Courtesy of Iowa State athletic communications STILLWATER, Okla. – Who is the nation’s best collegiate wrestler? Some say Iowa State’s defending NCAA 197-pound champion and U.S. Freestyle team member Jake Varner. Varner underscored his credentials Sunday, pinning sixth-rated Alan Gelogaev of Oklahoma State on the Cowboy’s mat at 197 pounds to lead No. 2 Iowa State to 20-18 victory over No. 3 OSU in Gallagher-Iba Arena. The Cyclones improve to 9-2 in duals and 2-0 in Big 12 Conference action. The Cowboys fall to 8-2-1. It is Iowa State’s fourth win in its last five matches against Oklahoma State.
Varner’s 10th fall of his senior season came at the 4:43 mark of the 197-pound bout. Varner is 20-0 this season while Gelogaev is 21-2. The first period’s score was 0-0 after several fruitless shot attempts by Varner. Gelogaev elected to take the bottom position to begin the second period and the Cyclones’ three-time NCAA finalist ended the top-10 individual matchup with a cradle.
ISU head coach Kevin Jackson was pleased with Varner’s effort.
“Jake (Varner) is a world-class wrestler,” Jackson said. “For him to come through with the fall is not surprising at all.”
The star-studded dual featured top-10 matchups at 125 pounds, 165 pounds, 197 pounds and heavyweight. Iowa State won three of those four matches.
No. 5 125-pounder Andrew Long of Iowa State started the dual on a solid note for the Cyclones by scoring a technical fall over ninth-ranked Cowboy Chris Notte, 20-5 (6:59).
ISU’s sixth-ranked 165-pounder Jon Reader was victorious over No. 9 Alex Meade of OSU by decision, 7-5. Also adding a decision for ISU was senior 149-pounder Mitch Mueller. The Cyclone controlled OSU’s Quinten Fuentes for the win, 7-2.
Another match hero was ISU 157-pounder Andrew Sorenson. The sophomore didn’t stop fighting in his effort to get Cyclone team points. He scored a takedown in the final second of his bout with Oklahoma State’s 13th-ranked Neil Erisman to be victorious by decision, 8-7.
“We wrestle to the whistle,” Sorenson said. “The coaches push us every day. That takedown was one of those extra sprints or an extra go in practice.”
At dual’s end, ISU’s David Zabriskie couldn’t topple the top-ranked OSU heavyweight Jared Rosholt. The Cowboy was the winner in the bitter rivalry’s latest bout, 8-5. The match was tied 5-5 late in the third period before Rosholt pulled away from the Cyclone senior. Zabriskie leads the series against Rosholt, 5-4.
Eleventh-ranked ISU 133-pounder Nick Fanthorpe came up short to Oklahoma State’s sixth-ranked Jordan Oliver, 7-5. No. 8-ranked Cyclone 184-pounder Jerome Ward fell to 13th-ranked Cowboy Clayton Foster by decision, 3-1.
The Cyclones continue their road tour with sixth-ranked Cornell for a dual Jan. 31 in Ithaca, N.Y. Mat action starts at noon CST.
IOWA STATE 20, OKLAHOMA STATE 18 125 pounds – No. 5 Andrew Long (ISU) tech. fall No. 9 Chris Notte (OSU), 20-5 (6:59) 133 pounds – No. 6 Jordan Oliver (OSU) dec. No. 11 Nick Fanthorpe (ISU), 7-5 141 pounds – No. 7 Jamal Parks (OSU) pinned Dalton Jensen (ISU), 2:42 149 pounds – No. 10 Mitch Mueller (ISU) dec. Quinten Fuentes (OSU), 7-2 157 pounds – Andrew Sorenson (ISU) dec. No. 12 Neil Erisman (OSU), 8-7 165 pounds – No. 3 Jon Reader (ISU) dec. No. 9 Alex Meade (OSU), 7-5 174 pounds – No. 12 Mike Benefiel (OSU) dec. No. 13 Duke Burk (ISU), 10-3 184 pounds – No. 13 Clayton Foster (OSU) dec. No. 8 Jerome Ward (ISU), 3-1 197 pounds – No. 1 Jake Varner (ISU) pinned No. 6 Alan Gelogaev (OSU), 4:43 HWT – No. 1 Jared Rosholt (OSU) dec. No. 4 David Zabriskie (ISU), 8-5