AMES — Iowa State wrestling put it to Southern Illinois-Edwardsville on Sunday at Stephens Auditorium, the fine arts theater on Iowa State’s campus.
The Cyclones (1-0) dominated from start to finish, winning the dual 37-3 with four bonus-point wins, all of which were either by technical fall or a pin.
“We showed some dominance in some areas where we’re supposed to dominate,” Iowa State coach Kevin Dresser said. “When we have the opportunity to dominate, we need to dominate those kinds of opponents. That’s a lot of those ‘dominance’ words in a row.”
Iowa State has a very young team. The Cyclones start two freshmen, five sophomores, two juniors and sixth-year senior Willie Miklus.
“Besides grandpa Willie, everybody is pretty young on our team,” Dresser said.
The 25-year-old Miklus joked he likes to think of himself as the Peter Pan of college wrestling and not “Old-Man Miklus” as Dresser also refers to him.
The most impressive match came from sophomore Jarrett Degen. Degen was the only NCAA qualifier for the Cyclones last season and he faced another NCAA qualifier in Tyshawn Williams at 149 pounds. Degen gassed Williams in the first period. By the third period, Degen was having a takedown contest against himself.
Degen had six takedowns in the third period before he got the technical fall, winning 24-9.
Highly touted recruits Austin Gomez and Marcus Coleman also made their debuts. Gomez got a first period technical fall at 133 pounds, winning 18-3.
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“He’s got some tools,” Dresser said. “He had a pretty young opponent who was probably a little over matched. I think Iowa State fans see why he’s billed as he is. ‘Hey, we’re in a Broadway theater, what better place to go out and perform?’ That’s what I told him before.”
Gomez did put on a show.
“I don’t really feel anything when I’m out there,” Gomez said. “I just go out, put up points and wrestle. I didn’t even know the points, I was just wrestling.”
Coleman pinned 174-pound opponent Kevin Gschwendtner in the second period after he had already recorded five takedowns.
“I don’t want to get excited because it’s a long haul,” Dresser said. “We’re in early November and the NCAA Tournament is in mid-to-late March. But we needed to progress from where we were last year. We’re doing that. These guys have invested a lot into turning this around.”
And in typical collegiate-wrestler fashion, Gomez didn’t hold anything back when he had a microphone in front of him.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” the redshirt freshman said. “We’re a young team, coach Dresser has made that pretty clear. We’re a young team and we have a lot to build on. Today was just a stepping stone to where we can be in the future.
“We’re here to bring Iowa State back. That’s what we’re here for.”
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