AMES, Iowa — Iowa State coaches compiled highlights of Northern Iowa wrestlers celebrating one year ago. The team talked revenge Friday night. Ultimately, the Cyclones used the mat at Hilton Coliseum to deliver.
No. 8 Iowa State won seven of 10 matches against in-state rival Northern Iowa on Sunday to avenge last season’s loss with a 24-12 victory.
“I feel like we kind of sent them a message,” 149-pounder Gabe Moreno said afterward, “and we did it in a way that was fairly classy, especially considered to how we were treated last year.”
Last season when the Cyclones traveled to Cedar Falls, they left with a 24-13 loss while watching “antics” from Panthers wrestlers. When 165-pounder Michael Moreno walked off the mat at the meet’s conclusion Sunday, he pulled his Iowa State singlet for the home crowd.
It was not words, but rather actions, that carried the most meaning Sunday as Iowa State moved to 10-2 in dual meets this season.
“They backed it up today. Good for them,” Northern Iowa coach Doug Schwab said. “I’ll at least give them credit in some situations. Their guys did a good job and scored some points. They put us in danger, they put us on our backs.”
Iowa State began the meet with three-straight victories, including a major decision from 197-pounder Kyven Gadson who advanced to 21-1 on the season. The Panthers picked up a win at heavyweight and got a pin at 125 pounds to gain momentum heading into intermission.
Two major decisions — from Gabe Moreno and Dante Rodriguez — in the latter half of the meet helped Iowa State pull away.
“I thought our guys handled winning with class,” Iowa State coach Kevin Jackson said. “When you’re supposed to win and you win you want to handle it with class and I thought our guys [did].”
Schwab wasn’t interested in fanning a fire afterward.
“Is it a rivalry or isn’t it? I’ve heard them say both. It sure seemed like a rivalry today, which is good. It’s good for the state,” Schwab said. “Let’s go back and forth. I like it. It’s good for the sport, it’s good for wrestling. They took it today, so good for them.”
The message that was sent?
“That we’re on top,” Gabe Moreno said.