AMES — The name Kyven Gadson and the term Big 12 wrestler of the week are becoming nearly synonymous.
And Gadson — fresh off his third such award — has tapped merely a portion of his potential, which meets another chance for growth in what should be a spirited intra-state dual at 7 p.m. Friday against No. 20 Northern Iowa (USA Today/NWCA) at Hilton Coliseum.
“What I need to do is focus on the wrestling aspect, not so much the awards,” he said recently.
So far, so good for the No. 7-ranked 197-pounder in the country according to Intermat, his coach, Kevin Jackson, said.
Gadson knocked off top-10 foes in the last two duals — including a major decision triumph over Jake Meredith of Arizona State.
“I think he’s still just scratching the surface of how good he can be,” said Jackson, whose team’s last two wins over the Panthers came by a total of three points. “He’s beaten some really good kids, some highly-ranked guys, and I don’t think he’s wrestled his best match. I haven’t seen his very best match — the match I see in the wrestling room. So the goal is for him to be there in March. Thats really the plan for him.”
The marquee match, on paper, will occur at 184, where the Panthers’ No. 6 Ryan Loder is slated to take on No. 15 Boaz Beard of ISU.
UNI coach Doug Schwab seeks his first win over the Cyclones.
“They’re performing at a very high level and competing very hard,” Jackson said of the Panthers. “It’s always been a stressful, tough, hard-fought battle.”
ETC.: Tonight’s dual will coincide with an ISU gymnastics meet against No. 2 Oklahoma. Both competitions will unfold simultaneously in an event dubbed, “Beauty and the Beast.” … Jackson expects 133-pound freshman John Meeks to be ready to wrestle. Meeks, he said, has a leg injury and was pulled early from his last match for precautionary reasons. “We need him for (tonight),” Jackson said.
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