Cyclones put emphatic stamp on best season since 2010


Redshirt senior Michael Moreno celebrates in an outpour of emotion after pinning No. 2 Isaac Jordan of Wisconsin on Feb. 22 at Hilton Coliseum.

Beau Berkley

What Kyven Gadson calls a storybook ending may merely be the ending to a paragraph in the final chapter. 

With the Big 12 and NCAA Championships looming, the ISU wrestling team put an emphatic stamp on an 11-2 dual season with a 30-16 win against Wisconsin. The 11-2 mark is the best record under ISU coach Kevin Jackson since his inaugural year in 2009-10, in which his squad went 13-2 and finished third at the NCAA’s. 

Dubbed “Senior Day”, the moniker for the final home dual of the season could not have rang more true for the Cyclones, as they were led by two pins from senior All-Americans Michael Moreno and Gadson, as well as two more from redshirt junior Tanner Weatherman and true freshman Dante Rodriguez.

The precedings of Moreno’s match lent itself to a memorable senior send-off, as his final dual match at Hilton came against No. 2 Isaac Jordan, who is above No. 3 Moreno in several polls.

Moreno made sure to send a message on his final outing, as he scored a second period takedown against Jordan. Whatever pressure Moreno was feeling released in the moments following his win. 

“I probably went a little overboard [after the match], but this is something I’ve wanted to do my entire life. I’ve never wanted to do anything else,” Moreno said. “It was just crazy doing all the senior day stuff and it kind of got emotional out there when they were announcing my family [before the dual] and on top of that it was a good matchup between us two.” 

Bound to have his own send off, Gadson would join Moreno in the pin column with a third period fall against Jimmy McCall. Gadson’s final pin in dual action cements a career dual record of 43-1, with his first and only loss coming against Keldrick Hall in Gadson’s first dual match of his career in 2011. 

“I don’t know if I knew I was going to get a pin, but the goal of this year has been to get points and score falls and I think in my wrestling I’ve been a lot more active and just trying to enjoy my last dual and it was fun,” Gadson said. “You could say it’s a story book ending.”

As the dual season ends, the postseason opens. 

Iowa State will host the Big 12 Championship on March 7, followed by the NCAA Championships in St. Louis two weeks later. It might be easy for the Cyclones, especially seniors Gadson and Moreno, to get lost in the moment, knowing that they played an integral role in bringing ISU wrestling back to the forefront after going 4-13 just three years ago. 

But that’s certainly not the case. 

They really have been the catalyst to allow our program to grow where it is now,” said ISU coach Kevin Jackson. “There’s hugs and kisses going around, but our eyes are still on the big picture.”