Men's Sports

Yonger Bastida helps lift No. 5 Iowa State to a dominant 41-3 dual meet win over No. 7 Missouri

Iowa State heavyweight Yonger Bastida celebrates after a dominant top-five win over Missouri’s Zach Elam. Photo by Jacqueline Cordova 

AMES — Iowa State’s standout 165-pound senior David Carr held his phone up, flashlight gleaming, as he trained his gaze on Cyclone heavyweight Yonger Bastida.

 Carr grinned as if he knew what was coming when the skilled and powerful third-ranked Cuban transplant took the mat Sunday for a top-five matchup with No. 5 Zach Elam of Missouri.

 And to call Bastida’s win by major decision, 13-4, a mere high point of the fifth-ranked Cyclones’ 41-3 pummeling of short-handed and No. 7 Missouri would be a gross understatement. 

 “All week, I’ve been telling him, ‘Dude, no one can stop you, your pace is incredible, and you’re wrestling at such a high level,’” said the second-rated Carr, who capped his dual meet career with a 67-0 mark at Hilton Coliseum, even though he didn’t get the matchup with No. 1 Keegan O’Toole that he wanted. “His dominance on his feet, on the bottom. I got to watch (ISU head coach Kevin) Dresser work some specific things for this guy and he really executed like he was drilling. He’s so focused, he’s so dialed in, so to see him cap off a perfect dual meet record (and) a perfect record right now going into the postseason, it’s really awesome. It’s really special to see.”

 Carr, as noted above, didn’t get to face O’Toole — the two-time defending national champ who beat him in last March’s NCAA final. Missouri issued a statement earlier in the week that read “due to illness and injury, Mizzou wrestling will have a limited lineup this weekend.”

 Carr — a 2021 national champion and four-time All-American — took the missed opportunity in stride, though, and pinned the Tigers’ backup 165-pounder Jeremy Jakowitsch in 1:42 after already racking up a 15-4 lead.

 “It’s probably a strategy,” Dresser said of Missouri’s lineup that featured just two regulars in Elam and 141-pounder Josh Edmond. “And (Tigers head coach Brian) Smith’s been around a long time, so it’s not my place to challenge his strategy, but it’s obviously a strategy and we’ll see if the strategy pays off.”

ISU scored bonus points in all but four of Sunday’s matches. But the most exciting match of the day came down to the closing seconds as the Cyclones’ No. 9 Anthony Echemendia secured a late takedown to beat the 24th-ranked Edmond, 10-9. Echemendia trailed 7-0 after a failed shot nearly got him pinned, but he battled back methodically to secure the victory.

 “Winning that match at 141 and winning that match at heavyweight was probably the highlight,” Dresser said. “Team Cuba came through. That was the highlight of (Sunday).”

 Bastida’s most highlight-worthy moment came in the second period. He stuck a double-leg takedown of Elam, then hoisted the fellow heavyweight in the air before driving him back onto the mat.

 “He’s a guy that doesn’t shoot at all,” said Bastida, who will enter the postseason with a 20-0 mark. “The last two matches he just won by a point or something like that. He was trying to keep it close, (so) my mentality was, ‘I’ve gotta risk it. I’ve gotta be the one (taking) my opportunity.’”

 Bastida — a 2022 All-American at 197 and first-year competitor at heavyweight — simply dominated Elam. Then, after the win, he reiterated a message to the rest of the heavyweight field that’s become a sort-of theme for him.

 “I told you they’re going to have to try to survive,” Bastida said. “I’m going there and I’m gonna kick butt.”