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Cyclones’ Moreno in better place in 2013

January 29th, 2013 by Tom

Nick Moore - Wrestler

AMES " Iowa State wrestling coach Kevin Jackson sat down and spoke.

Mike Moreno, his sophomore 165-pounder, listened.

"'Mike, you know you've come a long ways in a short period of time,'" Jackson recalled saying on a recent bus trip. "'I mean, can you believe the year we had last year and where we're at now?' He just kind of looks at me and shakes his head and says, 'Coach Jackson, I was in a different place.'"

Not anymore, thanks largely to the mettle-testing journey.

Moreno stands 17-5 entering Saturday's Big 12 dual at West Virginia.

He cut weight to wrestle at 157 pounds last season and got hurt early, quashing hopes of competing in confidence-boosting open tournaments and the prestigious Midlands Championships.

Moreno ended up 4-13, while yielding bonus points in eight of those losses.

"I think it was necessary," the son of 1992 Cyclone all-American Mike Moreno said in retrospect. "I think people need to take those lumps."

Not that they were easy to absorb for the former state champion from Urbandale.

Moreno " whose brother, Gabe, is a redshirt freshman at ISU " stands as one of several Cyclone wrestlers on the rise after enduring rebuilding mode last season.

"If I just follow his lead, I know great things will come for me," Gabe said.

The team-wide growth began accelerating on the heels of a gut-wrenching 32-3 loss Dec. 1 at arch-rival Iowa.

"They weren't tired, they weren't exhausted," Jackson said of his athletes after that match. "They didn't get beat because of conditioning and things like that. We just didn't go out there and lay it on the line and let the chips fall where they may."

Point taken.

The Cyclones (4-3, 0-1) have won three straight dual meets.

Moreno is one of five top-20 wrestlers in the lineup " and also one of seven freshman or sophomores slated to start in Morgantown.

"We're definitely clicking more as a team," said ISU's Kyven Gadson, a sophomore and fellow legacy wrestler tabbed No. 11 by Intermat at 197.

No one's clicking more " in terms of a reversal of fortune " than Moreno, whose dad was coaching Gabe to a state 3A title at 145 pounds last season.

"Everybody's going to struggle," said the eldest Mike. "But everything happens for a reason. And his struggles last year are going to help him out in life. Flat out, it's going to help him."

It already is.

All of Moreno's losses this season have come against ranked foes.

Four of the five were lost be a total of seven points and two ended in overtime.

"The fact that I'm not getting blown out, that was cool for a while, but now, it's not just OK to keep it close," he said. "It's time to be a man. It's time to start getting these Ws."

Clearly, a different "different place" is now in sight.

"His expectation is to be an all-American before his dad was," Jackson said.

And?

"My goal isn't just to be on the podium this year," Moreno said. "It's to win it this year. It's above and beyond and that's how it has to be."

Same goes for Gabe.

It's how dad wants it to be.

"They're ahead of where I was," Mike Moreno said of his sons. "And I'm proud as hell about it."

Wrestling background to help Pavlenko in Big 12

August 28th, 2011 by Tom

By Bobby La Gesse

Wrestling isn't just part of Adam Pavlenko's life. It's ingrained in who he is. It's what his family does, from his dad to his brother to him.

Some of his earliest memories are from when he started wrestling at age four.

"Wrestling is big for us," Pavlenko said.

Pavlenko, an accomplished amateur wrestler out of Marcos De Niza (Ariz.) High School, believes his wrestling background will help him as an Iowa State linebacker. Pavlenko, a 2012 recruit, verbally committed to the Cyclones over the weekend.

"Wrestling makes you mentally tough," Pavlenko said. "There can be a big grind in football, and you pull out of it because you've been through hell because wrestling is that hard.

"You have to go and train at a level other sports don't approach. You have to push yourself to a different level."

ISU has now landed two accomplished wrestling linebackers in the last month. Kane Seeley, from Perry, committed in mid-July. He went 47-0 last season and won the Class 2A state title at 215 pounds.

Pavlenko's earned All-American honors at the 215-pound weight class, qualified for state every year of high school and won the state championships in Greco and freestyle wrestling "numerous times."

He said the physicality of wrestling helps on the football field, and moves like double leg takedowns help with tackling and hand contact. It also helps with conditioning.

"When wrestling season is over and I go to football, it's easy and comes to you pretty easy," Pavlenko said. "You get more out of it, because you are in better shape from wrestling."

He recorded 133 tackles last season and is a Rivals.com three-star prospect.

Pavlenko said he would consider wrestling at ISU, but added he wants to concentrate on football.

"Maybe in the offseason I would go in two or three times a week and stay in shape, but that all depends on the coaches" Pavlenko said.

At a minimum, he would like to wrestle Seeley at some point in the offseason.

"By then, I bet we'll know each other real good," Pavlenko said. "I imagine it would be pretty fun."

Weatherman suspended from Cyclones wrestling team

July 13th, 2011 by Tom

by KJ Pilcher

Trent Weatherman

Iowa State University Sports Information Director Tom Kroeschell confirmed that wrestler Trent Weatherman has been suspended indefinitely from the Cyclones team after violating team rules. Weatherman was arrested for the second time in three months early Saturday morning.

According to the online arrest report for the City of Ames Police Department, Weatherman, 21, from Huxley, was arrested for simple assault at 2 a.m. July 2. The arrest is his second since being arrested in April for public intoxication with a 0.23 blood-alcohol level.

Kroeschell told SourceMedia Group News that Cyclones Coach Kevin Jackson was out of town and unavailable for comment.

Mark Palmer of College Wrestling Examiner reported the suspension earlier Wednesday, citing other media sources.

Weatherman went 15-15 at 157 pounds as a red-shirt freshman for the Cyclones last season. He placed fourth at the Big 12 Conference tournament. Weatherman was a four-time state finalist for Ballard High School, winning the Class 2A 152-pound title as a junior and senior in 2008 and 2009. He compiled a 180-8 record as a prep, earning high school All-America honors from Amateur Wrestling News.

Cael Tries To Clear The Air RE Cyclones

October 5th, 2009 by Tom

by SEAN KEELER

State College, Pa. " The wrestling room is bigger than a VFW hall, the mats wide as a country mile. Four high-definition televisions hang on the walls, each one placed strategically a few feet apart from the next.

"It's a nice room, "Cael Sanderson says. "But obviously a room's not going to win for you."

He smiles. Penn State's Lorenzo Wrestling Complex opened in 2006 to the tune of $4 million. Tucked neatly into the west side of campus, it's more a penthouse than a palace, but every corner sparkles.
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"I think it was just a lot of bad information that was out there as to why I made the decision, "Sanderson said of the stunning coup that brought the former Iowa State wrestling coach here from Ames five months ago. "But really, that wasn't the reason that I took the job. I was just looking at a long-term opportunity here."

At the most recent NCAA wrestling championships, a dozen Pennsylvania natives were named to the All-American team; two were natives of Iowa. Steve Sanderson, Cael's father, told The (Penn State) Daily Collegian last spring that his son had discussed a move to State College for at least a year, if the job ever came open.

"People were saying that they offered me so much money that I couldn't turn it down, "the younger Sanderson says. "And whoever started that rumor, he's probably sitting back having a good time, I guess."

Sanderson doesn't deny that he got a nice raise - although he's not sure where the speculation of a 5-year, $2.5-million contract came from. And for the conspiracy theorists out there, he also takes issue with the inference that there was some sort of conflict with Cyclones athletic director Jamie Pollard.

"That's not true at all. I like Jamie, "Sanderson says. "He was supportive of the program. I mean, that's real simple. It has nothing to do with Jamie Pollard. That's not why (I left).

"I was looking at Penn State, just because of the long-term, the things that I've (already) talked about. It's really that simple. There's nothing behind-the-scenes or anything like that. Maybe it would be exciting if that was the case, but it's not."

That said, the divorce wasn't entirely peaceful. A day or two after his move was announced, Sanderson recalls, his wife answered the door at their home in Ames to find an irate Iowa State fan, who'd turned up to give them an earful of grief.

"We just didn't answer the door after that, "Sanderson continues with a chuckle. "A little later - actually, it was kind of funny, although my wife wasn't too happy about it - they threw some Iowa State wrestling gear on the front porch. Later that night there was some Iowa State wrestlers over at my house. They were pretty happy with it. They got some free shirts. It really wasn't a big deal."

Other than struggling to sell that house back in Ames, Sanderson says he's found closure with Iowa State. He'd even welcome a series with the Cyclones sometime down the road, if the schedules could get worked out.

"I would guess that it's something we'll be talking about doing, "Sanderson says. "But we haven't discussed that yet. I think they're in good hands. It's just - life goes on."

Sanderson's focus now is the Lions' first dual - at Lehigh on Nov. 13 - and proving that his bosses were wise in their investment. Cael's shiny new penthouse is wired for sound, as is the giant, glittering weight room behind it.

"If we want a workout at 3 in the morning on a Sunday or a Saturday, that's great, "Sanderson says.

Maybe it wasn't about money. But the perks sure as heck don't hurt.

Success to Follow Dynamic Gallick Duo

August 16th, 2009 by Tom

AMES, Iowa "For Iowa State's current 141-pound wrestling standout, a former Cyclone 141-pound NCAA champion is in his corner all the way this season. Luckily for Nick Gallick, it's his workout partner, coach and older brother, Nate Gallick.

The Gallick brothers don't have a sibling rivalry. Nate and Nick Gallick's relationship could be more closely described as a partnership. Their brotherly arrangement exists in the realms of both collegiate and freestyle wrestling. They want to be the best and sometimes the road to being on top is a hard path to take.

Brothers are sometimes the most hard on each other, but for the Gallick brothers; that is part of their goal.

"Having Nate back in the room with me on a daily basis will be good," Nick Gallick said. "That is going to help me. I'm really excited he is back."

Nick Gallick has shadowed his older brother's career closely in his time in a Cyclone singlet. The younger Gallick is a two-time All-American heading into his senior season, like his older brother. Nate Gallick finished his senior season as the 2006 NCAA 141-pound champion and is now a volunteer coach on ISU's wrestling coaching staff.

"We've had pretty similar careers here at Iowa State," Nate Gallick said. "I think he fell short a little bit last year, but I think he's had the capability to be a national champion."

ISU's Nick Gallick plans to couple the knowledge of the new coaching staff, led by Iowa State head coach Kevin Jackson, with his own work ethic.

"I'm putting in the extra work," Nick Gallick said. "I'm getting with all the coaches and I'm really excited about the coaching staff. They are helping me work on areas that I need to work on."

Nick Gallick's focus remains on the collegiate arena while Nate Gallick's gaze has shifted towards the top of the national freestyle ranks. Nate Gallick feels that being back in a recognizable wrestling room can push him towards the summit of the international wrestling scene.

"Ames is a familiar training environment for me," Nate Gallick said. "I'll have great workout partners. Being here with Coach Jackson is awesome. I'm really fortunate to have him be able to coach me."

Nate Gallick is a force to be reckoned with in freestyle wrestling. Competing at 60 kg (132 pounds), Gallick took first-place honors at the 2007 U.S. Senior Nationals and placed third at the 2008 Olympic Team Trials. An injury suffered while wrestling overseas hampered Gallick over the last year, but he has returned to top-form since leaving his post as assistant coach at Tennessee-Chattanooga for Iowa State.

"I learned a lot about coaching while at Chattanooga," Nate Gallick said. "Being down there with Coach Bono helped me learn a lot and I think I'll be able to come back here and help our guys. I will also make them appreciate what they have here at Iowa State."

Several of today's seniors cemented their places in the lineup as freshmen. Gallick wants to put an impressive stamp on the final chapter of his Cyclone career.

"I think we've done great things as a class," Nick Gallick said. "We have so much potential that we are definitely going to go for it all this year. We're here working to ensure that we get it."

Older brother Nate Gallick echoes his younger brother in his confidence behind the ISU title hunt. In his supporting role, Nate Gallick will still enjoy the thrill of victory.

"I can't wait until March," Nate Gallick said. "I'm really excited. I know these seniors really well. I want to be in their corner. I want to help them reach their individual goals. I want to be part of a national championship team. This team has potential."

In regards to the coaching corner, those faithful to Cyclone wrestling will see a new staff of familiar faces. Jackson, along with his staff, have taken the helm in Ames. Nate Gallick has experience with Jackson from the Olympic Training Center and expects great things in the coaching department.

"When we are showing technique to the wrestlers, we'll be demonstrating the same techniques, along with the rest of the staff." Nate Gallick said.

Current Iowa Stater Nick Gallick affirms his older brother's confidence in the new staff.

"I think our coaching staff will be super technical," Nick Gallick said. "They are in here pushing us to work. As much time as we are willing to put in; they will be here for us. That work will take us far."

Constructive criticism in coaching from a sibling might not be the easiest to take. For the Gallicks, pinpointing areas of wrestling technique refinement is of the utmost importance.

"I'm probably one of his main workout partners," Nate Gallick said. "When I see him doing something wrong; I'm his brother, so I can't help but tell him. If he sees me doing something wrong, I hope he tells me. I respect his wrestling skills as much as he respects mine. We are both being here to help each other."

Nick Gallick ventured even further to note that he looks at his older brother as more than just a sibling, but as an indispensible asset of wrestling knowledge.

"He'll be able to help me out and I'll be able to help him," Nick Gallick said. "Nate being here is going to be nothing but positive things for me."

The older Gallick emphasized the importance of his younger brother's senior season.

"This is his senior year and I think he's got the skills, technique and mindset to win a national title," Nate Gallick said. "Overall, he's had a great career here, win or lose."

Iowa AD says Tom Brands is not interested in Cyclone job

April 23rd, 2009 by Tom

Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard showed interest in Iowa assistant wrestling coach Terry Brands, according to Hawkeye officials, but the feeling may not have been mutual.

Meanwhile, some of Iowa State's signees are waiting to see who the Cyclones hire for their vacant head coaching position before deciding their immediate futures.

Iowa athletic director Gary Barta indicated in an e-mail to The Des Moines Register that Pollard expressed interest in Brands after Cael Sanderson left the Cyclones to become coach at Penn State.

Barta said, however, that Brands indicated he's not interested in replacing Sanderson in Ames.

"Terry is a world-class coach and so this certainly didn't surprise me or anyone else, "Barta wrote. "However, on more than one occasion (Tuesday) Terry shared with me he is not interested in becoming the coach at Iowa State, that he's a Hawkeye."

Brands, the brother of Iowa coach Tom Brands, said Tuesday afternoon he had not been contacted about the job, but declined additional comment on questions that would specifically eliminate his name from consideration.

He left Wednesday for Venezuela to help coach at the Pan American Championships.

Pollard has declined an interview request this week - and has not commented publicly during past coaching searches.

Former Iowa State NCAA champion Joe Heskett, another possible candidate for the job, declined comment Wednesday.

Heskett, a four-time NCAA finalist and former Sanderson teammate, is an assistant coach at Ohio State, which finished second to Iowa during last month's NCAA Tournament.

Iowa State has at least four high school seniors signed to national letters of intent.

Whether many of those recruits enroll at Iowa State or ask to be released from their commitments hinges on Iowa State's next coach.

"I have to wait to see who they hire for me to be released anyway, so I'm waiting to see who they get, "said Trent Weatherman, a two-time state champion from Ballard of Huxley. "Depending on whether I think that's going to be the best choice for me, to see if (scholarship money) stays the same, that will help me make my decision whether I'm staying or going somewhere else."

Weatherman, who helped his team to Class 2-A traditional and dual-meet state championships each of the past two seasons, said the news of Sanderson's departure was difficult to hear.

"It wasn't good news at all, "Weatherman said. "It was a hard enough decision the first time around, and now it's even a harder decision because I have a lot less options and kind of have to make the same choice all over again."

Weatherman said Iowa State told him it will not release recruits from their commitments until they have met with the new coach.

David Taylor, a four-time state champion from St. Paris Graham of Ohio, declined comment Wednesday about his plans.

Brett Means, wrestling coach at Goddard (Kan.) High School, referred questions about the status of four-time state champion Boaz Beard to his father. Beard's father did not immediately return a call seeking comment Wednesday.

The plans for Luke Macchiaroli, a three-time champion from Corona del Sol High School in Tempe, Ariz., are unknown, according to Corona del Sol coach Dave Vibber.

"I will tell you he loved Cael and that is why he wanted to go to Iowa State, "Vibber said.

The wait-and-see carries down to individuals who have considered the Cyclones but remain unsigned.

At Urbandale, coach Mike Moreno said his son, Michael, and teammate Evan Knight want to find out the identity of the new coach.

The elder Moreno was an all-America wrestler at Iowa State, as was Steve Knight, Evan's father.

Changing plans can be a knee-jerk reaction to a coach making a job change, Moreno said.

"After the smoke clears and everything settles, it's still Iowa State, "Moreno said.

USA Today: Brands, Cael Reignite Iowa/ISU Rivalry

December 8th, 2008 by Tom

Brands, Sanderson re-ignite Iowa wrestling rivalry

By Luke Meredith, AP Sports Writer

DES MOINES, Iowa " They're shooting for a record crowd Saturday night in Iowa City.

Local authorities gave the University of Iowa permission to increase the capacity at Carver-Hawkeye Arena from 15,500 to 16,000. Officials have warned folks to buy their tickets in advance and arrive early, and the school plans to run shuttles from parking lots around campus to alleviate traffic.

Must be a Jonas Brothers concert, a Hannah Montana show or a big-time basketball matchup, right?

No, no and no.

It's the annual dual meet between the Iowa State and Iowa wrestling teams. In a state that prides itself on being a cradle of wrestling, that's a very big deal - and this year's matchup between top-rated Iowa and second-ranked Iowa State could be the biggest yet.

Iowa is hoping to break the dual-meet record of 15,646 set by Minnesota when it hosted the Hawkeyes in 2002. The school had sold 13,500 tickets as of Thursday morning.

"I think it shows that wrestling is strong in Iowa, "said Iowa coach Tom Brands. "When you look at two programs that are 200 miles apart, or whatever, I don't know if there's any other place in the country like that."

That one of the biggest rivalries in all of college sports is as popular as ever is a testament to the schools' dynamic young coaches - Brands and his Iowa State counterpart, former Olympic gold medalist Cael Sanderson.

The 40-year-old Brands, himself a gold medalist at the 1996 Games in Atlanta, was hired by the Hawkeyes in 2006 after they fired coach Jim Zalesky, who had the unenviable task of replacing legend Dan Gable. Though Zalesky won three straight national titles at Iowa from 1998-2000, a six-year drought followed.

Brands, a former three-time national champion at Iowa, was charged with putting the nation's pre-eminent program back atop the college wrestling hierarchy. It took him just two seasons to get there, as last spring Iowa rolled to its 21st national title by a whopping margin of 38.5 points.

Brands - who recently signed a contract extension through 2013 that will pay him $150,000 a year plus incentives - will be hard-pressed to approach the 15 national crowns Iowa won under Gable from 1977-97, but he appears to have laid the foundation for an extended run at the top.

Iowa has won 22 straight dual meets and is favored to repeat as national champions. The 13 wrestlers in position to compete in the 10 individual matches on Saturday night are a combined 74-6 this season.

"These guys are about the lifestyle. They are geared toward doing the best they can every time they step out on the mat, "Brands said. "The one thing about this team that I like is that when they get ready to go, they're pretty good."

Sanderson, hired by the Cyclones a week before Brands got the Iowa job, is widely viewed as the greatest college wrestler who ever lived. He's already established a strong reputation as a coach, even though he won't turn 30 until next June.

Sanderson went 159-0 at Iowa State and was the only athlete ever named the Most Outstanding Wrestler at the NCAA meet four times. He spent just two seasons as an assistant with the Cyclones before becoming head coach.

Though the man who once graced the cover of a Wheaties box likely could coach anywhere he wanted, Sanderson views the Iowa State job as a "dream situation."

The Cyclones feel the same way. Besides the esteem that comes with having Sanderson as the face of the program, a team that slipped to 13th at the national meet in 2006 has won two straight Big 12 titles and was second at the 2007 national meet.

The Cyclones are ranked No. 2 in the latest Intermat/NWCA poll.

"It's awesome. That's why I'm coaching here, "Sanderson said. "Wrestling is important at Iowa State. We do have the support of the fans and the alumni and the university."

Sanderson has put Iowa State in position to challenge for its first national title since 1987, but the Cyclones know that the road to the title will go through Iowa City.

They'll get to see how they stack up to the vaunted Hawkeyes and a raucous crowd that, even by Iowa standards, figures to be huge.

"It's fun, it's something that I look forward to as a coach. I know our wrestlers look forward to it, "Sanderson said. "If you get a chance to step out there on a stage where there's 10,000-plus, 15,000 people watching, it's pretty cool."