WRESTLING: Eight Cyclones ranked in FloWrestling preseason Rankings

FloWrestling released their preseason rankings on Sept. 23 and a total of eight Cyclones appeared among the rankings. That’s the most individual rankings for a Big 12 team.

Overall, Iowa State was ranked at No. 13.

Top Five teams:

No. 1. Penn State
No. 2. Iowa
No. 3. Oklahoma State
No. 4. Ohio State
No. 5. Wisconsin
No. 5. Arizona State

Iowa State Ranked Opponents:
(Included is last seasons dual results)

No. 2. Iowa (19-18, Iowa)
No. 8. Missouri (23-15, Missouri)
No. 10. UNI (22-13, UNI)
No. 19. Oklahoma (25-6, ISU)

125: Alex Mackall, No. 14

Mackall cracked the lineup for the first time last season. He had a third-place finish at the Big 12 Championships and was an NCAA qualifier. He posted an overall record of 27-12 and a 9-5 dual finish. Out of his nine dual wins, four of them were wins by fall.

Potential ranked dual opponents:
No. 1 Spencer Lee – Iowa
No. 4 Nicholas Piccininni – OSU
No. 11 Jacob Schwarm – UNI
No. 19 Christian Moody – OU

Mackall defeated Moody by a 10-4 decision last season but did lose against Lee, Piccininni and Schwarm.

133: Austin Gomez, No. 8

Gomez has been a top guy for the Cyclones. Last season he posted a 24-7 overall record with an 11-3 dual finish. He made it to the Round of 12 during his first trip to Pittsburgh and finished third at the Big 12 Championship.

Potential ranked dual opponents:
No. 2 Dayton Fix – OSU
No. 5 Austin DeSanto – Iowa
No. 10 Taylor Lamont – Utah Valley
No. 13 Cam Sykora – NDSU
No. 22 Gary Joint – Fresno State

Of those five, Gomez defeated Joint and Sykora and Desanto. When facing Desanto in a highly anticipated match in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, the 133 pounder requested his match be the last match of the day. He defeated Desanto 14-9. When competing against Fix, Gomez did lose the match 5-4.

141: Ian Parker, No. 14

Parker had one of the toughest schedules of all his teammates last season but still ended the season 24-9 overall with a 10-3 dual finish. The 141 pounder took his first trip to Pittsburgh after a fourth-place finish at the Big 12 Championships.

The redshirt junior went on to receive Big 12 Wrestler of the Week, for the second season in a row, after defeating All-Americans Dom Demas of OU and Kaid Brock of OSU. He also had the most pins of the starting lineup last season with a total of eight wins by fall.

Potential ranked dual opponents:
No. 1 Dom Demas – OU
No. 4 Grent Leeth – Missouri
No. 9 Max Murin – Iowa
No. 10 Kaden Gfeller – OSU

Of those four, Parker has defeated Demas and Murin.

149 Jarrett Degen, No. 3

Degen is the highest-ranked Cyclone in the preseason rankings. The redshirt junior was the only grappler to make the trip to Pittsburgh in Dresser’s first season in 2017-18. He went on to the Round of 12 that year. Last season, he became the first All-American in the Dresser Era alongside 197 pounder Willie Miklus. The 149 pounder took seventh place at the NCAA Championships and had a runner-up finish at the Big 12 Championship. The Montana native finished the season with an overall 29-8 record with a 12-2 finish in dual competition.

Potential ranked dual opponents:
No. 2 Brock Mauller – Missouri
No. 6 Pat Lugo – Iowa
No. 7 Boo Lewallen – OSU
No. 8 Max Thomsen – UNI
No. 13 Matt Findlay – Utah Valley
No. 16 Khristian Olivas – Fresno State
No. 20 Henry Pohlmeyer – SDSU

Last season, Degen defeated Lugo, Mauller, Olivas and pinned Pohlmeyer but went down against Thomsen.

157 David Carr, No. 17

Carr is coming in fresh off his redshirt season as a Junior World Champion at 74kg. The 157 pounder racked up at 23-1 overall record wrestling unattached. The Ohio native is easily one of the most eagerly anticipated wrestlers coming in for the Cyclones this season.

Potential ranked dual opponents:
No. 2 Kaleb Young – Iowa
No. 10 Jarrett Jacques – Missouri
No. 13 Justin Thomas – OU
No. 14 Zach Hartman – Bucknell

165 – There will be a wrestle-off

With the addition of Carr to the lineup, that bumped Big 12 Champion, Chase Straw, up a weight class.

Last season, the 165-pound weight class held the biggest question mark.

Freshman Logan Schumacher earned the starting position after he won a five man wrestle-off. A wrestle-off that came after redshirt senior, Skyler St. John stepped away from wrestling due to injury.

Straw had an impressive season last year at 157 pounds after he hustled to improve a rocky start of the season. He lost five duals before finally picking up speed and winning five duals in a row. The Winthrop native went on to be the first Cyclone since 2011 that walked away with a title at the Big 12 Championship. A title that held a lot of weight after the NCAA Championship allocations only allowed for a single spot for the 165-pound weight class for the Big 12.

A wrestle-off will probably take place once again before anyone is named the official guy at 165 pounds.

174 Marcus Coleman, No. 22

Coleman was a highly anticipated redshirt after compiling an impressive 24-2 overall record. In his first season cracking the line-up, he ended with a 28-14 overall record and 10-4 in dual competition. Coleman received some heat from head coach Kevin Dresser after having some rather prominent inconsistencies on the mat.

For example, here’s a video of head coach Dresser following a big comeback win for Coleman back in January. Although he walked off the mat a winner, it wasn’t with the expectations Dresser had for him.

Potential ranked dual opponents:
No. 4 Michael Kemerer – Iowa
No. 6 Joseph Smith – OSU
No. 7 Connor Flynn – Missouri
No. 11 Kimball Bastian – Utah Valley
No. 19 Lorenzo De La Riva – NDSU
No. 25 Anthony Mantanona – OU

Coleman defeated Mantanona and lost to Smith last season.

174 Sam Colbray, No. 5

Colbray has been on a steady incline and has had one of the more dramatic transformations. There were big expectations for Colbray who ended up falling short after missing the NCAA Championships his redshirt freshman season in 2017-18. The Oregon native turned that all around in his redshirt sophomore year last season with a 28-8 overall record and a 13-1 finish in dual competition. He had a runner-up finish at the Big 12 Championship and made it to the Round of 12 in Pittsburgh.

Coach Dresser said it best when meeting with the media back in March after it was announced that Colbray had received the No. 1 seed for the Big 12 Championship at 184 pounds:

Potential ranked dual opponents:
No. 4 Taylor Lujan – UNI
No. 10 Cash Wilcke – Iowa
No. 13 Dylan Wiseman – Missouri
No. 18 Jackson Hemauer – Fresno State

Colbray defeated Wiseman, Wilcke and Hemauer last season.

197 – There will be a wrestle-off

At the conclusion of his redshirt senior season, Miklus went on to join the staff as the graduate assistant and left the 197-pound weight class vacant.

This makes room for redshirt freshman Joel Shapiro and redshirt freshman Francis Duggan to most likely face off for the starting position.

Shapiro, a Valley graduate, was a highly sought after recruit. He finished high school with a 174-16 overall record and a two-time state champion. In his season as an unattached wrestler, he compiled a 26-5 overall record. He took home titles at the Grandview Open, Loras Open and Dave Edmonds Open. He placed third at both the UNI Open and Last Chance Open.

Duggan, an Iowa City West graduate, was ranked as a No. 70 overall recruit in the class of 2018 by Intermat. He finished high school with a 140-18 overall record. In his redshirt season, he compiled a 18-9 overall record. He had a first-place finish at the Cyclone Open, a third-place finish at the Loras Open, a fourth-place finish at the UNI Open and fifth-place finish at Last Chance Open.

285 Gannon Gremmel, No. 17

Out of all the rankings released, Gremmel’s was the most surprising. Gremmel will potentially face off against eight ranked wrestlers. That’s the most among the ranked Cyclones. The heavyweight beat three of the eight ranked opponents last season: No. 16 AJ Nevills, No. 24 Brandon Ngati and No. 8 Zach Elam.

The Dubuque native finished the season 27-15 overall with a 9-5 finish in dual action. Elam finished his season 25-11 overall with a 10-7 finish in dual competition. Although a top-ten finish wasn’t necessarily the expectation there was still a feeling his ranking could be in the top-15.

Looking ahead, Gremmel still has a lot of room for improvement before he reaches his peak. This season there should be a lot of excitement to see what the offseason did for the heavyweight after seeing a glimpse at what he’s capable of last season.

Potential ranked dual competition:
No. 8 Zach Elam – Missouri
No. 11 Anthony Cassioppo – Iowa
No. 12 Tate Orndorff – Utah Valley
No. 16 Aj Nevills – Fresno State
No. 18 Garrett Hoffman – Bucknell
No. 20 Carter Isley – UNI
No. 21 Brandon Metz – NDSU
No. 24 Brandon Ngati – WVU

Jacqueline Cordova


Jacqueline graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications. She has been fortunate enough to have interned for Cyclone Fanatic for 2 and a half years before being promoted to stay on. She currently wears a lot of hats at Cyclone Fanatic: Social Media Director, Iowa State Wrestling beat reporter, and staff photographer. Jacqueline loves reading and watching trash reality TV shows when she's not watching sports. One of her favorite accomplishments is having interned for the Minnesota Vikings and during Super Bowl LII.