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‘Let the circus begin’: Iowa State hosts Iowa for annual Cy-Hawk dual

Iowa+States+Casey+Swiderski+is+seperated+from+Iowas+Real+Woods+during+the+CyHawk+wrestling+dual+on+Dec.+4%2C+2022.
Owen Aanestad
Iowa State’s Casey Swiderski is seperated from Iowa’s Real Woods during the CyHawk wrestling dual on Dec. 4, 2022.

The 87th all-time wrestling Cy-Hawk series between No. 8 Iowa State and No. 4 Iowa is set for Sunday in Ames. The Cyclones look to win for the first time since 2004 against their in-state rivals. 

Coming off a dominant 43-0 win over No. 18 Wisconsin, the Cyclones have high expectations going into what will be the match of the year so far.

“We don’t need to tell anybody in the wrestling world how big the Cy-Hawk series is,” Iowa State head coach Kevin Dresser said. “When you put two really good products together you get a big-time dual meet.” 

Sunday’s dual is the second-consecutive meeting where both schools are in the top-10 national rankings in wrestling. The last came in 2022 when the Cyclones lost a close one, 18-15. Bonus points were the difference in that matchup. 

“The state of Iowa is excited about it,” Dresser said. “Our guys are excited about it. Coach Brands’ guys are going to be excited about it. So, it should be a really fun weekend.” 

This season’s Cy-Hawk dual seems to have an extra level of excitement. 

“When the entire coaching staff and I got hired, we knew what the charge was,” Dresser said. “If you are in the state of Iowa, one of the big checklist items is to beat the other school. We know what that is and they know what that is, so it’s going to be fun.” 

There is no telling how the environment will affect the matchup as nearly 15,000 fans are expected to be in attendance. 

“I’m just looking at it like another match,” Will Feldkamp said. “Right after you shake hands and the whistle blows, you just knock that noise out. Try to be calm, cool and collected all week leading up to the dual.” 

Feldkamp made his Iowa State debut against Wisconsin and pinned his opponent in 1:39. He, and the rest of the Cyclones, look to take their momentum from their win against a top-25 team into their dual against the Hawkeyes. 

The dual is also a little extra important to both programs. Staying poised is big to both the players and coaches on both sides of the state of Iowa. However, there are no extra things they do differently to focus up.

“Not really,” Feldkamp said. “Just listening to Dresser. During our run he got fired up at us saying that he does this for a living so we got to trust him. Just listening to our coaches. They know what it takes to win.” 

Last season, Dresser put true freshman MJ Gaitan in the lineup against the Hawkeyes in what was his third-ever collegiate dual. 

Despite the loss, he feels as if he has gathered a ton of experience and is more confident going into the match this season. 

“At Carver-Hawkeye, I mean those fans are crazy. I’ve never experienced anything like that,” Gaitan said. “But I feel like this time I am a lot more prepared for what is going to happen. We’re at Hilton this time. I’ll be a lot more confident this time around for sure.” 

Iowa State looks to win the Dan Gable Traveling Trophy for the first time ever since its existence in 2010.

The dual is set to start at 2 p.m. Sunday. It can be watched on ESPN as it is the first wrestling regular season match to be televised on the main network. 

“Let the circus begin,” Dresser said.

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  • E

    Eddie Mendoza | Nov 25, 2023 at 4:15 pm

    Great reading. Let’s go Cyclones!

    Reply
  • E

    Esther J. Mendoza | Nov 25, 2023 at 3:53 pm

    Great Article!

    Reply