OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Six Iowa State wrestlers came to the 2014 NCAA Wrestling Championships, and all six remain standing as day one wrapped up Thursday night in Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Cyclones are sitting ninth in the team standings, thanks to a 10-3 record in matches and three wins by fall.
No. 5 seed Kyven Gadson, No. 8 seed Michael Moreno and unseeded Earl Hall all punched tickets to the quarterfinals with wins in the second round.
Hall dominated the final two periods vs. No. 4 seed Josh Martinez of Air Force. He rode Martinez the entire second period en route to an 8-1 victory. The Homestead, Fla., native faces No. 5 seed Dylan Peters of UNI with a semifinal berth on the linetomorrow morning. He is 0-2 this season vs. the Panther standout.
Like Hall, Moreno took control in the final two periods in his match on the way to an 8-5 win over No. 9 seed Joe Booth of Hofstra. The Urbandale, Iowa, native faces top-seed David Taylor of Penn State in the quarterfinals. Taylor is a three-time All-American and the frontrunner for the Dan Hodge Trophy, awarded to the nation’s most outstanding wrestler.
Moreno and Taylor met at the NWCA All-Star Classic in an exhibition match before the season. Taylor won by major decision, 13-2.
Gadson avenged a loss from last season at the Midlands Championships to No. 12 seed Taylor Meeks of Oregon State, downing him 5-3 this evening. The Waterloo, Iowa, native faces No. 4 seed Scott Schiller of Minnesota in the quarterfinals. Gadson won their last meeting 6-4 on Feb. 23 in Ames.
Hall, Moreno and Gadson are all first time NCAA quarterfinalist.
The last time Iowa State had three or more NCAA quarterfinalist was 2010: Andrew Long, Mitch Mueller, Nick Fanthorpe, Jake Varner and David Zabriskie.
Tanner Weatherman was knocked to the consolation bracket at 174 pounds by No. 5 seed Matt Brown of Penn State. He was in deep on several shots but was unable to finish and fell 6-1 to the Nittany Lion All-American.
The Huxley, Iowa, native faces unseeded Austin Gabel of Virginia Tech tomorrow morning in the consolation bracket.
Gabe Moreno, one of the cinderella stories of the NCAA tournament, remained alive with a first period fall from the neutral position over No. 16 seed Joe Spisak of Virginia. The Urbandale, Iowa, native finished the day 2-1.
He faces No. 15 seed Anthony Collica of Oklahoma State in the wrestle backs tomorrow morning. Collica beat Moreno 4-2 in the Big 12 finals on March 8 and 4-0 in the Jan. 24 dual with the Cowboys.
Freshman Lelund Weatherspoon finished Session II for the Cyclones with a 11-4 win over Lock Haven’s Fred Garcia. He scored a takedown in the final 10 seconds of each period. The Jackson, Mich., native faces No. 4 seed Max Thomusseit of Pitt in the consolation bracket.
Session III begins at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning at Chesapeake Energy Arena on ESPNU. Fans can live stream each mat via ESPN3.
Team Standings after Session II:
1. Penn State – 26.5 pts.
T-2. Minnesota – 21.5 pts.
T-2. Oklahoma State – 21.5 pts.
T-4. Oklahoma – 20.5 pts.
T-4. Iowa – 20.5 pts.
6. Ohio State – 19.5 pts.
7. Edinboro – 18 pts.
8. Wisconsin – 15.5 pts.
9. Iowa State – 15 pts.
T-10. Nebraska – 14 pts.
T-10. Virginia Tech – 14 pts.