No. 4 Iowa State takes down no. 17 West Virginia 29-11 on Senior Night

Ames – Iowa State set the stage for Senior Night, and they put on a show. They took down the Mountaineers 29-11.

The Cyclones won seven of the 10 bouts dominantly, with three underclassmen securing bonus points for the program.

Kysen Terukina started things off for the Cyclones with a 10-7 decision over Jett Strickenberger at 125 pounds. Evan Frost did not miss a beat, dominating his way to a 17-1 tech fall win in 3:54 over Mason Mills.

Despite missing two key starters, Anthony Echemendia (141) and Will Feldkamp (184), the Cyclones did not let it hold them back.

In the marquee matchup of the night, Casey Swiderski brought Hilton Coliseum to its feet as he secured a 7-4 decision over No. 7 Ty Watters in sudden victory.

Swiderski was trailing Watters 4-0 with 1:37 left in the match, but he tied things up with a takedown with 15 seconds remaining in the third period and rode Watters out into sudden victory. The 149-pounder secured the winning takedown on an ankle pick to earn a 7-4 decision.

That ankle pick has become kind of a signature move for Swiderski. Something head coach Kevin Dresser has said is key to being a good wrestler.

“If you don’t have a go-to shot it’s really hard to reach your goals and get to Saturday at the NCAA’s,” Dresser said.

Swiderski has started to make things click, including honing in his emotions in big-time matches.

“Every now and then, he kind of reverts to look like he wants to punch the other guy. He had that look in his eye for about a second in the first period and then all of a sudden it went away,” Dresser recalled. “It’s a work in progress. We’re getting there but he’s controlling his emotions better. He wrestles better when he controls his emotions better. You know, the dude’s wired high and that’s what makes him good. But that’s what makes it vulnerable too.”

For Swiderski the key has been the work he’s been doing with Coach Derek St. John.

“You know, Derek St. John looked at me and said ‘Calm the f down’ because I’m just freaking out, out there and just told me to calm the f down, ride him (Watters) out for 15 seconds, and take him down,” Swiderski said post-match. “Derek’s helped me a lot to keep it sane, you know, not freaking out. It’s helped me in a lot of matches, as you can see.”

On his senior night, David Carr picked up a top-10 win, his sixth of the season. He took out No. 8 Peyton Hall with a 10-5 decision. The crowd gave Carr a standing ovation as he left the mat with his hands raised in the air.

Photo Courtesy of Jacqueline Cordova

Following Carr’s win, MJ Gaitan came on to the mat on a mission. All it took was 38 seconds for Gaitan to win by fall. If you blinked, you could’ve missed it.

When recalling the pin in the post-dual press conference, Gaitan said there was only one thought on his mind once he got his hands on his opponent: “Squeeze the shit out of him.”

“I was looking at my teammates going crazy, and Hilton erupted. There was just so much energy there that I was not letting go,” Gaitan said.

Dresser likes what he’s seeing from the 174-pounder.

“MJ (Gaitan) is dangerous,” Dresser said. “I’m telling you, that dude catches a head and an arm, and he can fight them from anywhere. Left field. Right field. You’re not getting out because that guy fought as hard as anybody I’ve seen.”

Swiderski could tell from the start of the dual that it was going to be a fun night at Hilton Coliseum. He could feel it in the energy as over 4700 fans filled the stands.

“I think we were warming up out there, and you could just feel it already,” Swiderski said. “When we went out there in our robes and came back in the back, I looked at MJ and I said you can’t lose out there. It’s electric. I mean, it’s surreal out there, you know. I love it out there. It’s so fun to be out there. I think the other guys on the other team are like ‘Man, I wish it was like this where I’m from,’ you know?”

The Cyclones will get two more opportunities to experience the Hilton magic. The next one is against Northern Iowa on Sunday, Feb. 11, a much-anticipated in-state Big 12 rival.

Match-by-Match Results
No. 4 Iowa State 29, No. 17 West Virginia 11
125: #25 Kysen Terukina (ISU) dec. Jett Strickenberger (WVU), 10-7
133: #8 Evan Frost (ISU) TF Mason Mills (WVU), 17-1 (3:54)
141: #10 Jordan Titus (WVU) Maj. Dec. Sam Hrabovsky (ISU), 11-3
149: #10 Casey Swiderski (ISU) dec. #7 Ty Watters (WVU), 7-4 SV-1
157: #13 Cody Chittum (ISU) maj. dec. Caleb Dowling (WVU), 13-5
165: #2 David Carr (ISU) dec. #8 Peyton Hall (WVU), 10-5
174: #22 MJ Gaitan (ISU) WBF #17 Brody Conley (WVU), 0:38
184:  #30 Dennis Robin (WVU) maj. dec. Tate Naaktgeboren, 15-5
197: Austin Cooley (WVU) dec. #30 Julien Broderson (ISU), 10-4
285: #3 Yonger Bastida (ISU) TF Michael Wolfgram (WVU), 23-8 (3:49)
*InterMat Indiv. Rankings (1/30/2024)

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.