Cyclone Wrestlers Ready For NCAA's
AMES, Iowa -- Head coach Cael Sanderson and his No. 4/5 Iowa State wrestling squad are set to storm the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo., Thursday-Saturday for the NCAA Dvision I Wrestling Championships. The Cyclones are fresh off winning its second-straight Big 12 team title March 8 in Stillwater, Okla., behind championship peformances from Nick Fanthorpe, Nick Gallick, Cyler Sanderson and Jake Varner. For the second year in a row, ISU will send its entire 10-man starting lineup to the national tournament. All of Friday's competition, along with Saturday's medal round matches will be aired on ESPNU. Saturday night's finals will be broadcast on ESPN. Live stats will be available throughout the three-day tournament on cyclones.com.
-Fresh off a Big 12 Championship, head coach Cael Sanderson will lead his fourth-ranked Iowa State squad at the NCAA Championships, March 20-22.
-The three-day tournament will be held in the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.
-For the 13th time since 1964, ISU will send its entire 10-man lineup to the national tournament. Edinboro is the only other squad to send all 10 of its wrestlers, while five teams have qualified nine competitors.
-The Cyclones are back-to-back conference team titles (2007, 2008) for the first time since 1979-80. Nick Fanthorpe (133), Nick Gallick (141), Cyler Sanderson (157) and Jake Varner (184) each won their first individual league crown March 8 in Stillwater, Okla.
-Four ISU wrestlers will be competing at their first NCAA Championships: Tyler Clark (125), Jon Reader (165), Aron Scott (174) and David Bertolino (197).
-All 10 of ISU’s qualifiers have climbed into the top-20 among the polls of their respective weight classes for the first time this season. Scott has jumped into the radar for the first time in his career.
-Varner, the nation’s top-ranked man at 184 pounds, is one of five grapplers to take a spotless record to the national tournament. Together, three of the nation’s top-rated men enter the tournament undefeated: Pittsburgh’s Keith Gavin (174), Varner and defending 197-pound champ Josh Glenn of American.
-The nation’s top-recruiting class in 2005, ISU’s six sophomores have posted phenomenal numbers in two seasons. Combining for a career record of 311-98 and a 150-39 mark this season, they have claimed five individual Big 12 Conference titles and made 12 NCAA Championships appearances.
Iowa State at the NCAA Championships
-The Cyclones are set to storm the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo., and vie for a national title. For the second consecutive year, ISU will send its entire 10-man starting lineup to the NCAA Championships.
-Six of ISU's qualifiers are no stranger to wrestling in an electric atmosphere presented by the NCAA Championships. As redshirt freshmen in 2007, Nick Fanthorpe, Nick Gallick, Mitch Mueller, Cyler Sanderson, Jake Varner and David Zabriskie all qualified for the national tournament. Fanthorpe, Sanderson and Zabriskie each finished one match shy of earning All-America status.
-Four wrestlers, Fanthorpe, Gallick, Mueller and Sanderson, have qualified for the NCAA Championships at a different weight class than what they qualified at a year ago.
-Pushing for an NCAA title is sophomore Jake Varner. The Bakersfield, Calif., native has held the top-spot at 184 pounds all season and sports a spotless 25-0 record. Varner’s undefeated record is the best for a sophomore since head coach Cael Sanderson’s sophomore campaign in 2000. His 25 straight wins is the longest ISU win streak since 2006 when Nate Gallick finished with a 35-0 record.
-Last year at the Palace at Auburn Hills, three Cyclone grapplers, Trent Paulson (157), Jake Varner (184) and Kurt Backes (197), wrestled in the championship match of their respective weight classes. Paulson emerged as the 157-pound champ and Varner became the first redshirt freshman to wrestle in a title bout since head coach Cael Sanderson in 1999.
-First-year head coach Cael Sanderson was named NWCA Coach of the Year after his team placed second at the NCAA Championships and won the Big 12 Conference team title.
-Iowa State has won eight NCAA team titles, the first coming in 1928 under head coach Hugo Otopalik. ISU has not won an NCAA team championship since former head coach Jim Gibbons sent five Cyclones to championship matches, emerging with four champions, and to deny Iowa from its 10th-straight title in 1987.
-Forty-five Iowa State wrestlers have earned a total of 64 individual titles and Cyclone wrestlers have earned All-America accolades 263 times.