Iowa State Places Four in Big 12 Finals
NORMAN, Okla. – The Iowa State wrestling team (9-7 overall, 1-2 Big 12) sits in third-place at the 2014 Big 12 Wrestling Championship after the conclusion of the first and second rounds. Four Cyclones will do battle this evening live on FOX Sports at 7 p.m. to try and become Big 12 champions.
141-pounder Gabe Moreno brought the Iowa State faithful to its feet with an emotional 9-4 upset win over top-seeded Collin Johnston of West Virginia. Moreno trailed 4-3 before scoring a five-point move on the edge of the mat to end the second period with an 8-4 lead.
Moreno, who will face No. 17 Anthony Collica of Oklahoma State in the finals tonight, clinched an automatic berth to the 2014 NCAA Championships March 20-22 in Oklahoma City with the win.
Moreno’s older brother, Michael, also clinched an automatic berth to the 2014 NCAA Championships with his 7-3 win over Oklahoma’s Clark Glass. Moreno, ranked No. 9 nationally, improved to 26-6 with the win.
He will face three-time All-American Tyler Caldwell of Oklahoma State in the finals tonight. Caldwell leads the all-time series with Moreno 2-1. Moreno’s lone win in the series came last season at the Big 12 Duals when he topped the Cowboy All-American 5-2. Moreno has won seven straight matches.
No. 1 Kyven Gadson and redshirt freshman Lelund Weatherspoon join the Moreno brothers in the finals tonight.
Gadson won his 10th straight match, earning a 18-2 technical fall (6:18) over West Virginia’s Leo Trindade to advance to the 197-pound Big 12 championship match. Gadson has No. 7 Travis Rutt in the finals tonight. Gadson downed Rutt 3-1 in the first sudden victory period earlier in the season.
Weatherspoon downed OU’s Danny Chaid 8-3 with 1:08 of riding time to advance to his first career Big 12 final at 184 pounds. Weatherspoon will face Oklahoma State’s Nolan Boyd in the finals tonight. Boyd beat Weatherspoon in a wild, back-and-forth match 11-9 in SV-1 earlier this season.
No. 11 Tanner Weatherman punched an automatic bid with a third-place finish at 174 pounds. It will be the sophomore’s second NCAA tournament appearance.
Quean Smith took third-place at heavyweight with after going 1-1. Smith downed OU’s Ross Larson 9-6 with 1:52 of riding time in the consolation championship.
Earl Hall (125), Shayden Terukina (133), Luke Goettl (149) and John Nicholson (157) all took fourth-place at their respective weights for the Cyclones.
Hall and Goettl will both need wild card bids to the 2014 NCAA Championships, as each narrowly missed out an automatic bid by winning the consolation championship. Hall sits at 18-12 overall and Goettl at 14-15.
Oklahoma State put nine wrestlers in the finals and holds a 20-point lead heading into this evening’s title bouts.
The finals begin at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast live by FOX Sports. For complete TV listings, click here.
1.Oklahoma State -74.5 pts.
2. Oklahoma - 55.5 pts.
3. Iowa State - 37.5 pts.
4. West Virgina - 26 pts.