Cyclones Takedown Sooners

The Cyclone wrestlers are hot, and continued their torrid pace as of late by dominating Oklahoma on Friday night thanks to several outstanding performances like the one from redshirt freshman Mitch Mueller (pictured).

The third-ranked Iowa State wrestling team beat eighth-ranked Oklahoma 27-9 Friday night in Hilton Coliseum.

The Cyclones took seven matches from the Sooners, five of which resulted in bonus points. ISU redshirt freshmen lead the way as rookies Mitch Mueller and Nick Fanthorpe scored technical falls at 141- and 125-pounds, respectively. Redshirt freshmen Jake Varner (184) and Nick Gallick (133) won their bouts via major decision. Offensively Iowa State overpowered OU with 34 takedowns and only allowed six. ISU pushes its record to 8-3 overall and 2-0 in the Big 12 conference.

The 18-point margin of victory is only the second time since 1995 that the Cyclones have recorded a double-digit victory over the Sooners. In 2005 ISU handed OU a 30-6 defeat in Ames.

"We were able to go out and push the pace and wrestle hard tonight," head wrestling coach Cael Sanderson said. "That is how Iowa State wrestlers complete. The freshmen are really coming on. They've had the tools, now they are getting the confidence.  In Big 12 meets, it is our freshmen who have been closing out wins for us."

Mueller opened the dual in dominating fashion with a 24-8 technical fall over Nolan Spring in 5:33. Mueller, ranked 10th at 141 pounds, took Spring down four times in each of first two periods to take a commanding 16-7 lead going into the final period. With two more takedowns and 2:24 worth of riding time, the Iowa City-native finished with 24 points, the most scored in his first season as a Cyclone.

"We're still working on the little things to get ready for March," Mueller said. "I've wrestled a tough schedule of guys, but that is okay. I like wrestling the ranked guys because that is how you improve.  You might pick up a few bumps along the way, but you know if you wrestle seven minutes against the best competition you will get better."

At 125-pounds, Fanthorpe rolled to an 18-2 technical fall of Henry Roman in 6:11. Fanthorpe, who is ranked 10th nationally, made the most of the second period, nearly pinning Roman on two occasions, scoring two three-point nearfalls and three takedowns to gain a 13-point advantage on the Sooner.  A final takedown with 49 seconds left in the third period ended the bout. Fanthorpe improves his record to 19-7 with his second technical fall of the season.

"I was able to open it up in the second period," Fanthorpe said. "We really believe what our coaches tell us. If we listen to what they are saying, good things will happen."

Returning from an intermission that honored the 1972, 1977 and 1987 Cyclone NCAA championship teams, Jake Varner took an 11-2 major decision over Josh Hinton. The fifth-ranked 184-pounder began the match deliberately and carried a 4-1 lead going into the final three minutes of action. Varner reached the major with two takedowns in the final minute. He is now 20-4 in his first season as a Cyclone.

Gallick closed out the dual with a 17-7 major decision of Brian Shelton. Gallick, who returned to action after missing the Nebraska dual, struck in the opening 10 seconds with a takedown. At the 1:45 mark in the first period, Gallick again took down Shelton and almost pinned him, but was awarded with a three-point nearfall. The Tucson, Ariz., native continued his offensive performance throughout the match with four more takedowns and accumulated 1:24 worth of riding time en route to his 21st victory.

Trent Paulson recorded the fifth match that resulted in bonus points, a 12-3 routing of No. 11 Josh Weitzel at 157-pounds. The major decision is the fourth of his senior campaign. Paulson improves to 17-4 this season and his career mark is now 103-20.

Also picking up wins for ISU were third-ranked Travis Paulson at 165-pounds and heavyweight David Zabriskie, ranked 18th. Paulson climbed within three wins of the 100-career victories list by scoring a 12-6 decision of No. 12 Shane Seibert. Paulson is 19-3 this season and holds a career record of 97-28. Zabriskie, a redshirt freshman from Branchville, N.J., moves to 17-6 on the year after winning a 2-1 decision over Brad Farmer.

Iowa State will play host No. 4 Oklahoma State Sunday at 2 p.m. in Hilton Coliseum. The Cowboys wrestle at Northern Iowa Saturday.  ISU defeated OSU, 25-9, for third place at the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals Jan. 14.


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