After getting acclimated to the West Coast, Iowa State will conclude the month of January in California.
Its third road dual of the season takes place Friday night against Fresno State inside the Save Mart Center. The Bulldogs are the lone remaining unbeaten team in the Big 12 in dual meets.
Trying to break away
Gannon Gremmel had the most glorious opportunity to separate himself from the middle pack of ranked heavyweights into the top tier.
Against three top-15 wrestlers all in one day, the redshirt junior had a goose egg in the win column.
Now, he'll get a chance over a longer period of time to prove himself.
Starting Friday against Fresno State's 12th-ranked Josh Hokit, Gremmel will be matched up with a grappler that can provide him tests before March and put himself higher in the rankings.
"We have to get Gannon to fire some more offense," Coach Kevin Dresser said. "He's got a really good shot; he's a little tentative to pull the trigger in big matches. As he gets more confidence and can start hitting those shots, I think he separates himself from those mid-level guys."
Following the possible Hokit matchup, Northern Iowa's Carter Isley — ranked 11th — awaits on the third weekend in February.
Each opponent along the way provides an opportunity for the Southern Scuffle champ to get better in preparation for the two big tournaments in March.
"It's not where you want to be at in January, it's where you want to be at in March," Gremmel said. "It's going to see where I'm at. There's no pressure on me."
Micromanaging camp in first full week
One of the things Dresser was wondering about — admitting he couldn't sleep following the Cyclones 23-9 defeat against Oklahoma State over the weekend — was how many guys would show up to practice the following morning.
The attitude and the weights were a good start to what the third-year leader of Iowa State is calling “micromanaging camp.”
"We had a good workout, good attitudes. I think they were probably expecting the worst, and it wasn't the worst," Dresser said. "We set up weigh-ins at 6:25; everybody looked good, everybody was where they need to be at. It tells me a lot about the character of this team."
He admitted it's going to be exhausting to continually do this to a group of college wrestlers, but after Iowa State has gone 3-3 in the month of January and what his individual wrestlers were doing that wasn't working, he was left with no other option.
Even after the dual, Ian Parker and David Carr were ready to accept it.
"It might be what we need," Parker said. "As long as you're doing what's right, it won't be an issue."
Despite winning just three of the 10 matches against Oklahoma State, the Cyclones saw virtually no changes in the new InterMat rankings.
Only Sam Colbray (174 pounds) dropped a spot from the previous week, sliding from 11th to 12th.
The other five that started — Alex Mackall (12th, 125); Todd Small (15th, 133); Parker (sixth, 141); Carr (third, 157) and Gremmel (14th, 285) — all remained in the same slot they did a week ago.
Jarrett Degen (149) kept his hold on the seventh spot despite a bunch of movement in the top six at that weight.
One final home dual before March
It was speculated the rescheduled date for the Iowa State-North Dakota State dual would be Feb. 23.
Wednesday, it was made official.
The inclement weather that hit the Midwest over the middle of January forced the Cyclones and Bisons to postpone their Big 12 matchup.
Iowa State will have a second straight back-to-back weekend. After hosting West Virginia and Northern Iowa on February 15-16, on the 22nd it will travel to Missouri then turn around and face North Dakota State.