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Iowa State Daily

Cyclones face final road tests against No.18 Oklahoma and No.5 Oklahoma State

Iowa+State+head+wrestling+coach+Kevin+Dresser+talking+with+the+press+for+wrestling+media+day+in+Lied+Recreation+Athletic+Center+on+Oct.+31%2C+2023.+
Joseph Dicklin
Iowa State head wrestling coach Kevin Dresser talking with the press for wrestling media day in Lied Recreation Athletic Center on Oct. 31, 2023.

The Cyclone wrestling team faces its final road test of the season with a trip to the Sooner State to take on No. 18 Oklahoma on Friday, and No. 5 Oklahoma State on Saturday. Iowa State is looking for its sixth consecutive win over the Sooners and its third straight against the Cowboys.

Friday’s dual marks the 101st meeting between Oklahoma and Iowa State, making Oklahoma the most-faced opponent in program history. The Cyclones were last on the mat Jan. 12 against Utah Valley, where they won 44-3.

Friday and Saturday will be the Cyclones’ first, and last, true road test of the season where some of the younger guys on the roster are competing back-to-back against quality opponents.

“Wrestling is hard on the road,” David Carr said. “Both teams are really good. I’m excited to see how some of our guys match up against some of theirs. I’m excited to see how we perform.”

Earlier dual meets in the season where the Cyclones were wrestling many times on the same day or weekend should come in handy against an anticipated and loaded amount of ranked opponents in the next few matchups.

Iowa State is fortunate to have had two weeks off since competing against the Wolverines. The team used this to get and stay healthy as they aim for NCAA Championship titles. A few Cyclones in particular are excited to get back on the mat.

“I am fresh,” Yonger Bastida said. “I’m going to go there and do my work. I’m not worried about what their rank is. We have been working for the last two weeks. I’m looking forward to those two matches.”

Bastida did not wrestle against Utah Valley due to a forfeit, so he should be more than ready to go against a couple of top-11 matchups when he squares off against Oklahoma’s No. 11 Josh Heindselman and Oklahoma State’s No. 9 Konner Doucet.

Matches like these—sell-out crowds, on the road, right before the Big 12 Championships—are what talented wrestlers like Bastida need late in the season. It’s no secret that Bastida is one of the best heavyweight wrestlers in all of college wrestling right now, so this weekend will be a phenomenal test in his first year at heavyweight.

Saturday’s highly anticipated dual in Stillwater, Oklahoma, will be rocking, as each match hosts a top-25 wrestler from both sides.

The No. 4 Cyclones should be getting even more help in their starting lineup as Casey Swiderski is expected to wrestle after undergoing minor surgery for a knee injury.

“Casey looks like he’s ready to go. We’ve got to get one more workout today, but he looks ready,” head coach Kevin Dresser said.

Iowa State will wrestle the next best team behind them in the rankings in No. 5 Oklahoma State the day after taking on No. 18 Oklahoma. Iowa State had previously lost 14 in a row to No. 5 Oklahoma State before winning two years ago.

All 10 bouts in Saturday’s matchup between Iowa State and Oklahoma State project to feature two ranked wrestlers, including five top-10 matchups.

“[Oklahoma State] is going to be ready for us,” Dresser said. “We’ve had their number the last few years and the last time we went down there. They don’t lose much in Gallagher, and they wrestle really tough. But I like this Iowa State team, and we are going there to win again”

This weekend is a great challenge for the Cyclone wrestling team. Time will tell if they truly are tough enough to steal a few road wins before getting ready for the NCAA championships.

Iowa State will wrestle No. 18 Oklahoma at 7 p.m. Friday and No. 5 Oklahoma State at 6 p.m. Saturday. Both matches will be streamed on ESPN+.

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