UNI Panthers

UNI enjoys wrestling rivalry with resurgent Iowa State

UNI to host Iowa State at sold-out West Gym on Thursday night

Northern Iowa head wrestling coach Doug Schwab. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Northern Iowa head wrestling coach Doug Schwab. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

CEDAR FALLS — A combined 14 ranked wrestlers will take to the mat at a sold-out West Gym in Cedar Falls at 7 p.m. Thursday for a reinvigorated in-state rivalry dual between Northern Iowa and Iowa State.

Last year — in its first season as a member of the Big 12 Conference — UNI got the best of the Cyclones, 31-7, as first-year coach Kevin Dresser was in the beginnings of a rebuild of Iowa State’s program (the Cyclones finished 3-6 in conference duals).

Fast forward a year and Dresser has the Cyclones 10-2 overall and even with UNI in the Big 12 with a 6-1 record.

UNI Coach Doug Schwab said this week his team enjoys the rivalry while commenting on the Cyclones’ resurgence.

“The Big 12 is much better, Iowa State (is) much better than they were last year,” Schwab said. “We’ll look forward to (West Gym) being packed Thursday night.”

One of Thursday’s most anticipated matches is between No. 7 Josh Alber (26-4, 10-1) and No. 12 Ian Parker (21-3, 10-1). Set to be honored with fellow seniors Drew Foster, Darren Eades and Hunter Washburn, Alber recently eclipsed 100 career wins, becoming the 20th Panther in school history to reach the mark.

“Thursday night, come out and honor those (seniors),” Schwab said. “Get that opportunity to be in those stands and be loud and rowdy and we’ll do our part to make sure you’re up on your feet a whole lot.”

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Alber enters the dual with a 14-match win streak and a 2-0 record all-time against Parker. At last year’s Big 12 Championships, Alber defeated Parker, 3-2.

“(Alber) wants to finish that streak, keep that streak intact,” Schwab said. “There’s some emotions to it, but you want to close it out. You want to enjoy, I guess, that last match in front of the home crowd. But, man, he’s had an incredible career, (but his) career’s not done.”

Four other matches include a pair of ranked opponents. At 125 pounds, No. 26 Jay Schwarm takes on No. 14 Alex Mackall, a transfer from Rutgers.

“At (125), got a transfer in that’s pretty dangerous having a pretty good year,” Schwab said of Mackall. “Like where Schwarm’s at. This is definitely the best Schwarm has been. The strongest he’s been all year.”

Other matches featuring two ranked opponents are at 149, 174 and 184 pounds.

“You start looking on paper I guess — I guess they are favored,” Schwab said. “We’ll wrestle the match and be ready for it. A lot of talk, a lot of buzz on their end and one way that you can cut that off is you go beat them up.”

PROJECTED MATCHUPS (UNOFFICIAL)

125: No. 26 Jay Schwarm (10-8, 7-4) vs. No. 14 Alex Mackall (20-8, 8-4)

133: Jack Skudlarczyk (6-11, 3-6) vs. No. 7 Alex Gomez (17-3, 10-2)

141: No. 7 Josh Alber (26-4, 10-1) vs. No. 12 Ian Parker (21-3, 10-1)

149: No. 10 Max Thomsen (17-6, 6-3) vs. No. 13 Jarrett Degen (22-4, 11-1)

157: Paden Moore (5-4, 2-2) or Patrick Schoenfelder (6-18, 0-7) vs. Chase Straw (16-9, 7-5)

165: No. 12 Bryce Steiert (19-6, 9-2) vs. Logan Schumacher (15-9, 3-4)

174: No. 8 Taylor Lujan (21-4, 9-2) vs. No. 21 Marcus Coleman (24-8, 10-2)

184: No. 8 Foster (20-4, 7-3) vs. No. 15 Sam Colbray (21-5, 11-1)

197: Tyrell Gordon (13-11, 2-7) vs. No. 5 Willie Miklus (17-2, 10-2)

285: Carter Isley (12-6, 4-2) vs. Gannon Gremmel (21-9, 8-3)

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