ISU wrestling full of confidence as it starts Big 12


Kyle Larson, redshirt junior, faces an opponent from the University of Wyoming at Hilton Coliseum on Dec. 12.

Brian Mozey

The ISU wrestling team is flipping the calendar to 2016 with a focus on the Big 12 conference. First up on that list: Arizona State. 

No. 14 Iowa State (7-2, 1-0 Big 12) is coming off a weekend at the Virginia Duals, where it won the championship title against No. 12 Virginia Tech. The Cyclones also garnered some chemistry and confidence heading into the meat of Big 12 play. 

“The championship win has got to give our team some confidence, especially going into the Big 12 season,” said coach Kevin Jackson. “The guys were really excited to win the title.”

Earlier in the year, Iowa State wasn’t firing at all cylinders and lost some tough matches against teams it should’ve been giving a run for their money. 

Senior Earl Hall, who won USA Wrestling Athlete of the Week, described the Virginia Duals as a set he’s never seen before in his four years at Iowa State. 

Redshirt senior Tanner Weatherman loved the team camaraderie and hopes it’ll continue against Arizona State and in future matches in the upcoming months. Weatherman won Outstanding Wrestler of the Virginia Duals and the Big 12 Wrestler of the Week.

“A lot of confidence for myself in winning outstanding wrestler and a lot of confidence in the team as well,” Weatherman said. “Arizona State has some ranked guys, a fairly good team and are well coached, so we need to wrestle hard for seven minutes.”

This upcoming match looks to be even with three ranked wrestlers on each team in different weight classes.

Arizona State is not ranked in the USA Today polls, but Jackson wants the team to compete as hard as it wrestled at the Virginia Duals. Jackson sees five matches favoring Arizona State and another five matches favoring Iowa State, so he needs every wrestler to step up to get the win in Arizona. 

“You can never win a Big 12 match by being lucky, you must earn the win by competing hard on the mats,” said redshirt junior Kyle Larson. “I also can’t wait to get out of the Iowa cold and go to Arizona, where it’s a much warmer state than ours.”