Seven Iowa State wrestlers win titles
Iowa State's college wrestling team put on a dominating performance Saturday at the Lied Recreation Center, as Mitch Muller (149) and Jake Varner (184) each claimed their second Harold Nichols/Cyclone Open titles. Five others won their first championship. Mark Kist (125) and Nick Gallick (141) each finished as runner-up in their respective weight class.
"We performed well today and learned a lot," head wrestling coach Cael Sanderson said. "There were a lot of good teams and individuals here. We're happy with what we did today because we got what we wanted."
Mueller, ranked 15th, downed Wartburg's Jacob Naig with a 5-0 decision to win the 149-pound title. On the day, the Iowa City, native was relentless on offense, posting a 5-0 tournament record. Mueller scored a technical fall over Garret James (unatt.) in his opening bout and followed with a 2:57 stick of Lindenwood's Syler Scott. He then tallied back-to-back 11-3 major decisions over Kalen Knull of Northern Illinois and Jeremy Powell (unatt.) to propel into the championship match.
Varner, the nation's top-ranked wrestler at 184 pounds, pinned Lindenwood's Brian Judd in 5:18 to win his second Harold Nichols/Cyclone Open title. Seeing his first action on the mat after winning by forfeit in Thursday night's dual against Northern Illinois, Varner first stuck Iowa Central's Nate Troyer in 3:22 and followed up with a 12-2 major decision over Mitch Brown (unatt.).
"It feels good to get back out on the mat," Varner said. "I was disappointed that I didn't get a match Thursday night, but today makes up for it. The competition was good today. It's great to get those first matches of the season out of the way."
Nick Fanthorpe defeated Northern Illinois' Pat Costillo for the second time in three days by a 3-2 decision to claim the 133-pound title. Ranked seventh, Fanthorpe tallied two pins and a major decision on the day and moves to 5-0 in his sophomore season.
Cyler Sanderson scored two key takedowns on the edge of the mat en route to an 8-5 157-pound championship decision over Aaron Wernimont of Wartburg. Sanderson, ranked 11th, racked up 55 points against opponents via a 12-8 decision of Iowa Central's Carrington Banks, a 22-7 technical fall against Tim Kirincic (unatt.) and a 21-7 major decision of Josh Hekendorn (unatt.).
Redshirt freshman sensation Jon Reader defeated Aaron Denson (unatt.) 5-1 to win the 165-pound title. Currently ranked ninth, the Davison, Mich., native pinned Robbie Hicklin of Lindenwood in 2:45 to open the tournament. He followed with back-to-back major decisions, 14-1 over Anthony Victor of Northern Illinois and 19-5 against Aaron Janssen (unatt.).
"I go out there to dominate. It is all hustle, hustle, hustle, because that is what the mentality is here," Reader said. "Coach says he not as worried about a win or a loss, as long as you hustle on the mat. To win today feels great. We had a plan going into this weekend and I stuck to it. Now it is time to go back to the drawing board."
Senior David Bertolino used a reversal, a two-point nearfall and riding time to defeat Wartburg's TJ Miller for the 197-pound title. Prior to the championship bout, Bertolino recorded major decisions over Jon Wilbourne of Dana (17-4) and blanked Jacob Marrs (unatt.), 11-0.
In the final seconds of the tournament's final match, David Zabriskie clinched the heavyweight championship with a last-second takedown of Wartburg's Brian Borchers to win 3-1. The country's sixth-ranked big man opened with a 5:11 fall against North Iowa Area Community College's Beau Tudor. The Cyclone tallied a 12-2 major decision of Iowa Central's Matt Sixta and a 3-1 decision of Dan Erekson (unatt.) to advance into the title match.
Kist, making his debut as a Cyclone, suffered a 3-1 overtime loss to Terrance Young of Iowa Central in the 125 championship match. The Eagle Grove, Iowa, native won two matches by decision and pinned Aaron Wilcox of Dana in 5:36.
Although Gallick defeated Northern Illinois' Patrick McLemore 7-3 Thursday night, the Huskie was able to get Gallick in a cradle and register a 2:27 pin for the 133-pound title. Prior to the loss, Gallick stuck Ryan Joyce of Lindenwood in 2:06, scored a 13-2 major decision over Northern Illinois' Danny Ruetiger.
Wrestling unattached, true freshman Tyler Clark finished third in the 125-pound bracket.
The Cyclones will take to the road next weekend to face Rider in Lawerenceville, N.J., Friday at 6 p.m. CST. ISU will travel to partake in the Binghamton Duals Nov. 18 in Binghamton, N.Y., taking on Clarion, Binghamton and West Virginia. Wrestling will return to Hilton Coliseum Dec. 9 as Iowa State will play host to intrastate rival Iowa at 2 p.m.