The wait is over.
The highly anticipated wrestling dual between Iowa State and Missouri will take place at 5 p.m. Sunday.
“The more people we have, the more energy we can feed off of,” redshirt sophomore Ian Parker said.
The match will take place at Hilton Coliseum, and the team — along with coach Kevin Dresser — has been campaigning to get 10,000 people inside Hilton Coliseum to watch the action, which would be the highest attendance of the season.
No. 5 Missouri will prove to be a tough test for the Cyclones, who lost Thursday to No. 17 Northern Iowa.
Iowa State currently sits at No. 11 in the nation, with the majority of the Cyclones' wrestlers earning national rankings.
For Parker, it has been an especially tough stretch, starting Thursday.
On Thursday, he went up against No. 7 Josh Alber of Northern Iowa and lost a low-scoring affair by 3-1 decision. The loss was Parker’s second dual loss of the season.
“It’s not anything different than what we’ve been doing,” Parker said. “Doesn’t matter who it is … nothing changes really.”
Parker faces No. 4 Jayden Eierman, the highest ranked wrestler he has gone up against this season, on Sunday.
A lot of things are coming together to make this a highly anticipated dual, but perhaps nothing more than the end of the season for 197-pound redshirt senior Willie Miklus.
No. 5 Miklus transferred to Iowa State at the start of the season, and now he is wrestling on senior night.
On top of the pressure of his last regular-season collegiate dual, Miklus is also wrestling against his former team for the first time since he transferred.
“I don’t know that there’s any lesson you can learn to make it not weird,” Miklus said. “It’s different, it’s just different.”
Miklus is from Altoona, Iowa, and he transferred to Iowa State partially to be closer to his family.
For the Cyclones, the meet against Missouri will be their fourth high-profile dual of the season. Iowa State has lost all three of those previous duals to No. 3 Iowa, No. 2 Oklahoma State and No. 17 Northern Iowa.
On the flip side, Iowa State hasn’t lost any other dual meets on the season, which has propelled them to a top-15 ranking.
Miklus has played an important role this year in the team’s success, including an 11-2 dual record and eight straight dual wins.
“They had a lot of things going on in the right direction before I showed up,” Miklus said about Iowa State. “The part I might’ve played is probably very minimal.”
After Missouri, Iowa State will have two weeks to get ready for the Big 12 Championship where they’ll focus more on individual scoring.
This Sunday, however, the Cyclones will hope to finish the season strong.