Iowa State hosted the annual Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk dual Sunday afternoon, but the day belonged to Iowa as the second-ranked Hawkeyes used 28 takedowns and four bonus point wins to snare a 29-6 win over the 11th-ranked Cyclones at Hilton Coliseum.
Cyclones still behind the eight-ball that is Iowa
The belief of many followers of the Iowa State wrestling program saw the 19-18 Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk dual defeat in February at Carver-Hawkeye Arena as a sign the program is getting ready to turn a corner.
While the Cyclones have made strides, they still are light years away from being the type of program Iowa is.
And that's not a bad thing.
The simple fact is this: The Hawkeyes can win a national title this season.
Penn State is beatable, just proven this weekend as it fell on the road to Arizona State, losing its first dual in 60 matches. While the Nittany Lions are potent in every weight, so is Iowa.
The Hawkeyes went with back ups at 141 pounds and 184. Carter Happel and Nelson Brands both took their opponents into overtime while two ranked guys – Max Murin and Cash Wilcke – sat on the bench. They went 1-1 in those two weight classes.
"We're going to put the best team out on the mat every week," Iowa head coach Tom Brands said. "And this week, our best team, you saw it out there."
Iowa is deeper, and for the time being, more talented than the Cyclones.
Iowa State put out its same lineup as it did against Bucknell, and got beaten badly.
"The fortunate thing about wrestling a great team, is you really, really get exposed and you really find out what you gotta go work on," Cyclones head coach Kevin Dresser said. "We have to keep getting better... I'm glad it's November [24th]."
There is still plenty of time for growth from the wrestlers inside the Harold Nichols room. Sunday was just a case of where Iowa is and where Iowa State hopes to be.
Straw proves himself at 165
The defending Big 12 157 pound champion, Chase Straw went aggressive against second-ranked Alex Marnielli and got an early takedown for a quick 2-0 lead.
Marinelli registered five takedowns following that, but Straw escaped each time. The never-ending prowess of Iowa's 165 wrestler proved to be too much for Straw to overcome in the 13-7 decision win for Marinelli.
Still, Dresser was quite impressed.
"I think Chase Straw wrestled real tough out there," Dresser said. "Up and down the line, there wasn't many places where I could say we put our head down."
It's only the beginning if Straw wants to make it back to the NCAA Tournament. Currently, five wrestlers in the Big 12 are ranked and he just recently fell out of the rankings.
The more Straw wrestles at his new weight class and if he can stay relatively healthy, he'll be right up there come March in Tulsa.
Sunday proved he won't let down to top competition.
Parker fights through small injury to prevail
Dresser stated for the first time publicly following the dual that Ian Parker has been dealing with a small injury and hasn't gotten a lot of mat time over the last couple of weeks.
The third-year coach went as far to say he was a game-time decision for Sunday.
Parker gutted it out and got a takedown with 14 seconds left in the first sudden victory overtime period for the 6-4 victory over Happel at 141.
"I'm maybe not 100 percent, but I wouldn't use that as an excuse. I found in college wrestling, everyone's always dealing with something," Parker said. "It was gritty. There's something about this dual that gives you an extra boost."
This week break before the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational should provide an opportunity for the redshirt junior to heal up.
If he is going to miss any time at all, 141 is one weight class the Cyclones are thin.
Austin Gomez is currently listed at that weight, but Dresser said his timetable for a return would be after Vegas, even though he was listed as a possible starter against Iowa. Andrew Flora – a true freshman – and redshirt freshman Noah Nemer are options as well.
Parker walked around fine and didn't seem too hobbled out on the mat, but it is something worth monitoring for the next month or so.