AMES — The Kevin Dresser led Iowa State program team took the mat for the first time on Saturday at the Harold Nichols Cyclone Open. For a complete update on what went down, here are three takeaways to recap the action.
1 – Things weren’t bad, but things weren’t great
Iowa State finished with a total of 12 place winners in the open division and nine in the freshman-sophomore division.
Among those winners were Kristian Vasquez (141) and Kaden Sauer (197), who both placed first in their weight classes in the freshmen-sophomore division.
In the open division, Ian Parker (133), Gavin DeWitt (149) and Chase Straw (157) also finished first.
Those numbers look solid on paper but there is still a lot of work to be done. Leading up to the event, Dresser said that his team was banged up. Iowa State’s first year head coach wasn’t wrong. During some matches, wrestlers fell short from what seemed to come from lack of energy.
“This is really just the starting point,” said Dresser. “You watch these guys wrestle in the room but this is different out here.”
Marcus Harrington had a successful start to the day but fell short and ended the day as a runner up. During his final match, Harrington seemed to look tired and out of energy. Harrington lost 3-2 to UNI’s Carter Isley.
Markus Simmons was inconsistent and placed fifth in his weight class.
Skylar St. John hurt his knee and had to be helped back to the locker room in his final match. There is currently no update on the situation.
“To me, this is day one and now we can really get on the horse and go,” said Dresser.
2 – Keep your eyes on Ian Parker
“I know the one guy on the team right now that does everything right, that is a detail oriented guy, that is Ian Parker” said Dresser.
Parker had an extremely successful day. He dominated every one of his matches and took home first place in his weight class of 133.
Parker started the day by defeating Missouri’s Allan Hart 13-5, a major decision. Then he beat UNI’s Jack Wagner 4-0. In his final match of the day, Parker topped Illinois’ Alijiah Jeffery, 6-1.
Parker ended the day outscoring his opponents 23-6 and did not allow a single takedown.
“He’s cutting more weight, he’s got more discipline, he’s got a stronger worth ethic — he’s the gold standard in our room right now,” said Dresser. “Is he the best wrestler on our team? No. But you saw what happens when you do things right.”
It’s early, but the 133 starting position is looking pretty promising for Ian Parker.
“The Ian Parker’s of the world are the guys who get on the podiums and the get the titles because it’s that important to them,” Dresser said.
3 – Kevin Dresser is taking this one event at a time
This tournament was simply the first step in figuring out who is going to fill what positions. It’ll be a busy week now for the wrestling program leading up to next Sunday’s dual vs. Drexel.
“We’ve got some guys that need to listen,” Dresser said. “They think they know what they’re doing and have a lot of bad habits. Now, we have ammunition.”
Dresser said that some wrestlers will not be competing next weekend due to breaking team rules. Among those sitting out will be Jon Marmolejo, Dante Rodriguez and Danny Vega. Dresser didn’t disclose too many details but simply stated the reasoning was minor but that a message was being sent early.
“The honeymoon is over starting Monday,” said Dresser.
Next Sunday, Nov. 12 the Cyclones will host its dual opener with the Drexel Dragans set to begin at noon.