Iowa State wrestling can’t complete comeback in 20-17 loss to North Carolina


Iowa State redshirt senior Quean Smith wrestles Arizona State’s Tanner Hall Jan. 6. Smith would go on to lose 2-1 by decision. 

Curran Mclaughlin

The Iowa State wrestling team’s dual against North Carolina seemed all but lost after six matches.

But with a lineup change and momentum, the meet came down to the last match where North Carolina held on to win 20-17.

Iowa State found its back against the wall in Chapel Hill, North Carolina early in the meet.

The Cyclones were losing 17-5 against the Tar Heels when coach Kevin Jackson made a change to the lineup.

Bumping up Pat Downey to the 197-pound spot, Jackson put Carson Powell out on the mat at 184 pounds.

The decision proved to be a smart one as Powell was able to pin his man in 1:34 cutting the score down 17-11.

Downey would then grind out a 6-4 despite appearing to be physically exhausted from the matchup.

Quean Smith took his opponent out after a crucial reversal in the third period.

The Heavyweight would give up the escape only to secure his victory with a takedown. Smith would sprawl on an attempt and hook his opponent arm to get past him to go up 4-3 and ultimately winning 6-3.

The dual was tied at 17.

Markus Simmons would come out firing on all cylinders against James Szymanski getting a quick takedown and a four-point near-fall.

Simmons would fight to get Szymanski’s back to the mat but Szymanski held off the pin attempt for over two minutes.

Once Szymanski managed to get out of the situation, a review was held to determine if Simmons used an illegal hold in his pin attempt.

The referees determined that Simmons did use an illegal hold and only rewarded him the takedown and reset the clock back from around 15 seconds to 2:37.

After wrestling a five-minute first period and the second period the two grapplers were tied 3-3 with a minute left in the third.

Simmons appeared gassed and sluggish in the final minute, where he would give up a takedown in the final seconds of the match to give UNC the victory over Iowa State.

The other key matches in the meet were Earl Hall at 133 pound and Lelund Weatherspoon at 174 pounds.

Earl Hall was the first victory of the night where he scored a tech fall for Iowa State in the first period.

Lelund Weatherspoon took on Ethan Ramos, the only matchup between two ranked opponents for the meet. Weatherspoon would lose in 7-4 decision.

Iowa State heads back to Ames Friday for a dual against Northern Iowa starting at 7 p.m.