A record-setting season: The Iowa State wrestling club

Courtesy of the Iowa State wrestling club.

Mattais Gordon

The Iowa State wrestling club has just come off of one of its most successful statistical seasons in the club’s history.

This season alone, the team broke over 10 previous club records. Not only were they team records, but individual records as well.

One of the individual records was broken by Gus Hatzipavlides, sophomore in agronomy.

Hatzipavlides broke the team record of wins in a season, piling up a hefty 27 wins. Along with his 27 wins, Hatzipavlides was rewarded with his second All-American honor and his first Academic All-American honor. He is the first member of the club to become a two-time All-American. 

”I wouldn’t have been able to do what I did without everyone’s help and support. It’s a real team effort,“ Hatzipavlides said.

At the conference meet the team had six members in the finals, three walking away with a championship trophy. This caused the team to score 80.5 points, the most in team history at the conference meet. This allowed the team to qualify nine members to compete at nationals in Allen, Texas.

At nationals, the team took fifth place. On the first day of competition, the team won seven out of the eight matches, while placing two members in the top 12 and four in the top 16. The team collected 21 individual victories, also a new club record.

This great season, or even the records set, didn’t happen by accident. The team and coaches have been hard at work since September preparing for this season.

“We’re a top team in the country and it’s not an accident,” said coach August Wesley. “The team can attest to all the work. They started in September and October fundraising at football games.” 

Wesley works with all of the competitive team members of the club and keeps in contact with them all year. Wesley is assisted by Clayton Visek, who was a former competitor on the team and a two-time national qualifier.

The coaching staff makes sure the team does little things to improve themselves every single day. It doesn’t matter if it is nutrition, cardio, school work, or just life in general, the coaches and the team are there for each other.

“It gets tougher as we’ve already grown so much. What separates first and fifth is a couple of matches.“ Wesley said. “We’ve made big strides, so now it’s about the little things.”

But as Wesley said, it takes a village to be able to run a successful club effectively. Tyler Kutz, senior in mechanical engineering, knows this all too well. Kutz is the club’s president and has been since his sophomore year. 

Along with becoming a two-time Academic All-American, Kutz plans meetings, budgets the clubs money and schedules practices. The club fundraises to get money to travel to all of their tournaments throughout the year, which Kutz plans. 

As the team looks forward to next season, they look to improve upon the foundation they have built this season. With mostly underclassman on the team, the club should return as a favorite to keep its top-five ranking.

“We are young as a program,” Kutz said. “To see ourselves jump up each year is what we are looking for. We have newcomers this year that are showing potential on and off the mat as leaders.

“They’re excited to be a part of it and they have a lot of talent and skill.”

While there is a small margin of error between the best team and the fifth, it’s the small things that make the difference.

Wesley and the rest of the village wants to make sure that these little things are emphasized, not only to the returners of the team, but anyone else who might join along the way.

The club is always eager to add new members to the team and take on anyone who wants to learn, but when it comes to the competition side of things, they want the right kind of fit to improve the team as a whole. 

“Obviously we want more people on the podium [and] obviously we want more guys on the mat, but we want the right guys that want to be a part of what we’re doing,“ Wesley said.