DES MOINES, Iowa – Seven Iowa State wrestlers will be competing at the 2013 NCAA Championships Thursday-Saturday at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. Four first-time NCAA qualifiers will be making the trip for the Cyclones, along with three two-time NCAA qualifiers.
Redshirt sophomore Kyven Gadson headlines the group of first-time Cyclones at this year’s national tournament. Gadson, ranked No. 6 nationally at 197 pounds by InterMat, is the only ISU wrestler seeded in the top-12 of his respective weight class.* He is the No. 6 seed at 197.
The Waterloo, Iowa native has won 14-straight matches since losing the consolation championship 8-6 to No. 5 Taylor Meeks of Oregon State at the Midlands Championships back on Dec. 30 in Evanston, Ill. During the streak, Gadson has recorded four major decisions and four pins.
Other first time qualifiers include fifth-year senior Max Mayfield, redshirt sophomore Michael Moreno and redshirt freshman Tanner Weatherman. All punched automatic bids at the Big 12 Championships March 9 in Stillwater, Okla.
Mayfield and Weatherman both finished second at the Big 12 tournament to clinch their spots at this year’s NCAA tournament. Mayfield upset No. 16 Nick Lester of Oklahoma in the semifinals to earn his automatic bid.
Weatherman has won 11 of his last 14 matches dating back to Jan.5; all three losses coming to No. 1 seeded Chris Perry of Oklahoma State. The Huxley, Iowa native finished the season third on the team in wins with 18.
Moreno leads the 2012-13 Iowa State wrestling team in wins with 26, a 22-win improvement from last season where Moreno wrestled at 157. Moreno, who took third in a tough 165-pound field at the Big 12 Championships, upset No. 3 Tyler Caldwell of Oklahoma State 5-2 at the Big 12 Duals on March 8.
Redshirt senior Matt Gibson headlines the group of two-time qualifiers, as he sports a 2-2 career record at the national tournament. Last year in St. Louis, Gibson picked-up wins over Blayne Beale (10-3) of UNI and Peter Sturgen (8-0) of Central Michigan.
Luke Goettl and Boaz Beard join Gibson as the other Cyclone two-time NCAA qualifiers. Goettl is 1-2 career at the NCAA Championships, his lone win coming by fall (1:40) over Kevin Fanta of Northern Illinois last season. Beard is 0-2 for his career at the national tournament.
Four-Cyclones have experience on the mat at Wells Fargo Arena competing at the Iowa High School State Wrestling Tournament. Mayfield was a three-time qualifier, while Weatherman, Moreno and Gadson were four-time qualifiers.
Weatherman, Moreno and Gadson all possess championship experience in front of sold out Wells Fargo Arena crowds, as each has multiple state championships and multiple state finals appearances to their names. The trio joins eight more former Iowa state champions competing at this year’s NCAA Championships.
Session I of the 2013 NCAA Championships begins tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. ESPN3 will be airing coverage of sessions 1-3 live.
Iowa State first round match-ups from the latest bracket are as followed below:
141 – Luke Goettl; unseeded vs. Nick Dardanes (Minnesota); No. 8 seed
149 - Max Mayfield; unseeded vs. Eric Grajales (Michigan); No. 12 seed
165 - Michael Moreno; unseeded vs. Nick Moore (Iowa); No. 10 seed
174 - Tanner Weatherman; unseeded vs. Dan Yates (Michigan); No. 10 seed
184 – Pigtail match: Boaz Beard; unseeded vs. Stephen Doty (Virginia); unseeded
winner to face No. 12 seed Ethen Lofthouse (Iowa)
197 – Kyven Gadson; No. 6 seed vs. winner of Jace Bennett (Cornell); unseeded and Mario Gonzalez (Illinois); unseeded
285 – Pigtail match: Matt Gibson; unseeded vs. Adam Fager (Utah Valley); unseeded winner to face Blake Herrin (American); unseeded*