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Tuesday, January 05, 2010
We had spoken with Coach Jackson at the beginning of the 2009-10 college wrestling season when Iowa State was ranked second in the NCAA Division I in the preseason polls. After two months of competition, Iowa State is still ranked second, only trailing their long-time rivals, the University of Iowa Hawkeyes.
In a lengthy phone interview, we tracked the progress of Iowa State thus far in their quest for a national championship. We discussed Iowa State's defending NCAA champion and three-time NCAA finalist, senior Jake Varner, who is the top-ranked wrestler at 197 pounds; the emergence of redshirt freshman Andrew Long at 125 pounds, who just defeated third-ranked Zach Sanders of Minnesota, 8-4, in the Iowa State-Minnesota dual meet January 3; and the performances of highly-ranked wrestlers Nick Gallick at 141, David Zabriskie at heavyweight, Jon Reader at 165, and Nick Fanthorpe at 133.
We also discussed the rash of injuries this season in college wrestling; Iowa State's narrow 18-16 dual meet loss to Iowa in December; how the Cyclones are improving their marketing and presentation of their meets; how wrestlers like Mo Lawal who now fight in mixed martial arts are viewed by some; and the next task for the Cyclones, the two-day, 16-team tournament involving most of the top teams in the U.S. at the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals, January 9 and 10, at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls, Iowa; and more.
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