AMES — Iowa State competed in its first Big 12 dual of the season on Saturday and walked away with a 19-14 victory over conference newcomer Wyoming.
The dual began with the two teams trading wins. The Cowboys won at 125. The Cyclones won at 133. The back-and-forth trading of wins continued until intermission, when Iowa State was down 11-7.
That didn’t affect the Iowa State’s game plan though.
“We didn’t try to get [the wrestlers] pumped up because they were ready to wrestle,” said ISU coach Kevin Jackson. “We just went through the game plan again during the intermission.”
Coming out of intermission was when the trading stopped and the string of Cyclones wins began.
The first match out of the intermission a the battle of 165-pounders, Iowa State’s Tanner Weatherman and Kyle Pope of Wyoming.
Pope jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a takedown with 1:52 left in the first period but Weatherman did not waver. He took a 3-2 lead just 49 seconds later. At the end of the first period between, Weatherman led Pope 5-4.
In the second period, Weatherman created a 9-6 lead after capturing two takedowns on Pope. The third period was when the battle between the 165-pound wrestlers got interesting.
“[Tanner] got so excited because takedowns were so easy that he forgot to continue to keep looking for his offense,” Jackson said.
Weatherman built a 15-9 lead with 55 seconds left in the third period over Pope. But those 55 seconds were all Pope needed to regain the lead. Pope scored a four-point near fall to go up 16-15 with one second left in the match. Thanks to riding time, Weatherman gained a point to tie the match at 16 apiece to send the match to sudden victory.
During sudden victory, round one, Weatherman claimed a takedown 25 seconds in to defeat Pope 18-16 to bring Iowa State within one point of Wyoming’s lead.
“If [Tanner] would have lost that match, I am not sure if we would have won this dual,” Jackson said.
Then came the marquee matchup of the Iowa State-Wyoming dual featuring two ranked 174-pound wrestlers: No. 17 Lelund Weatherspoon of Iowa State against No. 13 Benjamin Stroh of Wyoming (according to the Intermat rankings).
Fourteen seconds into the match, Weatherspoon took down the higher ranked Stroh to jump out to a 2-0 lead.
“My mindset was to go out and dominate,” Weatherspoon said.
Weatherspoon never trailed in the match, as he ultimately defeated Stroh by a 11-5 decision.
“It was the best match of the season,” Jackson said. “I think we are seeing the Lelund we expected to see at the beginning of the season.”
With the win, Weatherspoon gave the Cyclones its first lead of the day with a 13-11 score.
Iowa State went onto win the 184-pound matchup when Dane Pestano won by a 3-1 decision over Jace Jensen. The Cyclones then secured the 19-14 victory over the Cowboys when 197-pound ISU grappler Duke Egli won by a 4-3 decision over Brandon Tribble.
“Wyoming came to compete,” Jackson said. “That Big 12 logo on their singlet meant something for them but we pulled off the win, even though it was closer than we expected.”
Iowa State will hit the mats again on Dec. 29 and 30 when they travel to Evanston, Illinois to compete in the Midland Championships.
125: Larson (ISU) lost by a 1-9 major decision to Templeman (Wyoming)
133: Hall (ISU) won by a 14-4 major decision over Garcia (Wyoming)
141: Meeks (ISU) lost by a 2-3 decision to Meredith (Wyoming)
149: Moreno (ISU) won by a 6-2 decision over Elliott (Wyoming)
157: Breitenbach (ISU) lost by a 4-12 major decision to Colgan (Wyoming)
165: Weatherman (ISU) won by a 18-16 sudden victory over Pope (Wyoming)
174: Weatherspoon (ISU) won by a 11-5 decision over Stroh (Wyoming)
184: Pestano (ISU) won by a 3-1 decision over Jensen (Wyoming)
197: Egli (ISU) won by a 4-3 decision over Tribble (Wyoming)
285: Smith (ISU) Harms (Wyoming)