Senior wrestlers take mat for last dual action


Redshirt senior Mike Moreno eyes his opponent, Northern Iowa’s Cooper Moore, Feb. 15 at Hilton Coliseum.

Beau Berkley

The clock is winding down and the finish line is in sight. It’s time to say goodbye. 

ISU wrestling coach Kevin Jackson will watch the remaining members of his first recruiting class step on the mat at Hilton for dual action Feb. 22. The senior class includes All-Americans Kyven Gadson and Michael Moreno, but not to be lost in the shuffle are Luke Goettl, RJ Hallman, Scott Moody and Quinn Wilson. 

“This is my first recruiting class, so the moment is not going to be lost on me, it’s not going to be lost on their parents [and] it’s not going to be lost on our program,” Jackson said. “We want to perform at a high level so we can send those seniors off the right way on Sunday.”

The send-off dual for Iowa State’s (10-2, 2-1 Big 12) seniors comes against No. 16 Wisconsin, which may add up to a bit of Big 12 vs. Big 10 flare. 

Iowa State is fresh off a victory against Northern Iowa, a team it bested just two days after defeating Arizona State. Jackson said that he felt the team had more energy on the weekend and that he was pleased with the amount of bonus points and back points accumulated during the weekend. 

Wisconsin will pose some interesting matchups at weight classes that could have possible implications as far as seeding goes for the NCAA. 

No. 3 Earl Hall will meet No. 7 Ryan Taylor at 133 pounds. Hall has still yet to lose in 2015, an impressive mark highlighted by a pin against then-No. 2 Cody Brewer of Oklahoma. Jackson said a win by Hall might lend itself to Hall having a higher seed at the NCAA tournament.

“The higher seed you have, it makes it a little bit easier based on you having an opponent that’s been drawn into the tournament instead of being seeded,” Jackson said. “On paper, you’re supposed to get a lesser opponent, but you have to be ready for anything.” 

The headliner of the dual will be at 165 pounds, as No. 3 Moreno takes on No. 2 Isaac Jordan. Jordan, a sophomore, has built an impressive résumé thus far, defeating No. 10 Taylor Massa of Michigan, No. 8 Jack Morse of Illinois, No. 7 Pierce Harger of Northwestern and No. 6 Taylor Walsh of Indiana. 

But before Moreno puts on the ankle straps for the last time under the lights at Hilton for dual competition, he might have a few moments he’ll try to keep in his grasp.

“Wrestling at Hilton is something I’ve wanted to do since I was born,” Moreno said. “Just getting ready in the back [for the last time], the team prayer and everything going on in the locker room to coming out to the same song every time for four years with the fog and the crowd, getting ready with the spotlight. A lot of stuff that’s going to be pretty intense emotionally.”