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  • Photo: Sam Janicki

    Photo: Sam Janicki

    Big 12 Weekly Recap (11/27/2023)

    It was a light week overall with Thanksgiving Break so I’m mixing up my typical wrap-up. Just two Big 12 duals occurred on Sunday, but both had some great action and huge results. The South Dakota State Jackrabbits kicked the day off, taking on Minnesota in an exciting matchup. Starting at 125, #22 Tanner Jordan took out #6 Pat McKee for the first time with a 9-4 decision. In a wild match that had two reversals for both wrestlers, Jordan broke it open late with a tilt for back points. The Jackrabbits continued the momentum, as Derrick Cardinal beat freshman standout Tyler Wells with a 5-3 decision. Wells teched Cardinal at the Bison Open earlier this month. 

    Unfortunately, Minnesota came back with four wins of their own, including an overtime match between ranked opponents at 157lbs. #13 Michael Blockhus took out #11 Cael Swensen with a late surge to go to overtime and took the match there. Unranked Blaine Brenner took out #19 Tanner Cook in a bout that SDSU needed to win. Cade DeVos and Tanner Sloan got wins, but no Bennett Berge meant big team points for Minnesota at 184. There was still a chance with just heavyweight remaining, but SDSU had to get a bonus as criteria was against them. Luke Rasmussen made a late push, but dropped the final match 9-7 as SDSU lost a very fun 19-13 dual. Once Clay Carlson and Bennett Berge are consistently in the lineup, the Jackrabbits are only going to be more dangerous. 

    Iowa-Iowa State was one of the most hyped duals of the season, and it lived up to it. Iowa took the dual 18-14 and six of the ten matches. Iowa State had some great moments early, but surprisingly struggled at the upper weights. #8 Kysen Terukina lost to #17 Drake Ayala, but #19 Evan Frost got Iowa State on the board with a shocking win over #8 Brody Teske. Frost not only scored the only takedown, but hit a tilt for back points to cap it. 

    The two teams continued to split matches, as Iowa won 141 and 157 while Iowa State won 149 and 165. #19 Anthony Echemendia was razor close to taking out #1 Real Woods, with a controversial “no challenge” from Iowa State on a potential takedown. In overtime, Woods shot quickly and converted a takedown for the close win. #14 Casey Swiderski took out #9 Victor Voinovich, where Iowa State again won the takedown battle. Then at 157 #2 Jared Franek and true freshman #18 Cody Chittum went to the wire, with Iowa State again just barely running out of time on a takedown attempt. #2 David Carr demolished #5 Mikey Caliendo with a 16-4 major that included three takedowns. 

    Weight bumps were discussed for both teams coming into the dual, and Iowa was the team to follow through. They bumped up #14 Patrick Kennedy, a 165lber last season, to take on #21 MJ Gaitan. Kennedy built an early 12-4 lead going into the third, but Gaitan scored three takedowns of his own. Down one with riding time, Gaitan stayed on top and ended up dropping a 14-13 match. Afterwards, Coach Dresser admitted that it was a coaching mistake, and they should have had him cut a gassed Kennedy to try and get one more takedown, although time was against him. 

    With Kennedy at 174, true freshman Gabe Arnold bumped up to 184. Despite getting a top 12 win at 174 against Oregon State, Arnold got a top eight win while up a weight. He scored an early takedown on #6 Will Feldkamp and didn’t have to do much else. Feldkamp was looking for offense from overhooks and Arnold did a smart job wrestling positionally to not give anything up outside of escapes. At 197, Iowa State needed #24 Julien Broderson to take out #22 Zach Glazier to stay in the dual. Unfortunately for the Cyclones, Glazier scored the only takedowns of the match to clinch the dual. #7 Yonger Bastida scored a 17-6 major decision to end the dual on a less sour note for Iowa State. 

    Overall the Big 12 teams went 0-2 against the Big 10. However, South Dakota State looked really solid and should be able to look even better once their lineup is healthy. Iowa State had a number of chances, but also seemed to have luck against them. Weird calls, late timing, and a lack of production at the upperweights really hurt a team that could still turn into a trophy contender in March. 

    The upcoming week has much more competition, as many Big 12 teams are headed to the stacked Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. #21 Air Force, #16 Northern Iowa, #9 Oklahoma State, #11 Iowa State, #13 South Dakota State, Utah Valley, and Wyoming will all compete in Vegas. #3 Missouri takes on #12 Oklahoma in Columbia, MO. The Sooners then head to Morgantown for a dual against #26 West Virginia. North Dakota State stays at home to wrestle Virginia. Northern Colorado has the Cougar Clash tournament listed for December 2nd. California Baptist doesn’t compete this week.  

    All-in-all two great duals that didn’t go the conference’s way, but a chance to really make a statement in a ridiculously stacked Cliff Keen. Add in some solid conference and non-conference duals, and December is looking to start the month strong.

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