Cyclone Wrestlers Prepare for NCAA Championships
NOTESPHILADELPHIA, Pa. ? Five Iowa State wrestlers are geared up for the 2011 NCAA Championships in Philadelphia, Pa., at the Wells Fargo Center, Thursday through Saturday. Cyclones Jon Reader (174) and Jerome Ward (197) earned seeds at their respective weight classes. Reader is the top seed, while Ward earned the 11th seed at his weight. Action begins Thursday at 10 a.m. CDT.
NCAA Championships (All times Central)
Thursday, March 17 ? Saturday, March 19.
Philadelphia, Pa. ? Wells Fargo Center
Live Stats cyclones.com
March 18: ESPNU: 9:30 a.m., 6 p.m.
March 19: ESPNU: 10 *a.m.; ESPN: 6:30 p.m.
Iowa State qualified five wrestlers, four with automatic qualifier spots for the NCAA Championships, March 17-19. Jon Reader (174), Cole Shafer (184), Jerome Ward (197) and Kyle Simonson (HWT) all earned automatic qualifier spots. Chris Drouin (141) earned a wild card spot for the tournament.Reader clinched his first Big 12 title with a 14-3 major decision over Mike Benefiel of Oklahoma State. Ward finished second to third-ranked Clayton Foster of Oklahoma State. Shafer and Simonson clinched automatic bids with fourth-place finishes.
The Cyclones were 9-10 in dual competition this season, with victories over Virginia Tech, Kent State, Boston University, Old Dominion, Northern Illinois, American, Northern Iowa and Arizona State.
Iowa State placed eighth at the Cliff Keen/NWCA National Duals, Jan. 8-9 in the UNI Dome.
Reader has a 34-0 record this season, and has won titles at the Hokie Open, the Harold Nichols Open, the Midlands Championships and the Big 12 Championships. Reader is also the top-ranked wrestler in the country according to Intermat.com and WIN Magazine.
Iowa State at the NCAA Championships
Iowa State has won the NCAA Championships eight times in program history (1933, 65, 69, 70, 72, 73, 77, 87).
Iowa State has notched team runner-up finishes a NCAA-record 17 times, with 2007 being the latest such occasion.
The Cyclones have recorded top-five finishes at the NCAA meet for four-straight seasons (2007, 2nd; 2008, T-5th; 2009, 3rd; 2010, 3rd).
Iowa State has established itself as one of the premier wrestling programs in the country by finishing in the top five at the NCAA Championships 47 times in its history.
The Cyclones placed third at the 2010 NCAA Championships behind individual titles from Jake Varner at 197 pounds and David Zabriskie at*heavyweight. Iowa State totaled three All-Americans in the event.
Scouting the NCAA Championships
Five NCAA champions return to this season?s finale in hopes of notching another individual title. They are Matt McDonough of Iowa (125), Darrion Caldwell of North Carolina State (149), Kyle Dake of Cornell (149), Jordan Burroughs of Nebraska (165) and Andrew Howe of Wisconsin (165).
Top-three seeds Anthony Robles of Arizona State, Matt McDonough of Iowa and Brandon Precin of Northwestern have earned All-American honors five times combined with one national championship (McDonough) at 125 pounds.Oklahoma State 133-pounder Jordan Oliver headlines the his weight class along with Andrew Hochstrasser ofBoise State and Andrew Long of Penn State. Oliver finished fourth at the weight class last year as a freshman.
Unseeded Iowa Stater Chris Drouin will attempt to break the Big 10 dominance in the 141-pound division. Five of the top six seeds at this weight are Big 10 wrestlers including top-seeded and undefeated Kellen Russell of Michigan.One of the most anticipated matches of the tournament could happen in the semi-finals of the 149-pound bracket with 2009 champion Darrion Caldwell of North Carolina State and Kyle Dake of Cornell. Dake won the 141 weight class as a true freshman last year.
The top three seeds at 157*pounds are undefeated on the season. Adam Hall of Boise State is the No. 1 seed, Steve Fittery of American is the second seed and David Taylor of Penn State is the third seed.
At 165 pounds, two former national champions look to meet in the finals. They are top-seeded Jordan Burroughs of Nebraska and second-seeded Andrew Howe of Wisconsin. Burroughs defeated Howe 10-7 in the Midlands Finals.
Iowa State?s Jon Reader is 34-0 and holds down the top seed at 174 pounds. Reader is a two-time All-American and will be looking for the national title in his senior season.
The 184-pound division, nation-wide, has been one of the most open weights this entire season and has an East Coast flavor with the top three seeds all being from that area.
The 197-pound weight class is headlined by Cam Simaz of Cornell, Clayton Foster of Oklahoma State and Trevor Brandvold of Wisconsin. Simaz is the top seed, but Foster and Brandvold are undefeated on the season.
Three of the top four seeds in the heavyweight class are from the East Coast. Top-seeded Zach Rey of Lehigh finished third last season, the third seed is Ryan Flores of American and the fourth seed is D.J. Russo of Rutgers. Second-seeded Jarod Trice of Central Michigan will look to break the Eastern deadlock on this weight.*