Wrestling trio places at University Nationals


Maddie Leopardo/Iowa State Daily

Iowa State redshirt senior Earl Hall faces opponent Trae Blackwell during the Beauty and The Beast event at Hilton Coliseum Jan. 27. Hall went on to defeat Blackwell 4-0, however the Cyclones would fall to the Sooners 30-12.

Trevor Holbrook

Iowa State wrestlers competed against some prime talent at the University Nationals this past weekend.

Iowa State sent a large portion of their team, sending 16 wrestlers to Akron, Ohio. The Cyclones will have four more wrestling next weekend at the World Team Trials in Lincoln, Nebraska.

“I think that’s probably the most important thing right now, is that we did get a big group to follow the charge a little bit and challenge them to compete,” head coach Kevin Dresser said.

Out of the 16 wrestlers the Cyclones had competing, three advanced to the final session.

Former Cyclone and two-time All-American Earl Hall finished fourth, freshman Ian Parker finished fifth and redshirt freshman Markus Simmons finished third.

Along with the 16 wrestlers competing in freestyle, redshirt sophomore Dante Rodriguez finished second in the Greco-Roman tournament.

Iowa State jumped out to a strong start in session one. The Cyclones amounted a 15-13 team record, including 12 technical falls.

Parker, Simmons, and Hall dominated in the first session, each finishing 3-0. Simmons allowed zero points against him, outscoring opponents 28-0.

The trio’s momentum carried onto session two. Parker knocked off Iowa wrestler Phillip Laux, 4-0. Hall cruised to a 10-0 win. Simmons lost his first match 6-4, but he rebounded with a pin.

The competition heightened in session three. Parker and Hall both lost 10-0, while Simmons won 10-0. Simmons then eked out a win by criteria.

Simmons won again, giving him a shot at third place.

Simmons was matched up with Oklahoma wrestler Jake Rubio. Rubio beat Simmons earlier in the tournament. This time, Simmons won, avenging the loss.

Iowa State had a strong showing, but there’s still more work to do.

“When you have 16 guys coming out and only three of them are still in the tournament on the second day, it tells you a lot about our toughness and grit and how we have to instill more of it,” assistant coach Mike Zadick said.