Iowa State crowns six champions at home tournament


Iowa State’s then-redshirt sophomore Alex Mackall ties up with his opponent during the dual against Missouri on Feb. 24, 2018, in Hilton Coliseum.

Zach Martin

It’s a start. Nothing more, nothing less.

The Harold Nichols Cyclone Open served as the first tournament over the course of five months for the Iowa State wrestling team.

Even so, the Cyclones showed why they are on the cusp of a quantum leap.

A year after it snared just two titles at its home tournament, Iowa State earned six first-place finishes Sunday inside Hilton Coliseum.

The headliners were three championship matchups between ranked wrestlers of Iowa State and Northern Iowa, where the Cyclones went 1-2.

At 125-pounds, 13th-ranked Alex Mackall made quick work of 9th-ranked Jacob Schwarm of Northern Iowa with a 19-4 tech fall victory. Mackall, a redshirt junior, trailed 4-1 midway through the first period then rattled off three straight takedowns and three near falls to claim the title.

In a top-10 battle at 184, the Panthers’ Taylor Lujan, ranked eighth, used a third period takedown to rally from a 5-1 deficit and defeat Iowa State’s seventh-ranked wrestler Sam Colbray 7-5.

Seventh-ranked Max Thomsen made a 4-1 first period lead stick to grab the win at 149 over third-ranked Jarrett Degen. Degen clawed back twice to get within a point, but a near fall in the third gave Thomsen the cushion he needed.

Gannon Gremmel took down Carter Isley in the final seconds of the first period and that proved to be the difference as the 16th-ranked heavyweight took home first.

The Cyclones’ Todd Small, despite having over three minutes of riding time against him, pulled a reversal on Colin Valdiviez in the third to grab the 6-4 triumph.

Iowa State’s other open winner was Chase Straw at 165 over teammate Isaac Judge. Marcus Coleman dropped a 6-0 match to the Panthers’ senior and seventh-ranked wrestler at 174 Bryce Steiert.

In the fresh/soph division, Grant Stotts won the title at 157. He had two major decision victories and a pair of decision wins, including the final where he beat Dayton Porsch 8-4.

In a 174 match between teammates Tate Battani and Nolan Harsh, Battani made quick work and majored Harsh 17-6 to win the title. 

Julien Broderson (184) finished runner-up.

In an open 197 match, Joel Shapiro defeated Francis Duggan 3-1. Both Iowa State wrestlers lost their semifinal matches, but won a wrestle back to battle each other.

Thirteen other Cyclones finished in the top-6.