Iowa State wrestling will host Oklahoma at 7 p.m. Friday in Hilton Coliseum with a lot of expectations for success.
“They’re [going to] be well conditioned, so we [have to] make sure that we’re in there for all seven minutes,” said coach Kevin Dresser.
Oklahoma is coming off of a strong showing a couple weeks ago at the Virginia Duals where they went 3-1, including wins against No. 12 Arizona State, and No. 22 Lock Haven, according to InterMat.
The big matchup of the dual is No. 11 freshman Dom Demas of Oklahoma, and Iowa State redshirt sophomore No. 14 Ian Parker at 141-pounds.
Parker has a 6-0 record in dual meets this season and looks to continue his undefeated record, while Demas has one blemish to his year and enters 7-1.
“He’s got like four top 15 guys in the next four bouts,” Dresser said. “I think it’s an exciting time. It’s a great opportunity for Parker.”
Aside from Parker’s matchup, Iowa State is favored over Oklahoma by a large margin, and perhaps no one is expected to continue his dominance more than redshirt sophomore Samuel Colbray.
Colbray has come alive in the past few weeks. After a switch to 184-pounds from 197-pounds at the start of the year, brought on by the acquisition of graduate transfer Willie Miklus, Colbray has yet to miss a beat.
Colbray is enjoying an undefeated dual season at 7-0 and has lately been more aggressive on the mat.
His latest performance saw him dominate Jackson Moomau of West Virginia and earn a technical fall win in only 4:39.
“Everybody waits for their time [for] things for them to pan out,” Colbray said. “Why work so hard and not go out and tear people’s heads off?”
While Colbray has had a breakthrough this season, the Cyclones have not faced their hardest opponents yet, and wrestlers like Colbray, Parker and redshirt freshman Marcus Coleman will need to build on their undefeated seasons to keep Iowa State moving forward.
The No. 6-rated Miklus has rebounded recently from a surprising loss vs. Fresno State to capture a couple dual wins.
The team’s oldest competitor has embraced his role as a team leader while being one of the most talented wrestlers in the country.
“I got a young team,” Miklus said. “I’ve been on young teams before, and it’s not any different here.”
Leadership is becoming much more important as the Big 12 season has begun to take shape and Miklus is at the forefront for the Cyclones.
After Oklahoma, Iowa State will head out to Stillwater, Oklahoma, to take on one of the most highly touted teams in the country in Oklahoma State on Sunday.
Dresser knows what he’s up against Sunday, but he urges people to not underestimate the Sooners.
“Oklahoma’s a team that you can’t sleep on,” Dresser said.