No. 17 Iowa State returns home from long road trip

Earl Hall, senior, faces an opponent from University of Iowa at the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series match on Nov. 29 at Hilton Coliseum.

Brian Mozey

ISU coach Kevin Jackson left Hilton Coliseum on Dec. 12, 2015 and knew it would be a while before the team came back to Ames.

He didn’t think it would be this long. 

No. 17 Iowa State (7-5, 1-2 Big 12) will wrestle No. 21 Central Michigan (5-3, 2-1 MAC) at 2 p.m. Sunday at Hilton Coliseum. The meet marks 40 days since the Cyclones have wrestled at home, and each player is excited to get back home for the last part of their wrestling season. 

“It’s always nice to be back home and sleep in our own beds,” said Tanner Weatherman. “It’s been a rough road trip these past couple weekends, and we’re hoping to change it around at home.”

Iowa State started the second semester with a championship in the Virginia Duals, which gave the team confidence going into a weekend against Arizona State. Iowa State not only lost to Arizona State a couple of weekends ago but also Oklahoma and Oklahoma State this past weekend. 

The team is learning from its mistakes on the road, so it can apply it to this weekend at home. One of the biggest takeaways from the wrestlers and the coaches is that they need to wrestle for a full seven minutes. 

“We start off strong against our opponents and take advantage in the first period,” Jackson said. “Then, our wrestlers just lose focus in the second and third period, which results in a loss.”

Jackson also mentioned Weatherman was one of the few wrestlers who competed hard for seven minutes. He believed Weatherman could go far not only in the Big 12 Championship but also the NCAA Championship in mid-March. 

The interesting part with this dual is the opportunity for the unranked ISU wrestlers to wrestle ranked opponents. 

Central Michigan has four wrestlers who are ranked in the 141-, 149-, 157- and 174-pound classes, which are weight classes in which Iowa State doesn’t have ranked wrestlers. To win this dual, the unranked ISU wrestlers will need to step up and upset a few of the Central Michigan wrestlers. 

Larson summed up the recent weekends as events in the past. As a wrestler, Larson said it’s essential to focus on the four matches left before the Big 12 Championship. 

The team is excited to get back to Hilton and wrestle against a ranked opponent. He knows these fans will be there Sunday to support the wrestlers because it’s been so long. 

“Iowa State fans are incredible and the best fans in the country, so it’ll be nice having them back,” Larson said. “Plus, it’s also nice being applauded coming out of the tunnel instead of getting booed.”