The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Cy-Hawk matchup lives up to hype as Iowa wrestling defeats Iowa State in Ames

The Hawkeyes won their 19th straight dual meet over the Cyclones on Sunday in front of a sold-out Hilton Coliseum.
Ayrton Breckenridge
Iowa’s 174-pound Patrick Kennedy looks to the crowd while getting his hand raised after wrestling Iowa State’s No. 21 MJ Gaitan during a Cy-Hawk men’s wrestling dual between No. 4 Iowa and No. 8 Iowa State at Hilton Coliseum on Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023.

AMES, Iowa — After the Cy-Hawk wrestling dual meet was over, Iowa State’s 165-pounder David Carr was riding an exercise bike behind a curtain in the Cyclone’s tunnel.

Carr was drenched in sweat, pumping one leg after another, as one of Iowa State’s assistant coaches yelled in his ear.

“Get there, push. You’re mad you didn’t get the tech fall,” the coach told him.

Carr won his match over Iowa’s fifth-ranked Michael Caliendo by a major decision to give Iowa State a one-point advantage out of intermission — the Cyclone’s first and only lead of the meet.

But that wasn’t good enough for Carr, and it wasn’t enough to propel the Cyclones to victory over the Hawkeyes in the four-time All-American’s final Cy-Hawk matchup of his career.

The Hawkeyes walked out of a sold-out Hilton Coliseum with an 18-14 win to notch their 19th straight dual meet victory over the Cyclones.

“It’s March that matters. It’s a dual, like whatever,” Iowa State’s 149-pounder Casey Swiderski, who won his bout against Victor Voinovich, said.  “I mean, it sucks bad because it’s Iowa, and they chirp, but whatever.”

Still, Iowa head coach Tom Brands felt the Hawkeyes left much to be desired. Iowa won six of the 10 bouts but didn’t score any bonus points. The Cyclones posted two major decisions.

“We got guys that have tremendous scoring ability, and I’m not sure that showed up out there,” he said. “We were beat up in the stalling department. And so we have a lot of work to do. That’s where I’m at. We’re moving forward.”

One of those wrestlers who has shown their quick scoring ability in the past is Real Woods, last year’s NCAA runner-up at 141 pounds. On Sunday, Woods didn’t score a takedown until the match was on the line in sudden victory. He pulled away, 4-1, but much like his head coach, he wasn’t pleased with his low-scoring performance.

But Brands might have been more displeased about the two stalling warnings Woods received that gave Iowa State’s Anthony Echemendia his lone point.

“I’ll probably lose a team point here by talking about the officiating in his match,” Brands said.

Woods wasn’t as worried about the officiating but rather expressed the need to be more in control during his matches. He said the opening he found in overtime that led to his winning takedown was one he saw during regulation but was too hesitant to execute.

“As a competitor, you have to know that all those external circumstances shouldn’t determine your match, you know, regardless of who the ref is, regardless of whether they’re biased one way or another,” Woods said. “I wrestle at a much higher pace, and there are adjustments to be made.”

Leading up to the 174-pound match, Iowa and Iowa State exchanged victories, with each squad winning three bouts. Iowa State head coach Kevin Dresser said his squad felt confident coming out of the 10-minute break.

But the next three matches swung in Iowa’s favor, and it started with Patrick Kennedy making his season debut against MJ Gaitan.

Kennedy, who was the Big Ten runner-up last season at 165 pounds, moved up a weight class and prevailed over Gaitan, 14-13.

Kennedy was in control for the majority of the match, almost looking as if he would seal Iowa’s first bonus points of the day. But Gaitan didn’t go down without a fight, scoring three takedowns in the final two minutes. Kennedy ultimately held on, regaining Iowa the lead.

Dresser blamed himself and the rest of the coaching staff for the Cyclones’ loss at 174 because they thought Gaitan had secured enough riding time to send the match into sudden victory.

“That one will keep me awake for months,” Dresser said of the 174-pound bout. “Sometimes, when you’re in the corner, things get moving really fast. And you know, coach Metcalf and coach St. John, I think we got all confused with the riding time situation. And for a split second there, I think we thought we had riding time in the heat of battle, and we didn’t have riding time. There’s no guarantee that MJ Gaitan would have gotten one more take down there, but it sure looked like it with the way things were trending in that match.”

Then, true freshman Gabe Arnold quieted Cyclone fans in his Cy-Hawk debut with a 3-2 decision over All-American Will Feldkamp at 184 pounds. Dresser complimented Arnold for his wrestling style and ability to slow down the match.

The Hawkeye didn’t leave the mat without cupping his hand to his ear and blowing a kiss to the nearly 15,000 fans cheering against him.

“You know what your teammates have within them, and you know what they’re capable of. So to see that shine through more and more with guys like Gabe Arnold because he’s young, it’s a wonderful thing,” Woods said.

This was another lineup change by Brands, as Arnold wrestled at 174 pounds against Oregon State last weekend.

Inserting Kennedy in the lineup and bumping Arnold up a weight class arguably was the deciding factor in the dual meet. Those matches were the first back-to-back wins of the day for the Hawkeyes, and it gave them a cushion heading into the final two bouts.

The meet was still within Iowa State’s reach heading into the 197-pound match, but Zach Glazier shut the door for good.

Iowa’s No. 22 197-pound Zach Glazier wrestles Iowa State’s No. 24 Julien Broderson during a Cy-Hawk men’s wrestling dual between No. 4 Iowa and No. 8 Iowa State at Hilton Coliseum on Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023. (Ayrton Breckenridge)

As Glazier secured a 7-3 win over Julien Broderson, the Hawkeye faithful stood on their feet in celebration, and Cyclone fans started to flee the building.

The first regular-season college dual meet to be broadcast on ESPN was one to be remembered.

“I really feel an honor, and I also feel that this is something that we need as a sport,” Woods said of the meet being televised on ESPN. “To be able to have that platform right now and on ESPN for this dual, that was awesome. I would like to be a part of that as much as possible to grow the sport.”

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About the Contributors
Kenna Roering
Kenna Roering, Sports Editor
Kenna Roering is The Daily Iowan's sports editor. She is a junior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism with a minor in sports and recreation management. Kenna previously worked as a sports reporter for men's wrestling and volleyball and was the summer sports editor in 2023. This is her second year with the DI.
Ayrton Breckenridge
Ayrton Breckenridge, Managing Visuals Editor
Ayrton Breckenridge is the Managing Visuals Editor at The Daily Iowan. He is a senior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism and cinema. This is his fourth year working for the DI.