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Thread: Sophomore Six Guide Cyclone Hopes

  1. #1

    Default Sophomore Six Guide Cyclone Hopes

    Iowa State's wrestling team might have unknowingly been given a theme for the 2007-08 season Tuesday.

    "By seeing that every point matters - we won the Big 12 tournament by just a few points and we lost the national tournament by just a few points - I think that total effort has been a great experience for our guys," Iowa State coach Cael Sanderson said at the team's annual media day.

    The "every point matters" line likely will be repeated in the next five months for a team that is No. 2 in W.I.N. magazine's preseason poll. So will questions about a certain group of Cyclones.

    The Cyclones got a huge lift from six freshmen who became NCAA qualifiers while forging a 13-3 dual-meet record and a runner-up finish in the NCAA Tournament last season. They are now six sophomores who will be counted on to lead the Cyclones.

    "We're definitely young, but we're not inexperienced," Sanderson said.

    Sanderson's second team has few ways it can surpass what the 2006-07 team accomplished. Beating Iowa and Minnesota in dual meets is one way, going undefeated in duals is another. Winning the program's first NCAA championship since 1987 is what the wrestlers are aiming for.

    "We've already made a bunch of improvements just from over the summer," said sophomore 184-pounder Jake Varner, Iowa State's lone returning all-American and the preseason No. 1 at his weight by W.I.N. magazine. "Everybody's a lot better than what they were and everyone's ready to go. We're looking good right now."

    Five of the six sophomores moved up one weight class this season. Sanderson said that was expected; the only question was when.

    "Last year was an exciting year, but I think this year we have the potential to do even better things," said sophomore 133-pounder Nick Fanthorpe, who was one win shy of all-America status at 125 last season. "We've got a great group of guys, and with the kind of coaching staff we have, guys are going to get where they are going.

    "We want to be national champions as a team, we want to be national champions individually. I believe there's no better place than here to do that."

    One of Fanthorpe's 27 wins last season was a 6-3 decision over eventual NCAA champion Paul Donahoe of Nebraska.

    Heavyweight David Zabriskie - who clinched the conference championship - and Sanderson's brother Cyler at 149 pounds were also one match from a top-eight finish last season. Cyler Sanderson has moved to 157 pounds.

    The sophomores have a hold on six varsity spots. Seniors with previous varsity experience are in the hunt at 125 (Ben Hanisch), 174 (Aron Scott, who was at 149) and 197 (former 174-pounder David Bertolino, who is battling sophomore Joe Curran for the job).

    "Personally, I know being a senior, I feel like I am a leader of the team," Hanisch said. "We want to lead this team just like the seniors last year did."

    Cael Sanderson said freshman Jon Reader is the leader at 165. Reader had a 234-6 career record and won three state championships while wrestling at Davison High School in Michigan.

    "He's ready to go," Sanderson said. "He's going to be fun to watch, definitely going to be a crowd-pleaser."

    http://http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071024/SPORTS020603/710240376/1003/SPORTS
    Last edited by Schlottke; 10-24-2007 at 10:33 AM.

  2. #2

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Sophomore Six Guide Cyclone Hopes

    Here's another report from media day. Discusses who's in competition at 125 and 174.

    The following line cracks me up: Another Cyclone staying at his weight will be heavyweight Dave Zabriskie...

    http://www.cyclones.com/ViewArticle....ATCLID=1286490

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