Cyclones wrestle back-to-back dual meets

Coach Kevin Jackson talks to reporters on Wrestling Media Day on Tuesday. 

Ben Visser

ISU wrestling is returning home for back-to-back dual meets against NAIA Midland and Boise State on Thursday night. 

The Cyclones are coming off of a tough weekend at No. 6 Virginia Tech. Only one wrestler, 133-pounder Earl Hall, won Saturday.

Putting that loss in the past and being more aggressive will be two keys for the Cyclones heading into Thursday. ISU wrestling needs to go after more takedowns, said ISU coach Kevin Jackson. The team can’t leave points on the mat. 

“We were not really happy with the number of takedowns at all,” Jackson said. “That was probably one of our more disappointing matches as far as overall takedowns in a dual. We have to be more aggressive, we have to score more points, we have to give our best match and really lay it on the line.

“I really anticipate a higher level of energy and a greater output of scoring attempts.”

Both Midland and Boise State aren’t at the level of Virginia Tech, so Iowa State should have the opportunity to be aggressive and get its offense going. And Jackson doesn’t just want to beat them, he wants to look good doing it.

Tanner Weatherman was upset at 165 pounds against Virginia Tech, and Lelund Weatherspoon had an opportunity to notch a win but couldn’t get it done. Weatherman moved down a weight class from last season, when he wrestled at 174 pounds, which brings with it troubles handling the new weight. 

“[Weatherman] and [Weatherspoon] both gave us a chance to win,” Jackson said. “[Weatherspoon’s] guy came to compete and [Weatherspoon] missed some opportunities. [Weatherman] didn’t step to the challenge the way we’d expect him to. But I think weight had a little something to do with that.”

Weatherman doesn’t think the consecutive duals should be a problem for him or anyone else on the team because they wrestle several times every day in practice to prepare their bodies.

In addition to the double dual, Thursday is a quick turnaround for the Cyclones from their loss against Virginia Tech. They need to stay aggressive and get after the two teams.

“We are right back on the big stage,” Weatherman said. “Double dual against two teams not quite as good as Virginia Tech, so hopefully we can go out and get after them.”

Jackson has some specific things he wants to see from his team that he didn’t see enough of last weekend.

“We missed some counter-offense attacks,” Jackson said “We weren’t aggressive on top. We didn’t score when we got the single-leg opportunities to take guys down. All those opportunities add up.”

The Cyclones still have some question marks in their lineup.

Heavyweight Quean Smith lost by major decision last weekend, and Jackson said he’s not sure what the team has at heavyweight moving forward. The 197-pound weight class also has questions because Marcus Harrington is serving a suspension after being charged with assault in the offseason.

Jackson said Boise State is strong in a few spots and is well coached, but if the Cyclones stay aggressive and wrestle to expectations, they should come out of Hilton Coliseum with a win.