Photo courtesy of Iowa State athletics communications.
AMES — The sour taste in the mouth of Iowa State’s new-look wrestling program is officially gone.
The Cyclones defeated Oregon State, 24-16, on Sunday which brought head coach Kevin Dresser his first dual win at Iowa State.
“It’s not Coach Dresser’s win. It’s the team’s win. It’s the programs win. It’s the fans win. It’s everything,” Dresser said afterwards.
The Cyclones started slow with back to back losses at 197 (redshirt freshmen Sam Colbray) and redshirt junior Marcus Harrington at 285. However, things quickly turned around with wins from redshirt junior Markus Simmons (133), redshirt freshman No. 11 Kanen Storr (141), redshirt freshman Jarrett Degen (149), and redshirt junior Danny Bush (174).
The win is an accomplishment for a young program that needed something positive to happen, but Dresser did not shy from work that still needs to be done.
“The message is always progress. Today we made progress.” said Dresser. “We need to enjoy this a little and then we get a chance to compete in 4-5 dual meets Friday and Saturday which is what we need right now.”
How they won
The Cyclones pulled through due to some major bonus points brought in from Storr, Degen and Bush.
“We worked for it and we earned it,” said Storr. “Just to see the crowds reaction gave us a little taste of victory.”
Storr had a major decision win and had more riding time then you usually see. Storr being a key component to the teams success isn’t any rare as it has been to see Degen be at the top of the list.
— CycloneFanatic.com (@cyclonefanatic) January 7, 2018
Degen won by tech fall in 5:34 and came back stronger than he did Friday night. He held a consistent rhythm and gained over eight nearfall points in the match.
Degen had two top performances this weekend after having a bumpy week in practice. This is a bright weight class to keep an eye on for the future.
This dual’s surprise came from Bush, who pulled through with a late pin in the third period that led Iowa State to gain the lead they needed to win the dual.
Iowa State takes the lead 21-16 after Danny Bush pins Myles Terry! pic.twitter.com/KyUuariLKK
— Jacqueline (@JacquelineCord) January 7, 2018
What still needs work
…The lack of bonus points. Simmons was a prime example on Sunday. Iowa State won, but there was definitely room for more takedowns to be made to make the winning deficit larger. Simmons’ only point in the entire second period came from an escape from starting down and only gained a stalling point in the third.
“I call it how I see it and he takes shortcuts,” Dresser said. “He is still only performing 50 percent max and he can still win and ride like that. If he ever decides to get really disciplined and detailed he could be really good but I don’t see that yet. If he’s listening he’s probably mad at me right now but I don’t care.”
Redshirt senior Dane Pestano (184) once again had a surprising performance. Although he won, it was only by a point. No action in the first and second period and it was only late third that Pestano pulled a takedown.
“In those matches, the scores should’ve been a little larger and we should’ve widened those gaps,” said Storr. “Just because matchups are close doesn’t mean we have to lose them and it does seem like we find ways to lose and I think that’s a big part of our mental game.”
We saw the negative that comes from Marcus Harrington’s transition to heavyweight, being that he’s not the biggest heavyweight out there.
There is a vacancy in 125
Sophomore walk-on Jakob Allison has a broken right hand and will be out for an extended long period of time.
Sinjin Briggs competed in Dubuque at the Pat ‘Flash’ Flanagan Open at 125.
“We’re in our fourth 125-pounder and this guy came out like two weeks ago,” said Dresser. “He’s a great kid, I don’t know how he heard that we were looking for more guys.”
Briggs is a true freshmen from Gilbert who just landed himself a starting position.
“He went 1-2 yesterday and welcome to the NFL because he’s in the NFL starting Friday,” said Dresser referencing this upcoming weekend at the Virginia Duals.
With one win under its belt, Iowa State hopes to take this win and use it to fuel the rebuilding process.
“This taste of victory is the first little bit we’ve gotten,”said Kanen Storr. “Guys are going to take this feeling and run with it in the room and push harder and push themselves a little further everyday to get that feeling again.”