The Iowa State wrestling team went into the National Duals on Saturday with some high expectations and came out with some question marks.
The Cyclones (8-4) came out with a nice showing in the first round as they were victorious over a solid 13th ranked Northwestern team 20-16.
The 8th ranked Cyclones were not able to follow that win up well as they fell to the losers bracket with a 32-6 loss to Minnesota. That loss was the second time this season that the Cyclones had to choke down a loss to a tough 2nd ranked Gopher team. Nate Gallick (141) and Trent Paulson (157), who returned from injury after about a month of down time, were the only Cyclones to notch a win against the Gophers. Kurt Backes (184) suffered his first loss ever to Roger Kish in a close 6-5 match that silenced any chance for a Cyclone comeback. Iowa State was not able to dig out of the 20-6 hole that they had sunk into.
The Cyclones then moved on to the other side of the bracket and had to win in order to just be able to compete on Sunday but a tough 9th ranked Missouri team stood in their way. Iowa State, coming in after a tough loss to Minnesota, was not able to win those toss up matches that they needed to capitalize on against the Tigers. Two of those matches were ones wrestled by Sundell (133) and Hanisch (125). Hanisch came away with a 6-3 hard-fought loss to Austin DeVoe while Sundell lost an 8-3 decision to Tyler McCormick. The Cyclones really had to win one of these two matches with Travis Paulson (165) out of the lineup and Dane Kuper (165) wrestling in his spot against 4th ranked Matt Pell. Missouri took advantage of this as Pell stuck Kuper at the 2:41 mark and took control of the meet.
# 1 ranked Nate Gallick struggled against Chris McCormick but was able to take a 7-4 decision over a guy that Gallick knows that he could have dominated. When wrestling three matches in one day you might not always have your best stuff and this just might be an example of that. Great wrestlers find ways to win even when they do not have their best stuff. This was a match that Iowa State needed to come away with bonus points in and that did not happen.
Kurt Backes (184) bounced back from a tough loss to Kish of Minnesota and pounded out a 19-2 win by technical fall at the 2:19 mark. This pulled the Cyclones to within three with the score 14-17 but Joe Curran (197) was not able to avoid a major decision and dashed the Cyclones chances with a 13-5 loss to 17th ranked Jeff Foust. Richard Schoff was able to win his second dual meet victory of the season with an 11-0 major decision over Sean Connole but it just was not enough as the Cyclones fell 21-18 to Missouri and were eliminated from competition.
"We ran into Minnesota and were unable to get past them," head coach Bobby Douglas said. "We then ran into Missouri and we were unable to get past them. We didn't wrestle bad, we just lost some close matches."
The Cyclones had a tough draw to start out with but that is no excuse with some of the good veterans that they have. Hopefully Iowa State can learn from this when they head back to Cedar Falls to take on Northern Iowa on Sunday.