Michael Beard (left) takes down Max Dean in Sunday's dual (photo courtesy of Juan Garcia; JCG Photography)
The first quarter (or month) of the regular season is behind us and we moved into the second in a big way with a weekend that included the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, As is usually the case with Vegas, some superstars were on display, some new stars were made, and lots of upsets happened along the way. Vegas wasn't the only notable event though. Iowa's CyHawk dual took place and there was plenty to take away from that clash. Along with that, past team champs Minnesota and Oklahoma State renewed acquaintances, with plenty of surprising results. The weekend was closed out by teams from the Big Ten and EIWA wrestling at the Garden State Grapple.
All in all, it was a busy week with lots to digest. We tried to narrow it down to â€œ7 Big Stories from the Week in College Wrestling.â€
1) 18 Straight
There was a lot of talk this year that Iowa State would finally snap its losing streak against cross-state rival Iowa and hand the Hawkeyes their first loss to ISU under Tom Brands. After Sunday, those talks will stop for another ten months or so.
Though Iowa State has improved and deservedly is ranked in the top ten, they are still a step behind their counterparts from Iowa City. A win from Tony Cassioppi at 285 lbs put the finishing touches on an 18-15 win for the Hawkeyes.
As is normally the case when these two teams meet, the dual was a memorable one. It had a little bit of everything. The return of a superstar. Some heated moments and posturing from both sides. A stud freshman with a big win. Matches that will impact national rankings. Slight upsets.
With a dangerous Cyclone lineup and some struggles from the 125 lb weight class this year, there were questions about whether Brands and staff would unleash Spencer Lee for the first time in 2022-23 and see his first action since December 2021. Lee returned and showed that he'll need some time to round into his typical self; but at the same time, still posted a major decision.
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