ISU wrestling aims to take conference title at Hilton


Sam Greene/Iowa State Daily

Redshirt junior Tanner Weatherman pulls his opponent back into the fight. Weatherman’s pin helped Iowa State to a 30-16 victory against Wisconsin.

Beau Berkley

For the first time since 2011, Iowa State will play host to the Big 12 wrestling championship, which will be comprised of three other teams including Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and West Virginia.

As opposed to other Big 12 tournaments, like men’s and women’s basketball, being able to compete at home instead of a neutral site gives ISU wrestling some small advantages that may lead to big results. 

“Not traveling is big for some of the guys that are pulling a little bit of weight,” said 174 pounder Tanner Weatherman. “We’re working at our home gym, even the day of we’ll work out here and it’s a big advantage.”

Being able to train at home and not worry about travel lag is a bonus, but the biggest home advantage can literally be found at home. 

“Everyone likes to sleep in their own bed and that’s especially big for me,” Weatherman said. “Coach always says rest is a weapon and it definitely is for me. You’re eating in your own house, not eating Subway or this and that on the road. You can go home and cook a healthy meal.” 

The Cyclones will also be attempting to win the Big 12 title for the first time since 2007 and will arguably have the best shot at doing so in the past years. The Cyclones are ranked No. 8 in the NCAA and boast three wrestlers ranked in the top three of their respective weight classes. 

One of those wrestlers is No. 2 Michael Moreno, who may potentially meet No. 1 Alex Dieringer of Oklahoma State in the finals. Dieringer won a NCAA title at 157 pounds last season and defeated Moreno by major decision earlier this season. 

“He’s a returing national champ and pretty talented wrestler, so you want to be as prepared as you possibly can for a guy like that,” Moreno said.

Pending how the first round matchups at 133 pounds play out, No. 4 Earl Hall may meet No. 5 Cody Brewer of Oklahoma in the finals. Earlier in the season, Hall pinned then-No. 2 Brewer in the first round. Hall will also have a little added pressure this weekend on top of competition, as his parents will be attending their first wrestling competition at Hilton to watch their son wrestle.  

Hall’s parents will be joined by his brothers, as well as a small gift. 

“My mom and dad are supposed to be dropping my car off, so that’s something I’m looking forward to [because] I haven’t had a car since high school,” Hall said.  

First round action kicks off at 11 a.m. Saturday at Hilton Coliseum. The third place matches will begin at 12:30 p.m. and the finals will start at 6 p.m.