Cyclones seek redemption against Panthers


Ryan Young/Iowa State Daily

Redshirt senior Kyven Gadson wrestles with Luke Bean during Iowa State’s match against Oklahoma State on Jan. 25.

Beau Berkley

Just a little ways up north, nestled near the heart of Black Hawk County, the Northern Iowa wrestling team is preparing to jaunt down to Ames on Feb. 15 in search of similar results from last year’s dual against Iowa State.

But Kyven Gadson has a different plan in mind. 

No. 8 Iowa State (8-2, 2-1 Big 12) plays host to fellow in-state combatant Northern Iowa (7-7, 4-3 MAC) with the goal of thwarting any possible repeat from last season, in which Northern Iowa downed Iowa State 24-13 in Cedar Falls. 

But the rosters look a little different this year, as rosters tend to do. Northern Iowa graduated All-Americans Joe Colon, Joey Lazor and Ryan Loder, while Iowa State returned all six of its NCAA qualifiers from last season, including three All-Americans. 

One of those All-Americans being Gadson, a Waterloo native, who grew up just a stone’s throw away from Cedar Falls and maybe felt the sting of last year’s loss a bit more than anyone. 

“I went down the street [to Iowa State] for a reason,” Gadson said. “It’s UNI, I hate losing to them and it burned really bad losing to somewhere I could have went to school if I wanted to, so there is that extra added element.”

To say that the Panthers have lost some firepower is not to say they are without ammo.

The Panthers tout two top-10 wrestlers in 125-pounder Dylan Peters, ranked No. 6 and heavyweight Blaize Cabell, ranked No. 10. Just outside the top-10 at 165 pounds is Cooper Moore, whom Iowa State’s Michael Moreno has a career 3-0 record against. 

Iowa State’s 133-pounder Earl Hall moved up a weight class this year after wrestling at 125 pounds and earning All-America honors. Hall squared off against Peters three times last season without getting his hand raised at the end. Hall won’t see Peters this year as the two are at different weight classes, but the encounters were enough to introduce him to what can transpire when two Iowa schools meet on the mat. 

“I’ve been out here for two years now and when we went to their house last year I could tell, even though it wasn’t that big, it was a crazy atmosphere,” Hall said. “Iowa rivalries are for real.”

Northern Iowa is not the only team on the docket this weekend. Making the trip to Ames on Feb. 13 is Arizona State, a team that ISU coach Kevin Jackson said stacks up well against his Cyclones. The dual will feature three weights with ranked matchups, most notably at 149 pounds, where No. 14 Gabe Moreno will meet No. 9 Christian Pagdilao. 

Iowa State duals Arizona State at 7 p.m. Feb. 13 at Hilton Coliseum.