The Iowa State wrestling team has sprung off the blocks to start the dual meet season, earning their first two victories at Hilton Coliseum this past weekend.
The Cyclones beat both Army (25-9) and California Baptist (39-0) in convincing fashion.
Now, head coach Kevin Dresser and his squad have their eyes set on another big matchup Sunday, when they will face in-state rival and defending national champion No. 1 ranked Iowa.
"It's nice to get a chance to feel the number one-ranked team in the nation, and we just happen to be down the road a couple hours," Dresser said on the upcoming matchup. "I know my guys are excited, and they're expecting a brawl, and it's going to be a fight. We know what we're facing."
Several Cyclone wrestlers have gotten the 2021-22 season off to a strong start, including sophomore Kysen Terukina, who is currently ranked 21st in the country at 125 pounds as per the latest rankings by Intermat.
Terukina holds a 9-0 record on the young season, having first wrestled at the Daktronics Open and taking the title in the 125-pound division. The Ewa Beach, Hawaii, native was also one of four Iowa State wrestlers to win a title at the Harold Nichols Open on Sunday, where he beat teammate Corey Cabanban in the final 3-1 by decision.
For Terukina, the road to Iowa State has been quite a journey.
"I had an older brother that wrestled here [Iowa State], so I remember watching him and knew that I wanted to compete at that next level," Terukina said.
"We would travel to the mainland [United States] and compete as much as we can against bigger guys to get exposure. [Coach Dresser] had seen me at one of my tournaments and contacted me. We were able to work things out, and I became a Cyclone."
In the 174-pound weight class, redshirt junior Joel Devine has also produced positive results early in the season.
The West Des Moines native was one of five Iowa State wrestlers to record two wins in Saturday's pair of dual meets, beating Army's Clayton Fielden on a 5-0 decision and Cal Baptist's Louis Rojas on a technical fall 19-1.
Fielden posted a perfect 4-0 season last year and looks to be one of the Cyclones' primary contributors heading into this season.
Sophomore David Carr described him as a "hardworking guy."
"Joel's my guy," Carr said, the defending 157-pound NCAA Champion, on teammate Devine. "He's extremely disciplined, and that's another guy where the work is paying off. You're going to see this season some of these guys' hard work pay off. Yonger Bastida, Joel Devine, [Marcus] Colman, a lot of these guys work hard."
"I think in this match [against Iowa], you'll be able to see that they're going to throw it all out there on the mat."
Iowa State wrestles against Iowa at 6 p.m. Sunday at Hilton Coliseum, with the match also being streamed live on ESPN+.