At the NCAA Championships on Day 1, Iowa State head coach Kevin Dresser gave his recap of the Cyclones performance, noting the difficulty of the competition despite the Cyclones’ early successes.
The Cyclones walked into the NCAA Championships with high hopes after a strong showing in the Big 12 tournament. But they quickly found themselves surrounded by some of the best collegiate wrestlers in the nation.
“It was a tough day,” Dresser said. “We had some good matches and some bad matches, but that’s what you expect in this kind of competition.”
The Cyclones had four wrestlers advance to the quarterfinals, with redshirt freshman David Carr and senior Todd Small each earning pins in their opening matches. Senior Jarrett Degen and junior Chase Straw also earned victories in their opening round matches.
“We were able to get off to a good start and put some points on the board early,” Dresser said. “But the competition is only going to get tougher from here, and we have to be prepared for that.”
In the quarterfinals, Carr and Small both lost close matches, while Degen and Straw each earned hard-fought victories.
“We had some really close matches that could have gone either way,” Dresser said. “We just have to keep our heads up and keep fighting.”
The Cyclones now find themselves in a good position heading into the semifinals, with four wrestlers still in the running.
“We’re still in the hunt and we’re still in the fight,” Dresser said. “We just have to keep pushing and focus on the next match.”
Despite the difficulty of the competition, Iowa State’s head coach is pleased with the way his team competed on Day 1 of the NCAA Championships and is confident they will be able to continue their success in the coming days.
“It was a tough day, but our wrestlers put up a good fight,” Dresser said. “We still have a long way to go, but I’m proud of the way our guys competed today.”