CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - The No. 20 University of Northern Iowa wrestling team is headed to Ames, Iowa, as the favorite over unranked Iowa State.
Coach Doug Schwab is looking for his first win over the Cyclones as a Panther coach. The last two meetings with Iowa State have been extremely tight with UNI losing by 2 points in 2012 and just 1 point in 2011. The series with Iowa State dates back to 1924, UNI's second year for its wrestling program. The Cyclones lead the series 54-16.
The Panthers (8-3) are coming off two wins on the road, beating South Dakota State (41-3) and No. 25 North Dakota State (21-15).
The team made its debut in national rankings after beating then-ranked No. 13 Oklahoma, 18-15, and No. 21 Northwestern, 21-13, in the same weekend. The team has moved up one spot since to 20th in the nation in the latest USA Today/NWCA/AWN Division I Coaches Poll. UNI is ranked 27th by Intermat. The Panthers are third in the Mid-American Conference behind Central Michigan and Missouri.
The Panthers have outscored dual opponents 331-131 so far this season.
After dominating in the Western Wrestling Conference, UNI moved to the MAC this season to participate in the conference meet only. Starting next year, the Panthers will compete fully in the MAC.
The Cyclones (6-4) have faced a couple of the same teams as UNI. Both teams were victorious over NDSU, where ISU won 22-18. However, ISU lost to Oklahoma, 19-15. The team is coming off a 25-9 loss to Oklahoma State and recent 23-18 win over Arizona State.
- NDSU, 22-15
- Rutgers, 19-15
- Drexel, 31-12
- Penn, 25-9
- West Virginia, 30-3
- Arizona State, 23-18
- Old Dominion, 22-13
- Iowa, 32-2
- Oklahoma, 19-15
- Oklahoma State, 25-9
THE PROBABLES UNI vs. ISU:
- Ryan Jauch vs. Ryak Finch
Jauch (4-7/4-5) Crystal Lake, Ill. / Crystal Lake Central
After wrestling in the 133-pound weight class for the last couple of years, Jauch has moved down to 125 for his senior year. He won his first match of the year by technical fall (18-1) and his second with a pin in 1:31. He pinned Tyler Gilleland of Southern Illinois-Edwardsville in 20 seconds. He upset No. 16 Dominick Malone to help the team beat No. 21 Northwestern. As a junior, he upset the No. 3 seed in the West Regional in the first round. He was the Finn Grinaker Open champion at 133 pounds and placed second at Harold Nichols Cyclone Open.
Finch (8-7/5-5) Safford, Ariz.
Finch, a sophomore, is a returning NCAA national qualifier. He was third at this year's Harold Nichols Cyclone Open and won it last year. He has earned three wins by fall and two by tech falls this season.
- Levi Wolfensperger vs. John Meeks
Wolfensperger (20-6/9-2) Denver, Iowa / Denver
UNI's Wolfensperger, a sophomore, is a returning NCAA national qualifier for the Panthers and placed fourth at the Cliff Keen Invite. He won the Finn Grinaker Cobber Open. As a redshirt freshman, he was the WWC's only NCAA qualifier and had the most pins at the West Regional. Wolfensperger and Meeks have both faced Josh Rodriguez of NDSU. Wolfensperger has beaten Rodriguez two times, while Meeks lost 6-2 in their last meeting.
Meeks (6-7/3-6) Des Moines, Iowa / Roosevelt
Meeks is one of the most-decorated high school wrestlers in Iowa, with a perfect 168-0 record. He was just the sixth wrestler in Iowa history to accomplish the feat. He won four separate weight classes as a prep wrestler: 119 as a freshman, 125 as a sophomore, 130 as a junior, 138 as a senior.
- Joey Lazor or Adam Perrin vs. Luke Goettl
Lazor (26-7/9-2) McDonough, Ga. / Union Grove
Injury kept Lazor, a junior, out of the Panther lineup last year, but he has been an integral part of the UNI team this year. He placed seventh at the Midlands Championships. As a junior, he saw limited action with his injury but placed sixth at Flash Flanagan and sixth at the Duhawk Open.
Perrin (7-5/0-0) Eldridge, Iowa / North Scott
Perrin took fifth at the Finn Grinaker Cobber Open. Last year as a freshman, he posted the most victories of all the true freshmen. He led the team in pins with 14. He was the champion at the Loras and Jim Fox opens.
Goettl (9-9/4-5) Clarkdale, Ariz.
Goettl is a returning NCAA qualifier. He upset Kendric Maple of Oklahoma and No. 2 Zach Kemmerer of Penn at Midlands last year to place sixth overall. Maple won both of their meetings this year. Goettl took third at this year's Harold Nichols Open.
- Bart Reiter or Clay Welter vs. Max Mayfield
Reiter (10-4/6-2) Gilbertville, Iowa / Don Bosco / Minnesota
Injury slowed Reiter's start to the season, but he has been healthy and an asset to the Panther lineup since returning. Reiter started his collegiate wrestling career at Minnesota. This is his first year at UNI.
Welter (14-4/2-0) Gilbertville, Iowa / Don Bosco
Welter won the William Penn Open and took second at the Grand View Open this year. He had the team's quickest pin at 25 seconds last year. He is a sophomore.
Mayfield (8-9/3-5) Davenport, Iowa
Mayfield sat out most of last season after getting an injury. This was his third year competing at the Midlands Championships. He was third at the Harold Nichols Open in 2010 and took sixth at the UNI Open that season.
- David Bonin vs. Logan Molina
Bonin (21-5/8-3) Broussard, La. / Comeaux
Bonin, a senior, is a two-time NCAA national qualifier for UNI. He has held a national ranking for the majority of the year. Bonin won the UNI Open, was second at the Finn Grinaker Cobber Open and placed fifth at the Cliff Keen Invite. He beat No. 15 Matt Lester in SV2 to help the Panthers beat No. 13 Oklahoma Jan. 18 to earn a spot in the national rankings. As a junior he upset three ranked opponents, including the No. 4 seed Walter Peppelman in the first round of the NCAA Championships with a pin.
Molina (14-13/3-7) Lincoln, Neb. / Lincoln
Molina lost 2-1 to Bonin earlier in the season en route to his fourth-place finish at the UNI Open. Lester also defeated Molina, 6-4, in a dual. Molina won the Kaye Young and UNI Open last year. He placed fifth at last year's Grand View Open.
- Jarrett Jensen or Kyle Lux vs. Michael Moreno
Jensen 14-12/6-5 Rapid City, S.D. / Rapid City Stevens
Jensen, a redshirt freshman, has been in the UNI lineup for all of UNI's dual meets this season. He placed sixth at the UNI Open. His recent losses came to No. 4 Patrick "Bubby" Graham of Oklahoma and No. 16 Pierce Harger of Northwestern. He is the Finn Grinaker Cobber Open champion. As a freshman, he won three open tournaments: Loras Open and Jim Fox Open at 157 pounds and the Flash Flanagan Open at 165 pounds.
Lux (9-7/0-0) Toledo, Iowa / South Tama
Lux was third at the Flash Flanagan Open and fifth at the Grand View Open. As a freshman, he won the Loras Open and placed third at the Jim Fox Open.
Moreno (19-6/6-4) Urbandale, Iowa
Moreno is the Harold Nichols Cyclone Open. He beat Jensen 2-0 to win the UNI Open. He finished fourth at the Big 12 Championships last year. The sophomore was the Iowa state champion at 171 pounds in 2010. In high school, he was coached by his father and former Cyclone All-American Mike Moreno.
- Cody Caldwell vs. Tanner Weatherman
Caldwell (24-7/8-3) Waverly, Iowa / Waverly-Shell Rock
Caldwell was seventh at the Cliff Keen Invite in Las Vegas, Nev. Caldwell, a redshirt freshman, won the UNI Open and the Finn Grinaker Cobber Open. As a freshman, he posted the best winning percentage (.885) of the freshman class, winning the Jim Fox Open, William Penn Open and the Flash Flanagan Open.
Weatherman (12-6/6-2) Huxley, Iowa / Ballard-Huxley
Weatherman was second at the Harold Nichols Cyclone Open. The redshirt freshman posted a 12-3 record last year competing unattached and took second at the UNI Open. He also won the Grand View Open. He was a three-time state champion in high school.
- Ryan Loder vs. Boaz Beard
Loder (25-3/10-0) Granite Bay, Calif. / Granite Bay
Loder has been nationally ranked all season. He is a two-time returning NCAA national qualifier. Loder's career record is the fifth-highest winning percentage among all UNI Panthers who have had at least 50 wins and competed at least two seasons in Division I. He consistently has been UNI's top place winner at competitive tournaments, winning the UNI Open, placing third at the Cliff Keen Invite and taking fourth at the Midlands Championships. He upset No. 8 Mike Larson of Missouri in a dual. As a sophomore, he never lost a match by major decision, technical fall or pin. He won three open tournaments: Harold Nichols Cyclone Open, Finn Grinaker Open and the UNI Open. He placed third at Midlands and was named Top Contender.
Beard (8-4/6-2) Wichita, Kan. / Goddard
Beard, a junior, is a returning NCAA national qualifier. He was edged out by Mike Larson of Missouri to take second at the Big 12 Championships last year. Beard lost 1-0 last year to Loder. He was a four-time state champion as a prep wrestler in Kansas.
- Blaize Cabell or Taylor Kettman vs. Kyven Gadson
Cabell (10-10/2-4) Independence, Iowa / Independence
Cabell is a redshirt freshman. He took second at the William Penn Open. He placed fifth and recorded a pin and technical fall at the Harold Nichols Cyclone Open. He joined the dual lineup for the Panthers mid-January. As a freshman, he won the Loras Open and was fourth at the Jim Fox and William Penn opens.
Taylor Kettman (1-1/1-1) Waterloo, Iowa / Don Bosco
Injury has slowed Kettman's start to the season. The sophomore was undefeated in competition his first weekend back. He placed second at the Flash Flanagan Open last year and third at the Finn Grinaker Cobber open. He was fifth at the UNI Open last season. As a freshman, he picked up eight wins in open tournaments.
Gadson (16-2/9-0) Waterloo, Iowa / Waterloo East
Gadson was fourth at this year's Midlands Championships and took second at this year's UNI Open. Gadson, a sophomore, was injured for much of last year. He posted back-to-back undefeated seasons to win state titles at 171 and 189 pounds in high school.
- Blayne Beale or Cody Krumwiede vs. Matt Gibson
Beale (13-7/6-3) Davenport, Iowa / Davenport West
Beale, a senior, is one of four returning NCAA national qualifiers for UNI. He has wrestled the majority of the duals for the Panthers this season. He got fourth at the UNI Open, his first meet of the season. His last-second takedown against Keldrick Hall of Oklahoma helped secure the Panthers' win against the Sooners. His 3-2 decision over Hall gave UNI the three points it needed to win as a team. As a junior, he was undefeated in WWC dual competition and won the Flash Flanagan Open.
Cody Krumwiede (19-10/1-1) Waverly, Iowa / Waverly-Shell Rock
Krumwiede, a redshirt freshman, is the William Penn Open champion. He was second at the Finn Grinaker Cobber Open, UNI Open and the Grand View Open. He got fifth at the Flash Flanagan Open. As a freshman, he won a team-high of four titles at open tournaments: Loras, Jim Fox, William Penn and Flash Flanagan opens.
Matt Gibson (12-6/4-4) Vallejo, Calif.
Gibson was third at the Harold Nichols Cyclone Open. Last year, he won the Harold Nichols Cyclone Open and Kaye Young Open. He took third at the Midlands Championships. He is a returning NCAA national qualifier after winning the Big 12 Championships. At last year's dual against UNI, Gibson pulled out a 7-1 win to help the Cyclones defeat the Panthers 19-17.