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Cyclones take advantage of wounded Tigers in 41-3 trot

Yonger+Bastida+celebrates+after+winning+his+285+pound+match+during+the+Iowa+State+vs+Missouri+wrestling+dual+at+Hilton+Coliseum%2C+Feb.+25%2C+2024.
Elizabeth Lane
Yonger Bastida celebrates after winning his 285 pound match during the Iowa State vs Missouri wrestling dual at Hilton Coliseum, Feb. 25, 2024.

Before the season began, most would have said the dual against Missouri would be the biggest of the year outside of the Cy-Hawk dual, but it certainly did not feel big on Sunday, as the Cyclones rolled to a 41-3 win over the Tigers.

There was a lot of anticipation heading into the weekend for the top-10 matchup, with hopes of seeing a slew of ranked matches including David Carr vs Keegan O’Toole Part IV. Instead, Hilton Coliseum witnessed a drubbing, as Missouri’s lineup had been decimated with health issues in the last week.

The Cyclones’ win wrapped up a successful regular season for the team, as they finished the season with a 13-2 overall record and a 6-1 record in the Big 12.

“It’s obviously disappointing that we didn’t get to wrestle the guys we thought we were going to wrestle, but I guess that is what it is,” Iowa State head coach Kevin Dresser said. “It’s probably a strategy and [Missouri head coach Brian Smith] has been around for a long time so it’s not my place to challenge his strategy, but it’s obviously a strategy and we’ll see if it pays off.”

Though Missouri’s “strategy,” as Dresser put it, took away Carr vs O’Toole, it was still a special day for the Iowa State legend.

“It became clear as we got closer to today that they were going to go with a lighter lineup, whoever shows up, shows up. If we control what we do we don’t gotta worry about the other guy no matter who he is.” Dresser said.

Carr walked on the mat at Hilton Coliseum one last time and went out in style, securing a pin over Missouri’s Jeremy Jakowitsch in 1:42.

“It was super special, super emotional,” Carr said. “I couldn’t have thought of a better way to go out.”

Carr finished his career at Hilton Coliseum undefeated in the building, as well as going undefeated in every dual meet in his career.

“It’s cool to be able to look back at my career and know that I never lost a single dual meet and it’s cool to see that when I got here we were ranked like 40-something and now we’re top-five in the country,” said Carr.

Though Carr missed his chance for revenge on Sunday, he’s ready for the potential meetings he’ll have with O’Toole in the postseason.

“That’s kinda who I was preparing for all week, but I think it was good,” Carr said. “Even me just getting mentally ready to wrestle and prepare was really good.”

Carr said he is excited for his opportunities moving forward including being able to wrestle O’Toole again “at the Big 12’s.”

Despite all of the absences in Missouri’s lineup, there was still one marquee matchup.

In the final match of the dual No. 3 Yonger Bastida faced off against No. 5 Zach Elam in a matchup between two undefeated wrestlers at 285 pounds.

From the start it was obvious that Bastida was the aggressor and was in total control, ultimately winning the match by major decision, 13-4.

Bastida completes the regular season 20-0 and looks to be a serious contender for a Big 12 and national title.

“All this week I’ve been getting ready for this matchup, so my mentality was to go out there and get takedowns and make it hard for my opponents,” Bastida said.

Bastida made it hard on his opponent, not allowing a single takedown to the former undefeated Elam.

Other than the result at 285 pounds, there is not much to take away from Sunday’s action. The Cyclones did what they were supposed to, winning six matches with bonus points and only suffering one loss against a majority backup lineup for Missouri.

The focus now changes to the postseason.

The Cyclones will be wrestling in the Big 12 Championship in Tulsa, Oklahoma, starting March 9 with hopes of securing their first Big 12 title since 2009.

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