AMES — Iowa State 184-pound wrestler Dane Pestano couldn’t have had a better senior night against Fresno State.
The Waimanalo, Hawaii, native led Angel Solis 11-4 in the third period as time expired with riding time secured. Pestano locked up a hold and turned Solis to his back. Pestano got the pin with 1 second left on the clock. The crowd was on its feet.
“Just blessed, I guess,” the soft-spoken and ever-humble Pestano said. “I enjoyed it, the crowd was nice. I’m just glad I could get the pin and get the crowd on their feet. It was fun. I just had fun out there.”
Pestano could have settled for the major decision, but he had Solis in the same hold earlier and felt like he could tighten it up in the third period when Solis was tired.
“I thought he was going to finish with a major, but then all of the sudden he started getting that hold pretty tight with 30 seconds to go and he started adjusting,” Iowa State Coach Kevin Dresser said. “Obviously, he felt it because he tried to hit it earlier and the guy wiggled out and got an escape. I think he had the guy tired enough the second time so when he got him in the hold he walked him over slow.”
Iowa State led 23-16 after the fall, and the lead looked secured.
Pestano’s fall proved to be even bigger than just a pin on senior night. Iowa State sent out Joe Teague at 197 instead of the usual starter Sam Colbray, who delt with a stomach bug all week. Teague got a takedown, but gave up a quick reversal and ended up getting pinned himself in 1:43. Iowa State led by one with heavyweight to go.
Marcus Harrington and A.J. Nevills were deadlocked at 4-4 after regulation. Each grappler had a takedown and two escapes. In sudden victory, Harrington got to a leg and finished the takedown, securing a 26-22 Iowa State (8-8, 3-5 Big 12) victory over Fresno State (4-15, 1-4) — bolstered by Pestano’s pin.
“The match didn’t go as well as I would’ve wanted to,” Harrington said. “I was able to secure the win and the dual win. Another win for the team. That’s all good, but I can definitely tell you you’ll see more out of me (Saturday) in Cedar Falls for sure.”
Iowa State travels to UNI (5-4, 2-2) on Saturday to take on the Panthers in West Gym.
The Cyclones were without two of their key starters against Fresno State in Ian Parker (141) and Colbray (197). Parker has been out with a knee injury. Both could be back for the dual against UNI.
“(Parker) could’ve weighed in (Friday),” Dresser said. “He got cleared (Friday) morning to go live. He wrestled hard in practice and we didn’t think we’d need him (against Fresno State) — we might’ve though. We’ll take him with us and weigh him in (Saturday) and see if he’s ready to go.”
Colbray did weigh in on Friday, but he wasn’t feeling 100 percent so the coaches rested him.
“He quite honestly just didn’t feel good this week,” Dresser said. “We’re not sure if he’ll wrestle against UNI. We’re going to weigh them both in and see what happens. It’ll be a game-time decision there.”
If Parker and Colbray both wrestle, the dual suddenly becomes a lot more interesting. Both UNI and Iowa State are strong at many of the same weights, including 141 and 197.
Parker would be matched up against No. 9 Josh Alber and Colbray would wrestle No. 19 Jacob Holschlag.
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