou on Jan. 28, 2023.

With the offseason in full swing, many Cyclone athletes are using the time off for some much-needed rest.

However, a handful of current and future Cyclones are keeping busy as summer starts to heat up. These are the sports that have athletes competing in various events in the near future:

Men’s Basketball

Three future Iowa State players were selected to compete in the USA U19 Men’s National Team Training Camp in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Omaha Biliew, Milan Momcilovic and Jackson Paveletzke were all invited to take part in the camp beginning Sunday. The three are commits that are expected to be big-impact players in the upcoming season for the Cyclones.

Of the 35 total players competing in the training camp, 12 will be selected for the FIBA U19 Men’s World Cup team. The 12 members will compete in the FIBA World Cup from June 24 through July 2 in Hungary.

The United States has won the World Cup three out of the last four times, with the most recent Cyclone Tyrese Haliburton leading the team to a gold medal in 2019. Now Haliburton is lighting up the NBA, making the All-Rookie team in the 2020-21 season and being named an All-Star in the most recent season.

Although Haliburton left big shoes to fill for future Cyclones, the three Cyclones participating in the training camp have all the talent to do so.

The Cyclones competing will also get a chance to work alongside head coach T.J. Otzelberger, who will serve as a court coach for the camp. The training camp should be a great early start for the young Cyclones as they look to put on a show.

Women’s Golf

One player that’s been lighting up the headlines is Karisa Chul-Ak-Sorn.

Chul-Ak-Sorn capped off her dominant freshman campaign with a fifth-place finish at the Big 12 Championship. She also made history along the way, tying an NCAA record by shooting a 191 at the Mountain View Intercollegiate.

Chul-Ak-Sorn shot 25-under par, which put her on the record list for the lowest score over 54 holes. Her competition was highlighted by a 62 in the second round, which was the lowest score in Iowa State history and was one of the lowest-scoring rounds in NCAA women’s golf history.

Chul-Ak-Sorn’s stroke average of 70.56 was the best in school history, beating out her teammate Taglao Jeeravivitaporn’s record-breaking 2022 season by nearly two strokes. Chul-Ak-Sorn also finished the year ranked in the top 15.

It was no surprise when Chul-Ak-Sorn was awarded nearly every honor in the book. She was named a WGCA First Team All-American and the WGCA National Freshman of the Year.

Chul-Ak-Sorn was the first Iowa State player selected to the first team and the third All-American in Iowa State history. However, the awards didn’t end there.

Chul-Ak-Sorn was named Big 12 Freshman of the Year on Thursday, making her the first Cyclone ever to earn that honor.

Now Chul-Ak-Sorn is gearing up to compete in the Arnold Palmer Cup which is scheduled for June 8-10. 

Wrestling

The final Cyclones that put in some quality off-season work were the three wrestlers that competed in the U20 World Team Trials.

Similar to men’s basketball, three Cyclones competed in hopes of making it to the world stage. Although men’s basketball is set to begin Sunday, Paniro Johnson, MJ Gaitan and Tate Naaktgeboren finished wrestling over the past weekend.

Although none of the three secured spots on the World Team, they all made it deep into their weight classes.

Paniro Johnson was close to securing a spot at 70 kg as he wrestled through to the challenge tournament finals. If he won those finals, he would have wrestled in the best-of-three finals to earn a spot on the World Team.

Johnson breezed through the competition up until he met Nebraska’s Antrell Taylor in the finals. Taylor took down Johnson 9-4 to secure a trip to the best-of-three finals.

Gaitan also made it to the semifinals alongside Johnson but didn’t have as much luck as his counterpart. Gaitan took on NC State’s Matthew Singleton at 79 kg but was pinned at 3:24 in the match.

Naaktgeboren was the last Cyclone to compete and had mixed success. The incoming freshman made it to the quarterfinals at 86 kg but lost a close match to Michigan’s Rylan Rogers.

Naaktgeboren also competed in the Greco-Roman division where he made it all the way to the best-of-three finals. He faced off against UNI’s Wyatt Voelker in the finals but was pinned in both matches. 

Although none of the three wrestlers made a World Team, they all wrestled hard and got good reps in during their downtime.

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