AMES — To begin his last match in an ISU singlet and in Hilton Coliseum, 133-pound senior wrestler Earl Hall squatted down, looked at the mat and slapped it.
That was one of two emotional scenes during Iowa State’s Senior Day on Sunday inside of Hilton Coliseum.
When the No. 16 ISU wrestling squad took on Big 12 opponent, the West Virginia Mountaineers, it was the last time that Hilton Coliseum would see Hall and 165-pounder Tanner Weatherman compete in a cardinal and gold singlet.
“I love both of them,” said ISU coach Kevin Jackson.
The Cyclones dominated the Mountaineers 28-11 and sent both Hall and Weatherman out the right way.
Iowa State jumped out to an early 9-0 lead as it headed into Hall’s last match in an ISU singlet.
“The time just flew by,” Hall said.
Hall dominated his opponent throughout the first two periods. As he jumped out to a 7-3 lead. However, his last match wouldn’t be complete without suspense as he suffered a stinger early in the third period.
But Hall shook it off and closed out his Hilton career with a 10-5 victory.
“I didn’t want to cry after my match,” Hall said. “So I just took it all in.”
After taking in the roar of the Hilton crowd, Hall ran off the mat and embraced Jackson.
Hall thanked Jackson for the allowing him the opportunity to compete at Iowa State. After Hall was done competing for the day, it took three matches until Cyclone fans would see Weatherman compete in Hilton one last time.
In his last match at home, Weatherman, like Hall absolutely dominated. He came out attacking, as he claimed two takedowns in the first period.
But with 17 seconds left in the first period, Weatherman ended his home career in amazing fashion.
“It was a picture perfect ending,” Weatherman said. “There was no better way to go out.”
With 17 seconds left in the first period, Weatherman got his opponent on his back and claimed a fall to end his Hilton career. When his armed was raised, Weatherman pounded his chest and pointed to the crowd.
“I am just grateful for these fans,” Weatherman said.
The team now has to get ready for the Minnesota Golden Gophers to close out the regular season.
“One-hundred and eighty-four-pound and 149-pound are two weight classes that we [ISU] need to get settled,” head coach Kevin Jackson said.
Iowa State has two solid options at the 184-weight class in Dane Pestano and Patrick Downey.
For the match against West Virginia, Jackson determined the starter at that weight group via a wrestle-off. But no matter who is the starter going to be at the 184-pound position, Jackson feels comfortable at weight.
He does however feel like the 149-position is a big question mark.
“I just can’t’ seem to get the best performance out of Blayne [Briceno],” Jackson said.
When former 149 starter, Gabe Moreno, got shut down for the season due to a shoulder injury, Briceno was selected to take over his spot.
Against West Virginia, Briceno was defeated in the remaining second of the third period. As he lost by a 13-11 decision.
“[Blayne] kind of disconnects at times during dual meets,” Jackson said.
With the way the 149 position has performed as of late, Jackson is holding a competition between Briceno, John Meeks and Dante Rodriguez to determine the starter at that weight class.
Despite still having question marks with the roster, Jackson was pleased with the outcome of Senior Day.
“I’m happy with the way we sent out our seniors,” Jackson said.
125: Larson (ISU) defeated Moisey (WVU) by injury default in the first period
133: Hall (ISU) defeated Stainbrook (WVU) via 10-5 decision
141: Boston (ISU) defeated DeAngleo (WVU) via 4-3 decision
149: Briceno (ISU) lost to Moore (WVU) via 13-11 decision
157: Breitenbach (ISU) lost Cottrell (WVU) via technical fall
165: Weatherman (ISU) defeated Flynn (WVU) via fall in the first period
174: Weatherspoon (ISU) defeated Renzi (WVU) via 11-3 major decision
184: Downey (ISU) defeated Scheffel (WVU) via 5-4 decision
197: Harrington (ISU) lost to Smith (WVU) via 9-2 decision
285: Smith (ISU) defeated Vizcarrondo (WVU) via 3-1 decision in extra time