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    ISU Daily Wrestling Article

    4th-ranked wrestlers pumped for challenge of earning NCAA title

    Luke Plansky



    More than a week before the NCAA Div. I Wrestling Tournament, Jon Reader is getting riled up. Nationals are on his mind and just talking about them made Reader lose his cool. "At the national tournament, you're on your own - you've got to shine. I'm just going to go whoop some ***. We've got one week left - lay it all on the line right now," the freshman 165-pounder said. Then he collected his thoughts. "I'm just excited, man."

    It is tournament time again, and the fourth-ranked ISU wrestling team has renewed enthusiasm surrounding its trip to St. Louis for the March 20-22 NCAA Tournament after claiming their second-straight Big 12 Tournament Championship last Saturday. The five-month-long wrestling season will conclude next Saturday. Sophomore Nick Fanthorpe said the Cyclones have been waiting for this week since last March. "This is what we've been waiting for all season - not only all season, but since we got done with the National Tournament last year," he said. "So I'm real excited, and I think the team's real excited; I think the coaches are excited. We're going in there off a conference title; but more than anything we're going in there with a good attitude, looking to win the national tournament."

    Iowa State finished second at last year's NCAA Tournament and held the team lead after the second day. The Cyclones are without three senior All-Americans from that team. While all 10 Cyclones qualified for the tournament, coach Cael Sanderson said to win an NCAA title, the team will have to advance deep into the tournament. "We're just going to have to go out there and fight," he said. "And, really, we're going to have to wrestle above our seeds, obviously. I mean, I think that's something we have done and we're prepared to do. We just need to have a great tournament."

    No. 1 Iowa comes into the tournament as the consensus favorites to win, having seven wrestlers ranked sixth or higher. Meanwhile, the Cyclones have only one wrestler ranked in the top six.
    "Everyone's got to go in there and wrestle their best, wrestle their hardest - you know, to their full potential," said No. 1-ranked 184-pounder Jake Varner, who, at 25-0, is one of five undefeated wrestlers in the tournament. "Whatever happens, happens - but, I mean, we've got a real good chance of winning. We've got the guys to do it, and we're ready."

    Sanderson said the mindset going into tournament will be the same as it has been all season. "This is the time where you really have to keep things simple and use the tools that we've developed over the year and throughout their lives - just showing some poise and not getting too worked up," Sanderson said. "Our best effort is still all that we can do - whether it's in an intersquad match or it's the national finals, and just keeping with that attitude - that's our plan, going out there and leaving it all on the mat, and we'll take whatever results we get." The tournament brings in top wrestlers from around the country. Sanderson said coaches share tape of different opponents in order to prepare their wrestlers.

    "We're ready to wrestle anybody. We want them to wrestle our style, and it's something that you've got to really enforce," Sanderson said. "But some guys - you just have to be aware of their tricks. The guy is scoring all of his points with one move - we've got to be aware of that, and we've got to be aware of what they're doing on the whistle - those little things. But for the most part, we want to make them adjust to us."

    The event will be held at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. Tickets quickly sell out for the event every year. Online ticket-auctioning Web sites have a small number of tickets for the six sessions, each selling for more than $100.







    4th-ranked wrestlers pumped for challenge of earning NCAA title - Sports



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    Re: ISU Daily Wrestling Article

    Jon Reader sounds like a BA, i think wrestlers need to have more of that "crazy" energy



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