ISU wrestling welcomes Virginia Tech at Beauty and the Beast event


Richard Martinez/Iowa State Daily

Redshirt senior Luke Goettl faces off against Iowa’s Michael Kelly. Goettl lost a lead late in the third period after a reversal then near-fall combination by Kelly, losing the 157-pound match 11-6 in the Cy-Hawk Series duel which took place on Nov. 29 in Iowa City. The No. 15 Cyclones struggled to secure close matches, falling to rival No. 1 Iowa 28-8.

Beau Berkley

The events set to unfold inside Hilton Coliseum this Sunday are shaping up to be a beautiful thing. That is, however, dependent on fans’ definition of “beauty.”

Unique to Iowa State, the Cyclones will host the Beauty and the Beast event Jan. 18, which consists of a wrestling dual taking place simultaneously with a gymnastics meet. The event first debuted in 2006, taking place periodically since then. 

“The Beauty and the Beast is a great event for the state of Iowa, it’s a great event for Iowa State and we always have fans that come out in great numbers, so it’s an exciting time for us,” said ISU wrestling coach Kevin Jackson. 

Both small sports in comparison to revenue giants football and basketball, Beauty and the Beast opens up the entire floor of Hilton Coliseum for both events, filling the stands a bit more than usual. 

“Both sports are not huge, money drawing sports like football or basketball, so when you put them together maybe you can get a lot of people in the stands,” said 157-pounder Luke Goettl. 

From a wrestling standpoint, it might be easy to become an observer and maybe that’s where the key lies for the Cyclones as they take on No. 8 Virginia Tech. 

“I guarantee they’ve never had a dual like the Beauty and the Beast, unless they’ve been here before,” Goettl said. 

Goettl said that at the end of the day, his team is there to wrestle, not watch and that’s perhaps true of the Hokies’ thoughts as well. 

Virginia Tech will bring seven ranked wrestlers with them on their trek to Ames, including five in the top ten of their respective weight classes. The only blemish on their schedule thus far is a 20-15 loss to reigning NCAA champ Penn State. 

Jackson said he expects a few matches could go either way and could potentially play a vital role in the final outcome, weights such as Goettl at 157 pounds, Tanner Weatherman at 174 and Lelund Weatherspoon at 184 pounds.

The Cyclones are coming off of a 41-3 dual win against Penn and will undoubtedly want to duplicate the success found Jan.11, which included seven bonus point victories, but that seems unlikely as Virginia Tech will prove to be more formidable than Penn at most weights.

But the Cyclones might have something else working in their favor. 

“I think it’s great how they have the vault right behind the other team’s bench, I think that’s beautiful,” Jackson said. “I don’t know who came up with that but it’s a great distraction and I think its a great environment, but I think it benefits us more than the other guys.”

But Jackson was quick to note that there might be some bright eyes on his side of the mat as well. 

“There are still some guys on our team that haven’t seen it, so they’re going to have to adjust to that.”