Cyclones Send Four to Quarters; Reader Wins Number 100
EVANSTON, Ill. - Iowa State sent four wrestlers through to the quarterfinals of the Midlands Championships Wednesday. Led by their trio of seniors: Chris Drouin, Nate Carr Jr. and Jon Reader, the Cyclones are sitting in ninth place with 21 points. Missouri leads with 31 1/2 points.
The biggest surprise of the first session for Iowa State was sophomore Chris Spangler. In his first action since suffering a concussion at the Hokie Open in Nov., Spangler opened with a 6-1 victory at 165 pounds. In his second match of the day he hit a late takedown to upset Tyler Caldwell of Oklahoma by a score of 2-1. Caldwell was an All-American at 165 pounds last year. Spangler moves to the quarterfinal round in tonight?s session.
"We know we have two good 165 pounders, the competition at that weight is intense," Jackson said. "It is going to be a battle in the room at 165 pounds and that competition is what drives a national program."
Jon Reader continued his tremendous start to the season in the 174-pound weight class with a 19-1 technical fall over Bobby Bowman of Arizona State. Reader then defeated UNI All-American Jarion Beets for the 100th victory of his career as a Cyclone. The Davison, Mich. native became the 36th Cyclone to win 100 career matches and 15-0 this season.
Chris Drouin started out the day in electrifying fashion with a 19-1 technical fall over Nick Dardanes of Minnesota at 141 pounds. The senior from Temecula , Calif. tilted his opponent repeatedly during the match. Drouin then edged Dustin Walraven of South Dakota State by a score of 4-2 to earn a rematch with Mark Ballweg of Iowa in the quarterfinals.
Nate Carr Jr. kept his strong senior season going with a 6-3 first-round victory over Vince Castillo of Northern Illinois at 149 pounds. Carr then hit a takedown with under ten seconds left to garner a 6-4 victory in the next round, which sends the senior from Gray, Ga. to the quarterfinals.
Cole Shafer earned his biggest victory of the season thus far with a pin of seventh-seeded Tony Dallago of Illinois at 184 pounds. Shafer then fell in a tight match to tenth-seeded Mike Larson of Missouri.
Kyle Simonson and Matt Gibson both defeated opponents from Purdue in their heavyweight matches. Simonson racked up over four minutes of riding time en route to a 14-4 victory while Gibson used a late takedown to seal a 7-2 victory.
Simonson then fell in a close match to John Helgerson of Wartburg. Simonson beat Helgerson in the finals of the Harold Nichols Open this year.
"Those two have a history," Jackson said. "It goes back to high school. Kyle just couldn't get his offense going."
Gibson lost a back-and-forth match with D.J. Russo of Rutgers. Russo, the third-rated heavyweight in the country, scored on a reversal with less than a minute left to secure an 8-5 victory.
Wrestling unattached for the Cyclones is true freshman Michael Moreno. The Urbandale native had the bad fortune to draw undefeated NCAA Andrew Howe of Wisconsin. Moreno fought hard but fell by a score of 17-5 to the number one wrestler at 165 pounds. Moreno then came back and pinned Robbie Michaels of Cleveland State in a consolation match.
Simonson, Gibson, Shafer and Moreno will continue to wrestle on the bottom side of the bracket tonight, each attempting to earn valuable points for their team.
Session two of Midlands begins at seven o'clock tonight with a championship round and two consolation rounds.
The Cyclones had a long sick bay. Among Iowa Staters not competing were: Andrew Sorenson (165 lbs), Jerome Ward (197 lbs), and Trent Weatherman (157 lbs).
Team Scoring1. Missouri 31 1/2
2. Lehigh/Iowa 27 1/2
4. Pitt 25 1/2
5. Wisconsin 25
6. Clarion/Cal Poly 22
8. Oklahoma 21 1/2
9. IOWA STATE 21
10. Rutgers 20 1/2