Cyclones Crown Four Champions at Harold Nichols Open
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AMES, Iowa – For the fourth time, Iowa State senior Jon Reader is a Harold Nichols Open champion. Reader continues to crush his opposition, and won his finals match by a 21-5 technical fall in the 174-pound weight class Saturday in the Bergstrom Athletic Training Facility.
“This was another great opportunity to wrestle, compete and lead by example just like coach (Kevin Jackson) preaches,” Reader said. “I bleed cardinal and gold, and am proud to have won four titles here in front of my home crowd.”
Joining Reader on the top of the podium were Iowa State true freshman Ryak Finch and Kyven Gadson and redshirt junior Kyle Simonson.
Finch used a non-stop motor to power his way to the championship at 125-pounds. The youngster from Safford, Ariz. completely shut down his opposition’s offense the entire day, only allowing ten points in four matches, including a dominant 13-2 major decision in the finals.
“It felt good coming into an environment like this for the first time,” Finch said. “There are so many Cyclone fans because this school has such a great tradition. I think that two freshman champions shows where this program is heading.”
Gadson had a tough road to the finals of the 184-pound weight class, but made the most of his first appearance in-front of Iowa State fans. The freshman from Waterloo met up with seventh-ranked Josh Ihnen in the second round. The match was knotted at 2-2 before Gadson locked up a cradle and earned the fall in just under six minutes. He posted twin 3-2 victories in the semis and the finals to claim his first tournament victory as a Cyclone.
“I thought that I wrestled alright, because it is the first time I have wrestled since February because of a torn labrum,” Gadson said. “It helps a lot when you know how much hard work you have put in and you know how hard you can push yourself. It really helps in those close matches.”
Simonson, a junior from Algona, continued to show why the coaches are so excited about the heavyweight class this year. He used strong defense and excellent riding ability to completely shut-down his opposition. Simonson racked up a pin and a technical fall en route to the finals, where he claimed an 8-2 victory.
“It feels good to wrestle well, it is exactly what we train for,” Simonson said. “I trained three years hard with Jake Varner and I think that has really helped me out a lot.”
Brandon Jones pinned his first opponent of the day before falling in consecutive matches.
For the second tournament in a row, Iowa State's Max Mayfield did things the hard way. After falling in his second match of the day by a score of 8-7, Mayfield reeled off an incredible six consecutive victories on the bottom side of the 149-pound bracket to come back all the way for a third-place finish.
Iowa State’s success in the 149-pound weight class did not end there, with true freshman Joe Cozart also putting in an impressive performance. Cozart reached the semi-finals before falling to runner-up Justin DeAngelis of Oklahoma. Cozart then traversed his way through the consolation bracket and won a tight 3-2 match for fifth-place.
Trent Weatherman continues to improve quickly in his redshirt freshman season at 157-pounds. After a big dual victory on Thursday night, Weatherman muscled his way all the way to the finals. He fell victim to an early five-point throw and could not fight his way back, earning himself a strong second-place finish.
Michael Moreno gave Cyclone fans even more reason to be excited when the true freshman earned a third-place finish. Moreno’s only loss on the day came to Nebraska’s national champion Jordan Burroughs in the semi-finals. He was the third Iowa State true freshman to qualify for the semis in Saturday's action.
“I really think that we came out today with more fire and intensity,” coach Jackson said. “Our freshman really came out and helped set the tone today, which really shows you where we are headed. I am happy with the results, because this is certainly the hardest we have competed so far this year.”
Of the Cyclone trio of Tyler Christensen, Matt Riley and Cole Shafer at 184-pounds, it was Shafer who wrestled the best today. Shafer defeated Christensen by a score of 6-0 to make his way into the consolation finals, where he fell in a tough match with Nebraska’s seventh-rated Josh Ihnen.
Iowa State's Jerome Ward breezed past his competition on this way to the finals to meet Wartburg’s Byron Tate. Ward fell behind late and could not quite recover, losing by a score of 8-5 to claim second place. Trevor Voelker also wrestled well at 197-pounds, as he had to wrestle through the consolation side of the bracket on his way to a sixth-place finish.
“You are going to compete the way you practice, and we have been practicing hard,” Jackson said. “Jon Reader is really the leader in this. He performs at a very high level every day and puts everything on the line. The rest of the team is starting to follow his lead. Congratulations to him on his fourth title, he puts in the effort and is reaping the rewards.”
2010 Harold Nichols/Cyclone Open Finals Matches
125 pounds – Ryak Finch (ISU) mdec. Cruse Aarhus (UNI), 13-2
133 pounds – Ridge Kiley (NU) dec. Ryan Jauch (UNI), 4-3
141 pounds – Gabriel Suarez (SCSU) dec. Seth Noble (UNI), 7-5
149 pounds – Essai Dominguez (Unatt.) dec. Justin DeAngelis, 5-2
157 pounds – George Ivanov (Unatt.) dec. Trent Weatherman (ISU), 11-6
165 pounds – Jordan Burroughs (NU) forfeit over Robert Kokesh (NU)
174 pounds – Jon Reader (ISU) wbtf Ryan Pankoke (Unatt.), 21-5
184 pounds – Kyven Gadson (ISU) dec. Spencer Johnson (NU), 3-2
197 pounds – Byron Tate (Wartburg) dec. Jerome Ward (ISU), 8-5
285 pounds – Kyle Simonson (ISU) dec. John Helgerson (Wartburg), 8-2