ISU wrestling advances four wrestlers into quarterfinals


Redshirt junior Lelund Weatherspoon walks down the red carpet for his championship match in the 174-pound weight class against Oklahoma State’s Chandler Rogers. Weatherspoon won the match and became a two-time Big 12 Champion in his college career. 

Ben Visser

ISU wrestling went into the NCAA Championships with only two seeded wrestlers. After a number upsets, four Cyclones advanced to the quarterfinals in New York City.

Earl Hall, the No. 8 seed at 133 pounds, defeated Josh Martinez of Air Force 6-3 in his first-round match on Thursday afternoon.

No. 9 seed Tanner Weatherman wrestled Dakota Juarez of Eastern Michigan in his first-round matchup. Weatherman pinned Juarez in 4:26 to advance to the second round.

Lelund Weatherspoon, the Big 12 Champion at 174 pounds, drew No. 2 seed Brian Realbuto of Cornell in the first round. Weatherspoon upset Realbuto winning by decision 7-4.

The only Cyclone to receive an at-large bid was Dane Pestano. Pestano fell to No. 12 Hayden Zillmer of North Dakota State 10-5. Pestano went 0-3 against Zillmer this season.

Pat Downey wrestled in just eight matches before the NCAA Championships, but he proved why he should be in the tournament by upsetting No. 8 Phil Wellington. Downey won with a takedown in sudden-victory.

After a strong showing, the Cyclones were tied for 12 in the team standings. More upsets followed in the second round.

Hall wrestled No. 9 seed Mack McGuire of Kent State. After a scoreless first period the senior opened up and showed why everyone in the country fears Hall’s offense, scoring eight points in the last two periods, winning 8-3.

Weatherman wrestled No. 8 seed Chad Welch of Purdue. Weatherman defeated Welch 7-4 in an upset.

The upset minded Weatherspoon continued his run in the second round by defeating No. 15 seeded Brian Harvey of Army 3-2.

Downey was pitted against No. 6 Jared Haught of Virginia Tech. Downey and Haught went through sudden-victory scoreless, so they went to two 30-second tiebreakers.

Haught got an escape in the first tiebreaker. However, in the second, Downey pinned Haught with a nice throw. After the Downey pin, four Cyclones advanced to the quarterfinals.