AMES — Domination. That’s what Iowa State wrestling coach Kevin Jackson wants from his wrestlers.
On Sunday, Jackson said that was missing as the No. 8 Cyclones (6-2, 0-1 Big 12) lost 20-15 to the No. 7 Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-3, 2-0 Big 12) at Hilton Coliseum.
“To win a national championship, or even be an all-American, your mentality has to be to dominate for seven minutes,” Jackson said. “Not just to survive, or not just to win. The win comes in the effort in which you compete and wrestle in every situation. You can only do that so many times before that catches up to you and I think it caught up to a couple of our guys today.”
The Cyclones appeared to be off to a great start when redshirt sophomore Kyle Larson led tenth-rated Eddie Klimara 6-1 at the end of the second period in the first match of the day at 125 pounds.
Klimara dominated the third period, scoring an escape, two takedowns and picking up a point after Larson was called for stalling.
Klimara won the match on an 8-7 decision with riding time. According to Jackson, it could have been the match that swung the whole dual.
“I thought we could’ve started out real strong if we could’ve found a way to win that match,” Jackson said. “And we would have won the dual based on that match.”
The Cyclones got wins from junior Earl Hall (9-5 dec.) at 133 pounds and redshirt sophomore Gabe Moreno (7-2 dec.) at 149 pounds in order to stay within striking distance at 17-6 with three matches left.
Then redshirt sophomore Lelund Weatherspoon picked up a 5-1 decision to pull within 17-9 with Iowa State’s best wrestler, 197 pounder Kyven Gadson coming to the mat.
The Cyclones needed a fall if they had any remaining hope of winning the dual. Their senior leader delivered.
“I knew we needed bonus points to put ourselves into a position to win,” Gadson said. “I saw an opportunity and I thought it would be good if I seized it.”
Three minutes and 50 seconds into the match, Gadson pinned OSU’s Luke Bean and pulled his team within two points at 17-15 with one match to go.
Redshirt sophomore heavyweight Quean Smith came to the mat with a chance to seal an upset for his team. All he needed was a win. Instead, he fell to fifth-rated Austin Marsden by a 4-3 decision.
Jackson said afterwards that he didn’t feel like his team came out with the right amount of urgency if they wanted to win, and, he added, that is something that will have to change.
“Our attack rate was not strong enough to beat Oklahoma State today,” Jackson said. “They were more aggressive than us, they set the pace, and that’s disappointing. If we’re going to lose I want to lose with our best effort, our best energy, our best intensity. That didn’t happen tonight.”
The Cyclone wrestlers will be back in action on Saturday when they hit the road to take on the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman.