Cyclones Sweep Through Cowboys Again

The second half surge to the wrestling season continued on Sunday afternoon at Hilton Coliseum thanks to the exploits of Cyclones like Kurt Backes (pictured).

The last time the Iowa State wrestling team defeated Oklahoma State twice in one season Richard Nixon was President of the United States and Robert Parks was President of Iowa State University.

The third-ranked Cyclone wrestling team continues to revisit milestones of its past excellence, as ISU beat No. 4 Oklahoma State for the second time this season, 21-12 Sunday in Hilton Coliseum.

Kurt Backes (197), David Zabriskie (HWT) and Nick Fanthorpe (125) scored key victories as Iowa State beat OSU twice in a single season for the first time since the 1970-71 campaign. ISU improves to 9-3 overall and remains undefeated in Big 12 Conference duals with a mark of 3-0.

Iowa State's defeat of the Cowboys and the Cyclones' 25-9 victory at National Duals Jan. 13 are the first back-to-back victories over OSU since ISU strung together three straight victories over Oklahoma State from 1980-1982. With the loss, the Cowboys' record is 11-4 this season with a 1-2 mark in conference action.

"We don't want to have to adjust to opponents, we want teams to react to us," head wrestling coach Cael Sanderson said. "We are trying to stay consistent."

Backes inched within one win of becoming the 32nd Cyclone to accumulate 100-career victories with a 5:07 stick of Jared Shelton at 197 pounds. Backes, ranked fifth nationally, picked up early back points with a three-point nearfall in the opening three minutes. He took a 7-1 lead into the second period and continued to work the Cowboy with a reversal and a takedown before pinning Shelton.

"I came out confident to wrestle to the best of my ability and leave it all on the mat," Backes said. "With our new coaching staff, they tell us to push the pace in order to dominate the third period and today the pin was there."

Backes' pin is the fourth of the season and the Neshanic Station, N.J., native pushes his record to 19-4 and his career record stands out 99-28.

"We definitely needed the pin from Backes," coach Sanderson said. "He hustled and scrambled through situations and got a pin. That was one of the swing matches. He's done a great job being a leader for us."

Zabriskie, a redshirt freshman, collided with another first-year wrestler, Jared Rosholt for the second time this season and came through with another 4-3 win over the Cowboy. As in their earlier meeting, the opening three minutes were scoreless and Rosholt put the first point on the board with an escape to begin the second period. Zabriskie answered with a takedown to take a 2-1 lead. During the final period the Branchville, N.J., native took a 3-1 advantage with an escape, but Rosholt responded with a takedown to even the bout at 3-3. Zabriskie, ranked 18th nationally, clinched the win with an escape at the 1:23 mark. He is now 18-6 overall and 9-2 in dual meets.

"I stuck with the same plan that I had last time," Zabriskie said. "I worked on getting him tired and took a lot more shots. Beating two conference opponents in the last couple days has heightened my confidence and I'll continue to train hard and listen to whatever the coaches have to tell me."

Fanthorpe avenged a National Duals loss to Tyler Shinn with a 4-1 decision at 125 pounds. The match remained scoreless until the second period when Shinn escaped, but Fanthorpe quickly took down the Cowboy to take a 2-1 lead into the final period. An escape in the third was all that the Naperville, Ill., native needed to seal the victory. Fanthorpe, who is ranked 10th nationally, is now 20-7 in his first season as a Cyclone and holds a 3-0 record in conference duals.

"Shinn is tough Big 12 competition," Fanthorpe said. "It will always be a tough match, but I came out more prepared with concentration on my offensive fundamentals. There's a lot of the season left and I don't think I'm peaking right now, but the team is progressing and is right on track for March."

Jake Varner, Cyler Sanderson and Trent Paulson also provided Iowa State with wins. The fifth-ranked Varner scored the Cyclones' first win Sunday, at 184-pounds, by scoring an 8-4 decision over Jack Jensen. The win is his fourth straight and he now carries a 21-4 record. Iowa State held a 15-12 lead when Sanderson scored a 4-3 decision over B.J. Jackson at 149 pounds. Sanderson's record is now 21-8. Trent Paulson, 18-4 on the year, closed out the dual by defeating Newly McSpadden, 11-5.

The Iowa State wrestling team will conclude the 2007 home schedule Feb. 9 when the Cyclones will play host to Rider at 7 p.m.

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