ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Iowa State’s Jon Reader, Jake Varner and Dave Zabriskie all advanced to the semifinal round of the NCAA Wrestling Championships at 165, 197 and heavyweight respectively as the Cyclones sit in second place after the first Friday session at the Scottrade Center. Still left in consolation for ISU is 141-pounder Nick Gallick, 149-pounder Mitch Mueller and 157-pounder Cyler Sanderson. ISU has 57.5 points to first-place Ohio State’s 61.5. Nebraska is in third with 54 points, Iowa has 53.5 and Edinboro is in fifth with 49 points.

“We had some guys step up and keep us in the hunt,” Iowa State head coach Cael Sanderson said. “Jon Reader has put himself in a position to accomplish some big things. (Zabriskie) has won the close ones but part of the reason is that he is aggressive and working to position himself for scores. (Varner) has been steady and strong.”

Short-time was once again “go-time” for Zabriskie. With five seconds showing on the clock in the third period against ninth-seed John Wise of Illinois, Zabriskie pulled the much larger heavyweight back onto the mat and wrapped his arms around both legs to secure the deciding takedown. Zabriskie handed Wise a 3-2 decision as Zabriskie earns his latest All-America honor.

“(Wise) had gotten in pretty deep on my leg,” Zabriskie sad. “I was just trying to keep his head down and I was able to come around him on the edge of the mat.

Reader punched his ticket to the semifinals by beating upstart Ryan Patrovich of Hoftra, 5-2. Reader used a takedown, reversal and riding time advantage to stump Patrovich offensively. Patrovich had previously knocked off No. 1-seeded Mack Lewnes of Cornell in the first round. Reader has achieved All-America honors in his first two seasons as a Cyclone. The Cyclone will continue his quest for the top of the 165-pound podium against Jarrod King of Edinboro.

Two-time NCAA finalist Jake Varner of Iowa State advanced to the semifinals by edging CSU-Bakersfield’s Brandon Hasley by decision, 3-1. The Bakersfield, Calif. native has secured All-America honors for the third time on his quest for an NCAA title. Varner’s next opponent is Maxwell Askren of Missouri. Varner decisioned Askren 9-4 Feb. 15 at Missouri.


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