Cyclones looking to end perfect in Big 12 play against Tigers


Jacob Rice

Yonger Bastida wrestles against North Dakota State’s Owen Pentz on Jan. 23 in the Cyclones’ 26-9 victory over the Bison.

Adarsh Tamma

A top-10 matchup awaits the No. 5 Iowa State wrestling team as they look to close out their final dual meet of the season with a win against No. 9 Missouri on Wednesday.

The Cyclones, who currently sport an overall dual meet record of 14-1, have not lost a Big 12 meeting so far this season. This includes a come-from-behind win against Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls last Friday when Iowa State overcame two six-point deficits throughout the match to eventually clinch the victory in the heavyweight division.

Sam Schuyler’s takedown over Carter Isley with 11 seconds left gave the Cyclones a 16-15 win.

Looking ahead to the matchup against Missouri, Schuyler seemed optimistic about the opportunity.

“I’m very excited. I think it’s a good opportunity to prove to people why we’re a top-five team [in the country],” Schuyler said. “I think that there are a lot of tough matchups, but I think a lot of them are going to go our way.”

The 21st-ranked Schuyler has had a packed schedule the past couple of weeks, with five of his last six opponents all being ranked in the national polls. Having transferred from Buffalo before this season, Schuyler has compiled a 14-3 record in his first year as a Cyclone and discussed the changes he’s seen from switching from Mid-American Conference to the Big 12.

“Every week is hard,” Schuyler said on the Big 12’s talent level. “There’s a ranked guy on pretty much every team, so you have to be ready to go every match, and I think that the coaches do a good job to keep us ready.”

The Tigers enter Wednesday’s matchup having won their last four matches dating back to Jan. 29. Missouri dropped a home match against No. 25 South Dakota State on Jan. 22 before recording back-to-back top-15 wins against Oklahoma State and Arizona State at the start of February.

Those two wins have also kept Missouri’s record on the road at a perfect 4-0.

“I think it was a good dual meet,” Iowa State head coach Kevin Dresser said in regards to the Tigers’ dual against Arizona State. “[There] were some great matches there, and it was a chance for us to look at Missouri a little bit. We’re going to have a great dual meet; they’ve got some really tough individuals at some really tough weights.”

Missouri’s starting lineup includes nine wrestlers ranked in Intermat’s latest individual rankings list, including two in the top-10. Freshman Keegan O’Toole is currently listed at No. 2 in the 165-pound weight class with a perfect record of 16-0. Fellow freshman Rocky Elam is ranked sixth at 197 pounds at a record of 14-3 and also won the world junior championship at 92 kilograms in August of last year.

Elam’s possible matchup against Cyclone sophomore Yonger Bastida will certainly be one of the matchups to look out for.

Bastida, who is currently ranked 13th in the Intermat poll (16-3), has won his last four matches, all on bonus points. This includes a 21-8 major decision victory over Northern Iowa freshman John Gunderson, which eliminated the chance for a tiebreaker situation in the Cyclones’ match against the Panthers.

Since joining the team last year, Bastida’s adjustment to the folk-style world of collegiate wrestling from free-style in Cuba has been most apparent as he leads the Cyclones in both takedowns and technical falls this season with 73 and five, respectively.

Dresser spoke of Bastida’s style shift and commended him for quickly learning the U.S. scoring system. And his big win at Northern Iowa didn’t hurt either.

“He knew that if he went out and got a major [decision], we had a chance to win the dual meet, and that’s a pretty big thing for a guy that’s so new to this kind of wrestling,” Dresser said.

Elsewhere for the Cyclones, David Carr has a chance to record his 50th consecutive victory against No. 21 Jarret Jacques. The defending national champion at 157 pounds, Carr improved his season record to 16-0 on the year with an 11–4 decision over Northern Iowa junior Derek Holschlag.

Carr has also only been taken down three times this season, holding a 52-2 advantage over his opponents so far this year.

The Cyclones will face off against Missouri at 6:30 pm Wednesday at the Hearnes Center in Columbia, Mo. The match will be streamed live on ESPN+.