Cyclones tangle with rival Cowboys in conference opener


Brian Mozey/Iowa State Daily

Redshirt junior Tanner Weatherman gets wrapped up by a Virginia Tech wrestler during his match. Weatherman had one takedown and two escapes as Iowa State won 21-12 Jan. 18. 

Beau Berkley

Call it bad blood, call it a rivalry, call it a battle for conference supremacy, call it whatever, but for the first time in five years, Iowa State’s dual against Oklahoma State can be called a top-10 matchup.

No. 8 Iowa State (6-1, 0-0 Big 12) hosts its first Big 12 dual of the season against No. 7 Oklahoma State (5-2, 1-0) on Jan. 25, the first time both teams are ranked in the top 10 since Jan. 24, 2010, when then-No. 2 Iowa State downed No. 3 Oklahoma State 20-18 in Stillwater, led by the efforts of future Olympic gold medalist Jake Varner. 

Two traditional powerhouses, Oklahoma State and Iowa State combine for 206 individual national champions and 724 All-American’s throughout their respective histories.

But since that day five years ago in Oklahoma, the matchup between the two storied programs has been anything but competitive. The Cowboys have dominated the series as of late, winning seven straight duals since 2011 by a combined score of 220-57.

“I don’t think they like us and we don’t particularly like them, so there’s a little bit of bad blood there, but the last five of six years there hasn’t been a lot of competition,” said two-time NCAA qualifier Tanner Weatherman. “… so this will be a good test for us and it’s going to be a fun dual.”

If the past couple duals are any indication of how Iowa State will perform, then Jan. 25 may prove to be more competitive than previous years. Iowa State is coming off a victory against then-No. 6 Virginia Tech, which vaulted the Cyclones from No. 13 to No. 8 in the most recent NWCA Coaches Poll, landing them next to the Cowboys, who’s only two losses on the season came at the hands of No. 1 Iowa and No. 2 Minnesota. 

As part of their weekend road trip, Oklahoma State must also make a pit stop in Columbia, Mo. on Jan. 23 to take on the No. 3 Missouri Tigers. 

Leading the Cowboys this season is top ranked 165-pounder Alex Dieringer, who won a national title at 157 pounds last season. Squaring off against Dieringer for Iowa State will be two-time All-American Michael Moreno, who said the key to his success will be his positioning, as well as maintaining a level head without getting too anxious. 

Moreno also said his brother Gabe’s match at 149 pounds against NCAA finalist Josh Kindig will be big in the final outcome of the dual. 

“Kindig can be beat and when [Gabe] is on, he’s on and he can beat guys like that he’s just got to turn himself on and get to that point on his own,” Michael said. 

The winner on Jan. 25 could be an indication of who will wear the conference crown in March, as Iowa State and Oklahoma State are the only two Big 12 teams ranked inside the top 15 and both teams have more individually ranked wrestlers than Oklahoma and West Virginia. Oklahoma State has had a firm grip on that crown as of late, winning four of the last five. 

“They’ve been top dog and we’re always looking to knock off the top dog,” said Gabe Moreno.

The dual begins at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25 at Hilton Coliseum.