"They are a young team but should not be overlooked," head coach Bobby Douglas said. "Coach (Sanderson) will have them ready to go and his program is on the rise."
ISU returns five starters from last year's squad which topped the Wolverines at the Utah Valley State Open. All-Americans Nate Gallick (141), Trent Paulson (157), Travis Paulson (165) and Kurt Backes (184) each scored bonus points at their respective weight class to lead the Cyclones. Trent Paulson and Backes scored pins and will face the same opponent again. Sophomore David Bertolino will see his first action of the season at 174 pounds.
Utah Valley State, which finished 3-12-1 in its second season of competition at the Div. I ranks, will feature five freshmen who are making their first collegiate dual start. The Wolverines will be bolstered by the return of 133-pounder Erkin Tadzhimetov, a native of Uzbekistan who holds team records in most wins in a single season (18) and quickest fall (0:38). While competing for the Cyclones, Sanderson was a two-time All-American, Big 12 champion and most outstanding wrestler, four-time NCAA qualifier, Midlands champion and three-time Academic All-American.
ISU heads to Fort Dodge on Saturday to compete at the annual Harold Nichols/Cyclone Open. Gallick, the Paulsons and Backes are returning champions. Amateur Wreslting News All-Americans Nick Fanthorpe, Nick Gallick, David Zabriskie and Mitch Mueller will make their anticipated Cyclone debuts.