With several compelling wins and close losses behind it, the wrestling team will face one of its most formidable opponents –– No. 2 Iowa State –– this Sunday. The two teams will meet at 1 p.m. in Bartels Hall before what is sure to be a packed crowd. The match will be especially important to the Red, as proceeds from fundraising initiatives will go toward the Adam Frey Foundation in memory of the former Cornell wrestler. Frey passed away at 24 on Dec. 26 after a two-year battle with cancer.
Midway through its season, the Red is No. 6 in the nation with an overall record of 3-3-1. The team came back from Winter Break with an impressive second-place showing at the Las Vegas Invitational and first-place finish at the Southern Scuffle, mixed results from the National Duals and a tie from last Friday’s match against Lehigh. Iowa State boasts an overall record of 9-2, having defeated Oklahoma State last Sunday, 20-18. So far this season its only two losses have come from Iowa University, currently ranked as the top team in the country.
The Red boasts seven wrestlers ranked individually, including senior Troy Nickerson, No. 2 at 125 lbs, junior Mike Grey, No. 7 at 133 lbs, sophomore Steve Bosak, No. 17 at 184, and sophomore Cam Simaz, No. 5 at 197 lbs. Freshman Kyle Dake, at 141 lbs, and returning All-American junior Mack Lewnes, at 174 lbs, both lead their weight classes. The team has a total of five All-Americans and seven NCAA qualifiers.
Many of the Red’s best wrestlers will face nationally-ranked members of Iowa State’s team. Nickerson will be matched up against Iowa State freshman Andrew Long, at 125 lbs, to start off the competition.
Dake will face off against Dalton Jensen, an Iowa State sophomore at 141 lbs who is ranked No. 14. In last Friday’s match against Lehigh Dake overtook his opponent, ranked No. 17, and ended the round with a score of 6-3, preventing Lehigh from getting on the board.
Sophomore Steve Bosak will face off against Iowa State’s Jerome Ward, another sophomore, in the 184 lb weight class. Bosak is ranked at No. 17 to Ward’s No. 11.
The match should end on an exciting note, with Simaz and Iowa State senior Jake Varner in the day’s second-to-last matchup. Varner is the defending NCAA 197 lb champion, ranked nationally as No.1, and a member of the U.S. Freestyle team. In Iowa State’s match against Oklahoma State last Sunday, Varner pinned his Cowboy opponent, who was ranked No. 6 in the 197 lb weight class.