The following is a press release courtesy of Iowa State athletics communications.
AMES, Iowa – All-American Iowa State wrestlers Michael Moreno and Kyven Gadson each took home three awards Sunday at the Cyclone wrestling post-season banquet in Heartland Hall of the Jacobson Athletics Building.. The sophomore duo shared the Outstanding Wrestler award, given to the individual who has consistently performed in all aspects of life including the classroom, off the mat and in competition.
Former assistant coach and two-time NCAA champion Eric Voelker was the master of ceremonies for the annual event. Voelker currently serves as a pastor at the Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines, Iowa.
It was no surprise when Moreno’s name was called for the Most Improved award. The Urbandale, Iowa native went 31-10 this season, finishing sixth in the country at 165 pounds. Moreno posted a 27-win improvement from his freshman campaign in 2011-12, where he went 4-17.
Gadson was honored with the Total Commitment award after battling through a season of personal and physical hardships. The 197-pounder finished the year 30-5, placing sixth at the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. Gadson, who was the 2013 Big 12 Champion, was able to bounce back this season from a severe shoulder injury suffered in 2011-12. The Waterloo, Iowa native was perfect in dual competition in 2012-13, as he went 15-0 with five wins over ranked foes.
Moreno and Gadson, along with senior Matt Gibson, each received framed prints to recognize their All-American finishes at the 2013 NCAA Championships. Gibson, who was a JUCO transfer from California, finished eighth at this year’s national tournament to gain All-America status. The Vallejo, Calif. native finished his Cyclone career with a 57-27 record.
Senior NCAA-qualifier Max Mayfield earned the Dr. Wise Burroughs Leadership Award, given to the senior who best demonstrates leadership to both his team and to himself. The 149-pounder from Davenport, Iowa punched his ticket to Des Moines with a runner-up finish at the Big 12 Championships. Mayfield’s conference tournament was highlighted by a semifinal upset of No. 16 Nick Lester of Oklahoma. Mayfield, who also excels in the classroom, was selected to the Big 12 All-Academic First-Team this season.
Four Cyclones received Academic Awards, given to members of the 2013 Big 12 All-Academic Team or individuals who maintained a 3.5 GPA in the fall semester. Senior Max Mayfield, junior Boaz Beard, freshman Gabe Moreno and freshman Adam Knier each received the academic accolade.
Beard, who is a two-time NCAA qualifier, received his second Big 12 All-Academic honor this season. The Wichita, Kan. native was named to this year’s All-Big 12 Academic Second-Team.
Freshman of the Year was awarded to Huxley, Iowa native Tanner Weatherman. Weatherman finished the year 20-9, missing the All-America podium by one match at the NCAA Championships. Despite not making the podium, Weatherman was able to turn heads with two upsets in his first matches of the tournament, as he beat the No. 10 seed Dan Yates of Michigan and the No. 7 seed Jordan Blanton of Illinois. Weatherman’s 16-14 win over Blanton was the highest scoring match of the NCAA tournament.
Matt Gibson, Max Mayfield and Chris Spangler, ISU’s three seniors this season, were honored throughout the banquet. Each senior received a one-year membership to the Cyclone Wrestling Club, their framed Cyclone singlet and a packet from the Iowa State Letterwinners Club. Gibson, Mayfield and Spangler all gave a brief speech thanking fans, friends and family members for support over the years.
Below is the complete list of award winners:
Outstanding Citizen Award: Quinn Wilson
Most Improved Award: Michael Moreno
Dr. Wise Burroughs Leadership Award: Max Mayfield
Freshman of the Year Award: Tanner Weatherman
NCAA All-American Portrait: Matt Gibson, Kyven Gadson and Michael Moreno
Total Commitment Award: Kyven Gadson
Outstanding Academic Award: Connor Clarke
Outstanding Wrestler Award: Kyven Gadson and Michael Moreno
Great Cyclone Award: Bill Stewart
Outstanding Supporter Award: Don Ewing