Indiana Daily Student

Wrestlers poised for intense conference play

Team trains, competes through winter break, posting 5-0 record

At 5-0, IU wrestlers have their best team start since 1995-96, but the competition will intensify as conference play approaches.\nFollowing a victory against Missouri, the Hoosiers have dominated their opponents to maintain an undefeated dual meet record. The last time the Hoosiers posted a 5-0 record, the team finished as Big Ten runner-up.\nSaturday in Charleston, Ill., Indiana defeated Eastern Illinois 37-9 and Franklin and Marshall 47-9. In the tri-match, three Hoosiers pinned both of their opponents, including senior Gabe Cook (149 pounds) who improved to 12-2 on the year. Junior Viktor Sveda (184) earned his seventh and eighth pins to move to 14-4. Redshirt freshman Coyte Cooper's two pins make him 8-4 overall with four pins.\nCooper said before the match he was not pleased with his performance this season.\n"I don't think I have wrestled well at all as far as where I know I can be," Cooper said. "It is time I start to settle in."\nIU posted lopsided victories at home in mid-December when the Hoosiers defeated Central Missouri State 38-6 and Marquette 38-10. In the tri-match, IU lost only four matches and five wrestlers posted victories against each of their opponents. \nJunior Brian Smiley (133) said despite lopsided rankings, the Hoosiers don't look past any opponent.\n"I think we are real competitive … we go out and battle everybody," Smiley said. "We don't let up for anybody. It doesn't matter who we are wrestling."\nThe team traveled to Nevada for the Reno Tournament of Champions and finished third as a team. Oklahoma State, ranked second nationally, hammered the competition by defeating second place Arizona State by 72 points. Individually, Sveda recorded two pins on his way to second place to pace the Hoosiers. He was defeated by eighth-ranked Oklahoma State senior Dan Cormier. Cook, and fellow Hoosiers senior Kevin Stanley (165) and sophomore Ty Matthews (197) finished third in their weight classes at the tournament. \n The team later traveled to Evanston, Ill., to compete in the Midlands Championship for the first time in three years. The individual tournament showcases nationally ranked wrestlers as well as amateur wrestlers who have used up their eligibility. \nIU Coach Duane Goldman said he would use the event to help establish a starting lineup for the rest of the season. Only Sveda placed in the top three, finishing third with two wins against seeded opponents after a loss to number one seed Cael Sanderson of Iowa State.\nThroughout winter break, the wrestlers endured as many as three practices a day, including activities such as lifting and running. Pat Cassidy, assistant coach and member of last year's team, said the staff is hoping the intense training will pay off. The coaching staff is pleased with the progress of the team, he said, but recognizes the road ahead is difficult.\n"I don't think we have had any major setbacks; we have cleared some hurdles, but haven't wrestled any big teams yet, dual meet wise," Cassidy said. "Hopefully that will come later in the season."\nThe Hoosiers will get a chance to earn victories against nationally ranked competition this weekend when they travel to Norfolk, Va., for the Virginia Duals. This will be IU's final meet before conference competition. Cassidy said he is optimistic.\n "We have had some individual guys that are wrestling well, but the thing is collectively we are wrestling much better," Cassidy said. "I think the road ahead looks bright, and I think we will do well in Virginia"

Like what you're reading?

Get more award-winning content delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our Weekly Recap.

Signup today!
Like what you're reading? Support independent, award-winning college journalism on this site. Donate here.

Powered by Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2022 Indiana Daily Student