Iowa State battles Drexel in its first dual of the season

Redshirt junior Marcus Harrington during wrestling media day in Lied Recreation Center on Oct. 31.

Trevor Holbrook

The Harold Nichols Cyclone Open cleared up some roster questions for Iowa State wrestling, but the lineup is still littered with uncertainty.

On Monday, news broke that redshirt freshman 125-pounder Daniel Vega was electing to leave the wrestling program. Vega didn’t compete at the Cyclone Open due to a violation of team rules.

On Tuesday, associate head coach Mike Zadick explained the reasoning behind Vega’s departure.

“[Vega] decided that the distance away from home was a little too much for him,” Zadick said. “We went through a lot of discussions about his motivation in wrestling, his academics and it kept coming down to distance and being homesick.”

With Vega no longer on the roster, the Cyclones are thin at 125. Redshirt junior Jonathan Marmolejo is the most experienced 125-pounder, finishing last season with a 5-3 record.

Marmolejo won’t be able to fill the void at the 125-pound spot on Sunday, though. Marmolejo was scratched from competing at the Cyclone Open as a result of violating a team rule, and the redshirt junior will be inactive against Drexel.

The last 125-pounder on the roster is sophomore Jakob Allison. The Waukee native is new to the wrestling team, but he isn’t new to Ames.

Allison wrestled for the club team at Iowa State his freshman year, but he’s made the jump to Division I wrestling in his second year of college.

“[Allison is] a two-time state finalist and he definitely has work to do, but he’s been doing a good job in here,” Zadick said.

Another Cyclone getting his first crack at competing in a dual is redshirt freshman 149-pounder Gavin DeWitt. DeWitt took the 149-pound portion of the Harold Nichols Cyclone Open by storm, snagging gold.

Even after a stellar individual performance, DeWitt is still thinking about his teammates too.

“I’m just excited to see 10 guys who are so excited to wrestle for Iowa State because honestly, wrestling in the room gets boring,” DeWitt said. “Once you get the opportunity to wrestle other guys from different states, or sometimes even different countries, it’s just a fun opportunity.” 

DeWitt wasn’t the only Cyclone to take home gold last weekend. Redshirt freshman Ian Parker plans to build off his first place finish in the 133-pound bracket at the Harold Nichols Cyclone Open.

Parker talked about wanting to dominate more and being disappointed with only one major decision. He plans on imposing his will on his Drexel opponent Sunday.

“[I want to] just go out there and break the guy, just try to beat him up,” Parker said. “I’m not much of a pinner, but if I can break a guy where he wants to quit the match then you can pin him pretty easily.”

Redshirt junior heavyweight Marcus Harrington plans to capitalize in his match against Drexel. Harrington, an undersized heavyweight, qualified for the NCAA Championships at 197 pounds last season.

After bumping up to a heavyweight, Harrington will need to take advantage of as much mat time as he can get.

Harrington could receive a good early-season challenge in Drexel’s heavyweight, Joey Goodhart. Goodhart is a two-time NCAA Championship qualifier and compiled a 24-10 record last season.

“That’d be great [to wrestle a ranked opponent],” Harrington said.