Iowa State’s Jarrett Degen shines as Cyclones drop fourth straight dual loss

Redshirt Freshman Jarrett Degen defeats Gary Dinmore Nov. 26 in Stephens Auditorium during the Iowa State vs Rider wrestling meet. The Cyclones were defeated 15-22. 

Jack Shover

Despite a shining performance from Jarrett Degen, Iowa State still fell short against Northern Colorado to remain winless after poor performances and soul crushing mistakes.

“Another missed opportunity tonight and [it] might be the worst of the four dual meets,” said coach Kevin Dresser.

Iowa State is currently 0-4 overall and 0-2 in the Big 12 during dual matches.

The dual was winnable for the Cyclones and Dresser attributes the loss to a lack of “fight” from the wrestlers along with being out of competition shape after nearly a month long layoff since the Wyoming dual on Dec. 9.

“Some of [being in shape] is on [the coaching staff and me], but the fight is a little bit on them,” Dresser said.

To open the dual, heavyweights Marcus Harrington from Iowa State and Robert Winters Jr. from Northern Colorado faced off. The slimmer Harrington was able to easily secure takedowns with quick level changes on the larger and slower Winter Jr., but Harrington was unable to break down Winter Jr. at all from his base and truly control the match.

Instead, Winter Jr. earned four easy escapes and only lost by a 9-4 decision.

At 125- and 133-pounds, Northern Colorado was able to coast to a 7-3 lead as 125-pounder Sean Cannon earned a 6-2 decision over Iowa State’s Jakob Allison and 133-pounder Rico Montoya beat Markus Simmons in a 9-1 major decision.

Iowa State’s highest ranked wrestler Kanen Storr, who is ranked No. 19 according to InterMat at the 141-pound division, had an easily winnable match against unranked Benjamin Polkowske. Storr was clearly not his usual self and only managed to win 11-5.

After Storr only managed to win by decision and with Iowa State trailing by one, Degen exploded offensively and defeated Jimmy Fate 21-6.

Iowa State desperately needed extra points from its top wrestlers. The reason being is that against Rider, Iowa State split the matches 5-5, but Rider was able to capitalize against the Cyclones’ weaker wrestlers allowing Rider to win 22-15.

Previously, Degen was often plagued with poor technique that allowed his opponents to score easy points and punish Degen in back breaking fashion.

Against Northern Colorado, Degen was able to avoid those critical mistakes and he was able to crush his opponent offensively. The Cyclones earned important bonus points with the win to put them up 11-7.

“I still made a lot of mistakes tonight,” Degen said. “But tonight it was just staying in good position.”

By avoiding crucial mistakes and wrestling hard, Degen clearly was a bright spot for the Cyclone coaching staff during the dual.

“Tonight he was the poster child for what we want,” Dresser said.

Iowa State’s Chase Straw then won a gritty 6-2 decision over Tyler Kinn at the 157-pound match which extended Iowa State’s lead to 14-7.

With the Cyclones leading by seven, the two weakest weights for Iowa State were next.

In the first period, Logan Breitenbach was nearly pinned by Keilan Torres with 41 seconds left on the clock.

Subsequently, Breitenbach had a reversal and nearly pinned Torres, instead earning four near fall points. Torres proved that Breitenbach’s near pin on himself was a fluke and Torres finished the match with a fall in 4:02.

Making his debut for Iowa State was 174-pounder Danny Bush against Seth Bogulski. Bush had been ineligible for the beginning the season, but began competition last week at the Midland Championships. The 174-pound class has easily been Iowa State’s weakest weight and Bush failed to change that conception losing 2-0.

Trailing 16-14, Dane Pestano faced Dylan Gabel at the 184-pound match. Instead of creating an upset and giving the Cyclones a lead, Pestano failed to create offense and trailed 5-1.

During the third period with Gabel on top, Pestano was pinned with 12 seconds left in the match which iced the match for Northern Colorado, who then led 22-14 with only one match remaining.

Pestano’s disappointing manner of defeat shocked even Dresser.

“It was surprising to me so you know it’s on him,” Dresser said. “He’s got a day and a half to think about it and hopefully change it.”

The coaching staff can only hope for a quick turnaround from Pestano for the next dual against Oregon State.

In the final match at 197-pounds, Iowa State’s Sam Colbray trailed 7-4, but 1:53 into the match Jacob Seely was forced to withdraw from the match after injuring his shoulder. That gave Colbray the win by injury default and capped the dual with a score of 22-20 in favor of Northern Colorado.

Iowa State has another winnable dual this weekend against Oregon State on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Dresser indicated that there shouldn’t be major lineup changes, but that could change as several wrestlers compete at a tournament in Dubuque, Iowa.

If Iowa State fails to beat Oregon State, the Cyclones could possibly finish this season with the same 1-15 record as last year with the amount of dominant teams in the schedule.