ISU wrestling puts three wrestlers into finals

Senior Earl Hall is declared the winner of his match in the dual against West Virginia held at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, IA. At 133 lbs Hall registered four takedowns against Cory Stainbrook. Hall won the match 10-5.

Ben Visser

KANSAS CITY, Missouri — No. 2-seed Tanner Weatherman of Iowa State was down 5-0 in the second period to No. 7 Chaz Poloson of Wyoming at the Sprint Center on Saturday in the Big 12 Championships.

In the last three minutes of the match, the 165-pound Weatherman scored 11 points, including eight straight to close out the match and win, 11-8.

That furious comeback guided Weatherman to the semi-finals. He wreslted No. 3 seed Clark Glass of Oklahoma, who Weatherman had beaten earlier this year.

Weatherman won, 5-1.

ISU wrestling as a team mirrored Weatherman’s matches. The team finished the first session of the Big 12 Championships in fourth place after a sub-par session from some of the younger wrestlers.

“It’s not surprising with the youth of those guys that they lost early in the tournament,” said coach Kevin Jackson. “They lost to better guys. We just expect, as the tournament progresses, that we are supposed to get better and better because that’s when it’s going to become more important that you win those matches to advance into those championship rounds.”

At the end of the second session the Cyclones saw themselves sitting in second place in the team rankings after a strong session. Seniors Earl Hall, Weatherman, and junior Lelund Weatherspoon led the way for the Cyclones, earning spots in the finals, on Sunday.

In the semi-finals the 133-pound Hall wrestled Gary Wayne Harding of Oklahoma State, winning by major decision, 16-8.

“[Winning by major decision] is who Earl Hall is,” Jackson said. “He’s that much better than that kid — and probably a lot of kids. That’s the Earl Hall that we have to have and I was really happy with him not sitting on that lead, and going to get another takedown, and another takedown, and then getting back points, and then getting the bonus [points].

“That’s huge for us.”

Hall has a challenge on Sunday, wrestling defending national champion Cory Brewer.

In the finals, Weatherman will be wrestling three-time Big 12 Champion and two-time national champion Alex Dieringer.

“[He brings] pretty much everything to the table,” Weatherman said. “He’s the real deal but it takes all the pressure off of me, I have nothing to lose. It’s a really good opportunity to get your hands on somebody of that caliber. I’m excited for the challenge.”

Oklahoma State’s 174-pound wrestler Kyle Crutchmer broke a bone in his foot before the Big 12 Championship so Chandler Rogers is filling in for the Cowboys.

Weatherspoon will meet Rogers in the finals after a sudden victory decision over Oklahoma’s Matt Reed. Weatherspoon and Reed were in a scramble to end the third period, but neither came away with any points.

In sudden victory, Weatherspoon shot a double-leg and took Reed from his feet to his back.

“I just saw that he was in it to win it,” Jackson said. “He wasn’t backing down. He was determined to find a way to win. I’m very happy with the way he attacked and finished that shot.

“I’m hoping he opens up a little bit more in the finals. If [Weatherspoon] opens up and wrestles for seven minutes I think he has a good chance to win.”

Oklahoma State has distanced themselves in the team score, notching 140.5 points. The next three schools are all knotted up for the two, three and four spots.

Iowa State is in second with 72 points, Oklahoma has 70.5 and South Dakota State has 68.5.

Kyle Larson, Logan Breitenbach, Dane Pestano, Pat Downey and Joe Scanlan are the remaining wrestlers for the Cyclones in the consolation bracket.

“We need to score bonus points,” Jackson said. “Then in those wrestle-back matches, they will determine where we finish in the tournament.”