Cyclones Figure Into Preseason Wrestling Poll
AMES, Iowa – Every returning starter for the Iowa State wrestling team found a place in Amateur Wrestling News’ preseason individual rankings, released Saturday. The Cyclone squad is coming off a third-place performance at last year’s NCAA Championships.
Four Iowa Staters earned All-America accolades in 2009 with Varner headlining the quartet with his title at 197 pounds. Nick Gallick placed third at 141 pounds and Jon Reader notched a fourth-place finish at 165 pounds. Heavyweight David Zabriske finished fifth.
At 133 pounds, ISU senior Nick Fanthorpe is ranked sixth. Fanthorpe earned All-American honors as a sophomore with his seventh-place finish at 133 pounds. Fanthorpe hails from Naperville, Ill.
After his best NCAA Championships as Cyclone, Gallick comes into AWN’s polling of the 141-pound field at No. 2. The senior from Tucson, Ariz. battled to a third-place showing at the 2009 NCAA Championships. He knocked off the division’s top two seeds en route to earning All-America honors for the second time.
Cyclone Mitch Mueller was stopped just one victory short of All-America status in his third qualification at the NCAA Championships in his junior campaign. Mueller, a native of Iowa City, Iowa, finds himself ranked 10th at 149 pounds.
Reader is ranked fifth at 165 pounds. He has made the most of his two NCAA Championships trips so far, being honored as an All-American both times. The native of Davison, Mich. captured a silver medal at the 2009 Pan-Am Games in April, competing in freestyle competition.
ISU wrestler Duke Burk comes into AWN’s ranking of the 174-pound field as No. 18. Burk, a senior from Peoria, Ill., went 2-2 in his first NCAA Championships as a Cyclone.
ISU sophomore Jerome Ward, of Evergreen Park, Ill., is ranked 15th at 184 pounds after going 1-2 at the NCAA Championships to conclude his freshman campaign.
Varner, a three-time NCAA finalist, is the top-ranked wrestler at 197 pounds. Varner, a native of Bakersfield, Calif., placed second at 184 pounds twice before capturing the 197-pound title as a junior. Varner is a member of the U.S. Freestyle team.
Zabriskie is ranked fifth at heavyweight after his fifth-place finish at last year’s NCAA Championships. The Iowa Stater from Branchville, N.J. will seek a third All-America honor in his final Cyclone season.
To view the full Amateur Wrestling News rankings, click the link in the links section in the photo above.
Cyclones in the AWN Preseason Individual Rankings
133 pounds – No. 6 – Nick Fanthorpe, Sr.
141 pounds – No. 2 – Nick Gallick, Sr.
149 pounds – No.10. – Mitch Mueller, Sr.
165 pounds – No. 5. – Jon Reader, Jr.
174 pounds – No. 18. – Duke Burk, Sr.
184 pounds – No.15. – Jerome Ward, So.
197 pounds – No. 1 – Jake Varner, Sr.
HWT – No. 5. – David Zabriskie, Sr.