Cyclones Past and Present Excel in Freestyle
CLEVELAND, Ohio – Strong performances by current and former Cyclone wrestlers at the 2011 ASICS U.S. Open and FILA Junior Nationals show the strength of the Iowa State program. Cyclone freshman Kyven Gadson led the way at the FILA Junior Nationals for Iowa State with a championship in the 96 kg (211.5 pounds) weight class, while three former Iowa State All-Americans placed in the top eight of their respective weight classes in the senior-level U.S. Open, including a title by four-time NCAA finalist Jake Varner at 96 kg.
Gadson, who won the 184-pound weight class at the Harold Nichols/Cyclone Open while redshirting the 2010-11 season, only allowed his opponents to score two points throughout the entire tournament. After collecting a pin and a technical fall, he garnered three straight decision victories en route to a three-period victory over Tanner Hall of the Warrior Wrestling Club.
“Kyven looks like he could be very special with his ability to dominate an opponent physically and technically,” Iowa State head coach Kevin Jackson said. “I think that he will have an immediate impact for Iowa State and has the ability to put himself in the conversation for an NCAA title right away.”
Iowa State pulled off the impressive feat of having a current wrestler (Gadson) win the 96 kg (211.5 pounds) weight class at FILA Juniors and a former athlete (Varner) win the exact same weight class at the U.S. Open in the same weekend.
Varner was only scored on once in the entire tournament on his way to an emphatic 7-0, 5-0 victory over former Iowa All-American Dan Erekson in the finals. The two-time NCAA champion finished second in this event a year ago.
Former Cyclone national champion David Zabriskie finished fourth in the 96 kg weight class with victories over Deandre Nunn of Team Overtime, Tyler Lehmann of the Olympic Training Center and Brent Jones of Cavalier WC.
“Dave did not have a great performance and he still has some work to do to be where we want him,” Jackson said. “But when he gets to where we want him to be, and the Paulson brothers return, we will see a very strong performance from our guys and hopefully place all three of them on the U.S. World Team.”
Former Iowa State All-American Nick Fanthorpe also finished in seventh in the 60 kg (132.25 pounds) weight class with hard fought victories over Steve Mytych of Team Excel, Andy Simmons of Sunkist WC and Derek Moore of the Olympic Training Center.
Also competing for the Cyclones in the ASICS FILA Junior Nationals were freshmen R.J. Hallman at 60 kg (132.25 pounds), Michael Moreno at 74 kg (163 pounds) and Mike England at 74 kg. The three young grapplers combined for six victories in the tournament, but fell just short of placing in the top eight.
“I am happy that all four guys competed because they need this kind of competition to prepare them for what they are going to see next year,” Jackson said. “All four of these wrestlers learned something about themselves technically this weekend, and even more importantly, they learned something about themselves mentally.”
Results: 2011 FILA Junior Nationals Results
Kyven Gadson – 96 kg (211.5 pounds) – First Place
W-F, Kyle O’Donnell (Bobcat Wrestling Club), 6-0, 1:07
W-TF, Donnie Horner (MoWest), 6-0, 6-0
W-D, Trevor Rupp (Wolverine Wrestling), 1-0, 1-0
W-D, Alex Thomas (Clarion Wrestling Club), 2-0, 2-0
W-D, Tanner Hall (Warrior Wrestling Club), 1-0, 0-1, 3-1
R.J. Hallman – 60 kg (132.25 pounds)
W-D, Antonio Gravely (App State Wrestling), 1-0, 1-5, 1-1
W-D, Michael Labry (TWC), 2-0, 4-2
L-D, Tony Ramos (Iowa), 0-4, 0-8
L-D, Shelton Mack (Pittsburgh Wrestling), 0-2, 0-3
Michael Moreno – 74 kg (163 pounds)
W-D, Andy McCulley (Gator Wrestling Club), 1-1, 4-4, 7-0
L-D, Mike Kelly (Iowa), 0-1, 1-1
W-D, Luke Amuchastegui (Cardinal Wrestling Club), 4-0, 3-1
L-D, Tristan Warner (HRWA), 4-5, 2-0, 2-10
Mike England – 74 kg (163 pounds)
L-D, Pierce Harger (Northwestern), 0-7, 2-5
W-D, Luis Tonge (Dragon’s Club), 7-4, 6-0
W-F, Raider Lofthouse (Iowa), 0-2, 4-0, 1:25
L-D, John Blakely (App State Wrestling), 2-0, 1-1, 1-3
2011 ASICS U.S. Open Results
Jake Varner – 96 kg (211.5 pounds) – First Place
W-D, Tanner Hall (Warrior WC), 5-1, 2-0
W-F, Brent Jones (Cavalier WC), 6-0, 0:44
W-TF, Jack Jensen (Gator WC), 6-0, 6-0
W-D, Dan Erekson (Bronco WC), 7-0, 5-0
David Zabriskie – 96 kg (211.5 pounds) – Fourth Place
W-D, Deandre Nunn (Team Overtime), 0-4, 4-0, 4-3
W-F, Tyler Lehmann (OTC), 3-3, 1:28
L-F, Dan Erekson (Bronco WC), 0:59
W-D, Brent Jones (Cavalier WC), 0-2, 2-1, 4-0
L-F, Jack Jensen (Gator WC), 5-0, 1:02
Nick Fanthorpe – 60 kg (132.25 pounds) – Seventh Place
W-D, Steve Mytych (Team Excel, NYAC), 1-0, 1-3, 2-2
L-D, Mike Zadick (Hawkeye WC), 0-1, 0-4
W-D, Andy Simmons (Sunkist WC), 1-1, 2-0
L-D, Drew Headlee (Sunkist Kids), 2-0, 3-2
W-D, Derek Moore (OTC), 3-1, 2-0