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Iowa State Daily

Cyclones gear up for in-state matchup against Northern Iowa

David+Carr+wrestling+during+the+Iowa+State+vs+West+Virginia+wrestling+dual+on+Feb.+2%2C+2024+at+Hilton+Coliseum.
Elizabeth Lane
David Carr wrestling during the Iowa State vs West Virginia wrestling dual on Feb. 2, 2024 at Hilton Coliseum.

Coming off a dual win against West Virginia, the Cyclones turn their focus to in-state rival Northern Iowa for a dual Sunday afternoon.

The Cyclones and Panthers have a storied history with this being the 82nd dual between the two programs, with the Cyclones holding a 61-20 advantage in the series.

The Cyclones are winners of four straight against the Panthers, but every dual has been competitive. The last four duals have been decided by an average of four points.

“We always have a lot of fun with UNI. They’re someone we really respect,” Iowa State head coach Kevin Dresser said.

The Cyclones will get back a ranked wrestler who missed last week’s dual to minor injuries, with No. 10 Anthony Echemendia set to return at 141 pounds.

Echemendia steps right into a top-10 matchup with Northern Iowa’s No. 6 Cael Happel.

“[Echemendia is] great. I aired on the side of safety last week, I think he could’ve wrestled. I was being a little conservative,” Dresser said on Echemendia’s status.

“We lost a match to [Happel] in Vegas so I know our guy is really excited to wrestle him,” Dresser said.

That is one of two marquee matchups in the dual, as there is expected to be one other top-15 match featured.

At 157 pounds, Iowa State’s Cody Chittum (No. 14) will face off against the Panthers’ Ryder Downey (No. 15).

“He just keeps getting better every week,” Dresser said about Chittum’s progression throughout his freshman season.

“If you show up just to see 141 and 157, I’m gonna sound like a salesman here, but you’re gonna enjoy Sunday,” Dresser said.

The Cyclones will be looking to maintain momentum heading into the postseason, as this is the second to last dual of the regular season, and Dresser is confident in his team’s motivation level heading into the in-state matchup.

“When we got a home match, you don’t have to say much to them. You just open the door and turn them loose,” Dresser said.

If the Cyclones wrestle to their potential, they feel good about their chances of securing a win Sunday afternoon, setting up for a big-time matchup with No. 7 Missouri in the regular season finale.

The dual is set to start at 1 p.m. Sunday in Hilton Coliseum and can be streamed on Big 12 Now on ESPN+.

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