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Preview of the Oklahoma State vs. Iowa State dual meet on Friday evening, Jan. 26



When looking at the lineups for the upcoming Oklahoma State at Iowa State match this Friday, a key word comes to mind... redemption. There will certainly be individual matches with competitors who will seek to restore their pride, not to mention their seedings for post season tournaments. From a team standpoint, the Cyclones will be looking to avenge a 25-13 setback handed to them by Oklahoma State at the National Duals. Although advancing to the finals of the National Duals, the Cowboys were soundly defeated by an improved Minnesota squad (with the addition of their regulars at 197 and heavyweight) The Cyclones (14-3) at last weekend's Cliff Keen /NWCA National Duals enter the dual with nine wrestlers ranked in the latest AWN/TheMat.com's top-12, including top ranked duo Joe Heskett (165) and Cael Sanderson (184). OSU also will start a solid line up with ten ranked wrestlers in the poll as well led by second- ranked Johnny Thompson (133), second-ranked Reggie Wright (149), and third ranked Dainel Cormier (184). OSU maintains a substantial 40-15-3 lead in the all time series that dates back to 1921. Iowa State will be hosting this meet, but the home field advantage is not expected to be a major factor in the outcome. Iowa State suffered some injuries during the National Duals, and if any of their key starters are unable to wrestle, Oklahoma State has a decided advantage. Here is a match by match breakdown of how the dual meet could unfold (predictions are the opinion of the author only, not TheMat.com or the AWA): 125 pounds - Matt Brown (Oklahoma State) vs. Jacob Moore (Iowa State) This is definitely a weight class where the Cowboys would look to score bonus points as 125 has been a struggle all year for the Cyclones. Brown brings in a No. 9 ranking and gets the nod against the true freshman Moore. While capable of scoring bonus points for the team against his potentially outmatched opponent, Moore did show improvement against Stephen Abas (of all competitors). Moore should look to keep it close and hope for the best at the end of the match. Brown will definitely look for a major if not more, and should be able to get it in the form of a 13-3 score. OSU 4, ISU 0 133 pounds- Johnny Thompson (Oklahoma State) vs. Matt Azevedo (Iowa State) Here, we see a rising star in redshirt freshman Johnny Thompson of the Cowboys. Thompson appears to have finally nailed down the starting job at 133 over senior Charles Walker, who actually owns a victory over top ranked Juergens of Iowa. This is definitely a good problem to have in Stillwater. Thompson seems to have a bottomless tank and a 21-1 record, losing only once this year after being bumped up in weight in the first Minnesota dual. Thompson has a great double leg and is tough on top, unlike most freshman. He has provn that his age and inexperience won't deter him, with victories over several highly ranked All-Americans. Azevedo has improved from last year as he appears more comfortable at the higher weight. Although I consider Thompson the favorite, Azevedo will serve as a serious test for Thompson. This match unfolds as a close and precise contest with the winner probably scoring the decisive points in the last period. I am going with Thompson with a regular decision over the senior Azevedo. OSU 7, ISU 0 141 pounds - Charles Walker (Oklahoma State) vs. Zach Roberson (Iowa State) Senior Charles Walker makes the move up one weight class for the team with hopes of strengthening the OSU lineup. Walker already owns a victory over defending NCAA Champ Eric Juergens of Iowa in dual competition, and looked to be steadily headed toward All-American hardware at 133. After losing a couple of ranking matches, the coaching staff has decided to move Walker up a weight class with hopes of bolstering the lineup. This could be a great strategy. Roberson, a freshman from Overland Park, Kan. has adapted well to 141 after planning to wrestle 133 earlier in the year. While Roberson holds the advantage in the rankings with Walker not yet being ranked at the higher weight, I see this match as the key to the meet. A Walker victory would certainly swing the pendulum in the Cowboys favor. Roberson is particularly strong on his feet, while Walker likes to cling to an opponent on top. Definitely a tough match to call, but look for Walker to prevail in a close regular decision. OSU 10, ISU 0 149 pounds - Reggie Wright (Oklahoma State) vs. Billy Maldonado or Benjie Winegarden (Iowa State) A huge factor in deciding the dual meet for the Cyclones will be the health of Billy Maldonado. Unable to compete at the National Duals last weekend, their performance was definitely related to his absence in the lineup. Wright should be able to manage a regular decision over Maldonado, and a major decision over Winegarden. I suspect that Maldonado will sit this one out in hopes of being healthy for the upcoming post-season tournaments. OSU 14, ISU 0 157 pounds - Shane Roller (Oklahoma State) vs. Cole Sanderson (Iowa State) Cole Sanderson will look to be the spark plug the Cyclones need in this dual, especially if the dual were to start at 125 pounds. Coming into the dual with a very solid 25-2 record, Sanderson has to be considered as a serious title threat. He has proven that he can go with the best at this weight and a ranking of No. 7 appears to be a little low. Look for him to score a major decision against the sophomore Roller of the Cowboys. Roller has yet to find a rhythm this year but has the potential and the skill to compete with Sanderson. Fortunately for the Cyclones, Sanderson will look to step it up for the home crowd in this big match situation. Sanderson gets the nod with 10-2 major decision. OSU 14, ISU 4 165 pounds - Ty Wilcox or Billy Gabel (Oklahoma State) vs. Joe Heskett (Iowa State) Here we have another weight class where injuries will change the outcome of the match. With the possibility that junior & defending Big 12 Champ Ty Wilcox will not compete due to injury, the spotlight turns to ISU junior & NCAA runner up Joe Heskett and his ability to score the ever crucial bonus points. If Gabel takes the mat, although capable as an 11-2 record shows, look for Heskett to open up for one reason... the team. Holding the No. 1 ranking with a 25-1 record, Heskett can quiet some critics as of late with a big match performance. Look for Heskett to get the fall and six points for the Cyclones. OSU 14, ISU 10 174 pounds - Tyrone Lewis (Oklahoma State) vs. Perry Parks (Iowa State) Freshman Tyrone Lewis has been on a tear as of late, showing why he was such a highly touted recruit in impressive dual victories. His ranking of No. 11 is somewhat low in my opinion. This freshman could make a run at an NCAA title and easily All-American status. He had a very impressive performance against Minnesota as he showed great motion and mat savvy to go with his extreme speed and power. Speculation is abundant that Perry Parks will not compete due to injury as well. Either way, Lewis can be counted on to produce in a big way. I am picking Lewis with a major decision for the Cowboys. This kid is really hitting his stride as the season progresses and as March nears, he should definitely be considered dangerous. OSU 18, ISU 10 184 pounds - Daniel Cormier (Oklahoma State) vs. Cael Sanderson (Iowa State) Cael Sanderson has definitely made this job easy this year. After breaking Dan Gable's record for consecutive matches won last week, he went on to a 14-3 major decision over Cormier from OSU. I don't see much of a change occurring in this dual either. Sanderson will get the victory by way of another major decision over the very talented Cormier. OSU 18, ISU 14 197 - Mark Munoz (Oklahoma State) vs. Zach Thompson (Iowa State) Definitely the marquee matchup of the night with No. 3 ranked Thompson and No. 4 ranked Munoz, wrestlers looking to continue their on-going battle at this weight class. This surely will be a low scoring affair for both wrestlers and probably will come down to the coin toss. Although Munoz had a sub-par weekend at the National
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