The Cyclones currently sit in fifth place in the team standings tied with Oregon State and UNI at nine points.
“It’s only one round, but I think we wrestled the best we have this season,” ISU head coach Kevin Jackson said. “Everybody is still in the tournament, so we need to get ready for tonight.”
The Cyclone faithful in attendance at sold-out Wells Fargo Arena rose to their feet after sophomore 197-pounder Kyven Gadson locked up a cradle and pinned Illinois’ Mario Gonzales 1:41 into his opening match. With the win, Gadson picked up his 15th consecutive victory.
He will face No. 11 seed Blake Rosholt of Oklahoma State with a trip to the quarterfinals on the line. Gadson, who defeated Rosholt 5-4 in the Big 12 title bout on March 9, is 3-0 against the Oklahoma State junior this season.
First-time NCAA qualifiers Michael Moreno (165) and Tanner Weatherman (174) both beat seeded wrestlers to advance at their respective weights.
Moreno, a sophomore, avenged an early season loss to 10th-seeded Nick Moore of Iowa, winning 5-2 with 2:22 minutes of riding time in his favor. Weatherman, a freshman, defeated 10th-seeded Dan Yates of Michigan 6-4 in his first NCAA tournament appearance. Both Moreno and Weatherman came from behind to win their matches.
The two former Iowa high school state champions face Illinois All-Americans in Conrad Polz (2012) and Jordan Blanton (2010, 2012) in the next round.
Moreno and Polz split their two meetings this season. Moreno defeated Polz 6-5 to win the title at the UNI Open in December. Polz prevailed in their rematch at the Midlands Championships, winning 3-1 in overtime. Weatherman and Blanton meet for the first time.
Senior Matt Gibson went 2-0 on the day, making history after his first match of the tournament. In the pigtail match at 285 pounds, Gibson defeated Adam Fagar of Utah Valley, 10-2, with 3:30 of riding time. It marked Iowa State’s 1500th NCAA Championships match victory.
The tournament’s second session begins at 6:30 p.m. The matches will be aired live on ESPN3.
141 – No. 8 seed Nick Dardanes (Minn.) maj. dec. Luke Goettl (ISU), 12-3
149 – No. 12 seed Nick Grajales (Michigan) maj. dec. Max Mayfield (ISU), 12-0
165 – Michael Moreno (ISU) dec. No. 10 seed Nick Moore (Iowa), 5-2
174 – Tanner Weatherman (ISU) dec. No. 10 seed Dan Yates (Michigan), 6-4
184 – Pigtail: Boaz Beard (ISU) dec. Stephen Doty (Virginia), 6-4
First round: No. 12 seed Ethen Lofthouse (Iowa) dec. Boaz Beard, 8-2
197 – No. 6 seed Kyven Gadson (ISU) WBF Mario Gonzales (Illinois), 1:41
285 – Pigtail: Matt Gibson (ISU) maj. dec. Adam Fagar (Utah Valley), 10-2
First round: Matt Gibson (ISU) dec. Blake Herrin (American), 6-1
1. Penn State – 14.5
2. Oklahoma State – 13.0
3. Minnesota – 11.0
4. Iowa – 10.0
5t. Iowa State – 9.0
5t. UNI – 9.0
5t. Oregon State – 9.0