Courtesy of Iowa State Athletic Communications AMES, Iowa – The second-ranked Iowa State wrestling team capped off the regular season in dominating fashion Sunday afternoon with a 34-7 win over Big 12 foe Nebraska on Senior Day. The highlight match at 197 pounds went to the wire, with top-rated Jake Varner (24-0) turning away Craig Brester (25-1) of Nebraska in overtime, 6-4. The Cyclones took eight of the 10 contested weights, with five matches resulting in bonus points for the ISU team effort. The victory is the largest Cyclone victory over the Huskers since 1985 (34-4).
“We’re getting better,” ISU head coach Kevin Jackson. “Jake got a big takedown when he had to,” Jackson said. “We practice those situations all the time, trying to get a takedown when you are almost drained.”
Iowa State finishes the dual season with a 13-2 overall record, and a perfect 4-0 mark in league action. ISU swept its four Big 12 opponents for the second time in the dual season (2006-07). Nebraska concludes its season with a 9-11 overall dual record, with a 0-4 mark in the Big 12.
“It was a great afternoon,” Jackson said. “Nick Fanthorpe is wrestling at his best and he went after the pin. Mitch Mueller wants to be an All-American and he is wrestling better than he ever has.”
Before the dual had even began, the Cyclone cheers rang down upon the mat as ISU honored its seven senior wrestlers. The crowd of over 3,500 was on their feet to applaud the career efforts of Cyclones Duke Burk, Joe Curran, Fanthorpe, Nick Gallick, Mueller, Varner and David Zabriskie. Senior Cyclones scored four wins in the affair.
“The pre-match ceremony was great,” Fanthorpe said. “I made the right choice going to Iowa State and I could not have wrestled for better fans.”
The rematch of the 2009 NCAA 197-pound title bout was everything fans expected. Heading into overtime with a sudden victory period, ISU’s Varner and NU’s Brester were tied 4-4. Both grapplers each notched takedowns and a pair of escapes in regulation. Varner snapped his familiar foe towards the mat and circled around for the decisive takedown with three seconds remaining in the period to secure the victory.
“When you are out there, you aren’t thinking about last year or it being your last home match,” Varner said. “It was a great way to go out and I love being a part of this team.” The dual meet started with consecutive pins from Cyclones Andrew Long (125) and Nick Fanthorpe (133). Long stuck Husker David Klingsheim in the third period at the 6:43 mark. Fanthorpe made quick work of Nebraska’s C.J. Napier, ending the match at 2:32 in the first period.
Cyclone senior Mitch Mueller scored his first technical fall in dual action of this season with an 18-3 (4:34) performance over Nebraska’s Dustin Payne at 149 pounds.
Iowa State’s Andrew Sorenson (157) and Jon Reader (165) put up major decision victories for the ISU team score. Sorenson used a strong third period to power his way to an 18-5 win against Nebraska’s Tyler Koehn. Reader scored a 21-8 win over Husker 165-pounder James Nakashima.
ISU 184-pounder Jerome Ward gutted out a 3-1 decision of Nebraska’s Josh Ihnen. Heavyweight David Zabriskie concluded the dual by defeating Husker Tucker Lane by decision, 3-2.
“It has all gone by so fast,” Zabriskie said. “I can’t believe that we wrestled our last match in Hilton Coliseum. I have loved it here.”
The Cyclones will march towards the postseason with the next stop being March 6 in Norman, Okla. for the 2010 Big 12 Championships.
IOWA STATE 34, NEBRASKA 7 125 pounds – No. 5 Andrew Long (ISU) pinned David Klingsheim (NU), 6:43 133 pounds – No. 9 Nick Fanthorpe (ISU) pinned C.J. Napier (NU), 2:32 141 pounds – Mike Koehnlein (NU) dec. No. 18 Dalton Jensen (ISU), 4-2 149 pounds – No. 9 Mitch Mueller (ISU) tech. fall Dustin Payne (NU), 18-3 (4:34) 157 pounds – No. 20 Andrew Sorenson (ISU) major dec. Tyler Koehn (NU), 18-5 165 pounds – No. 2 Jon Reader (ISU) major dec. James Nakashima (NU), 21-8 174 pounds – No. 4 Stephen Dwyer (NU) major dec. No. 20 Duke Burk (ISU), 11-2 184 pounds – No. 13 Jerome Ward (ISU) dec. Josh Ihnen (NU), 3-1 197 pounds – No. 1 Jake Varner (ISU) dec. No. 2 Craig Brester (NU), 6-4 (SV) HWT – No. 5 David Zabriskie (ISU) dec. No. 14 Tucker Lane (NU), 3-2