Cyclones send six to Big 12 finals, first in team scores


Junior Earl Hall flips his opponent to the mat.

Beau Berkley

The ISU wrestling team had a fruitful first round at the Big 12 tournament, scoring three pins en route to sending six wrestlers to compete for a championship. 

Earl Hall, Dante Rodriguez, Michael Moreno, Tanner Weatherman, Lelund Weatherspoon and Kyven Gadson will all return to the mat tonight for championship action, but notably absent from that list is 149-pounder Gabe Moreno. 

In his first round match with Oklahoma’s Shayne Tucker, Gabe dislocated his left shoulder. In the third period, visibly in pain, Gabe was taken down late and lost by 7-6 decision. 

Gabe finished third on the day after Oklahoma State’s Josh Kindig did not wrestle in the first round due to injury default. ISU coach Kevin Jackson said he expects Gabe to still compete in the NCAA tournament. 

“I think it’s going to be a big time rehab between now and the NCAA Championship,” Jackson said. “He never gets hurt, he’s never been hurt, so we’re hoping for some good news after an MRI on Monday and regardless, he’s going to the NCAA tournament.” 

In what will be the headline match of the finals, No. 1 Alex Dieringer of Oklahoma State will meet Iowa State’s Michael Moreno, who is ranked just behind Dieringer at No. 2. The two wrestled earlier this season with Dieringer scoring a major decision against Moreno, but Jackson does not expect the same result the second time around. 

“Mike’s too good to give up bonus points, he just has to score when he has an opportunity to score, so I’m anticipating a much more competitive match, but he has to fight hard for seven minutes to win, which would be a huge win for him,” Jackson said. 

Iowa State is leading the team scores with 63 points, followed closely by Oklahoma State’s 61 points. 

Finals action begins at 6 p.m.