DES MOINES — Iowa State sophomore Michael Moreno said he found out a lot about himself during the second day of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.
The same could be said for the Cyclones as a team.
Moreno led a Cyclone surge on Friday at Wells Fargo Arena, winning four matches and earning a spot in Friday’s consolation semifinals at 165 pounds.
Kyven Gadson did the same at 197 and heavyweight Matt Gibson won three times before falling into Saturday’s seventh-place match with a loss Friday night.
ISU won nine of 13 matches Friday and are tied for eighth place with 41 points.
“You find yourself in this sport,” Moreno said after a 4-2 over No. 8-seeded Nicholas Sulzer of Virginia. “You find out how tough you are.”
Unlike Gadson, Moreno (30-8) came in unseeded, but will place no worse than sixth.
“I don’t care about seeds,” he said. “I’m the bad draw…that’s the way I looked at it all week.”
Gadson (30-3) also can finish no worse than sixth after beating fourth-seeded Alfonzo Henderson of Wyoming, 12-4.
Gibson (22-11) will wrestle for seventh Saturday after losing to Jarod Trice of Central Michigan, 3-0. Also unseeded, he scored a pin and major decision earlier in the day.
“We just want our guys to compete,” ISU coach Kevin Jackson said. “When they do that, we get positive results.”
Northern Iowa coach Doug Schwab was in no mood to celebrate after Ryan Loder fell into the seventh place match at 184 with a 3-2 overtime loss to Jimmy Sheptock of Maryland.
David Bonin also lost in the 157 semifinals, 7-0 to top-seeded Jason Welch of Northwestern, but the Panthers have two All-Americans for the first time since 2005 and are in 19th place in the team race.
Two other Panthers — Levi Wolfensperger at 133 and Joey Lazor at 141 — missed All-American finishes by one win.
“Guys are hurting right now,” Schwab said. “They have to take advantage of those opportunities and wrestle whole matches.”
The unseeded Bonin made the semifinals Friday morning with a 3-0 win over Jedd Moore of Virginia. He did not allow a point until the semifinals.
“You train every day for this,” he said after that win. “Why not me?”
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