Iowa State University Wrestling Club

Iowa State University Wrestling Club

Bringing Students Back to the Mat!

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As of May 1, 2013 this website is being updated. Please check back soon for more details.

ISU Wrestling Club

Fall 2011 Semester Summary

The Iowa State Wrestling Club has gotten off to a great start for its inaugural season! With 50 eligible wrestlers and well over 100 other students who follow the club, there is a lot to talk about within this up and coming student organization!

Semester Recap

The club officers got off to an early start this semester building schedules and coordinating duties that needed to be fulfilled before the season began. We came to a deal with Ames high and were cleared to use their high school wrestling room for our practices this semester. Coach Kelly and AD Johnston were both very helpful in making this possible for us. A big part of our organization is fundraising. The ISU Government of the Student Body provides us with minimal funding, therefore the club relies heavily on fundraising to cover a majority of our expenses. Some of our fundraising events for the semester have included working a night at the Pizza Ranch and Orange Leaf, and hand picking corn plots for a local seed company. We also have a few sponsors that have been generous enough to donate money. Fundraising always seems to be an uphill climb, especially since the wrestling season is a long and time intensive one, but all of the members are working hard to accomplish our fundraising goals.


At the beginning of the semester we signed with the National Collegiate Wrestling Association. The NCWA is a national organization that spreads across the country to provide a network of wrestling clubs of all different levels. There is regular season competition as well as post-season tournaments. The ISU Wrestling Club is a member of the North Central Conference which spreads all the way from the Dakotas down through Kentucky. At the end of every season is a conference tournament that acts as a qualifier for our national tournament. This year the club is on track to qualify at least a half a dozen wrestlers for the big tournament in Daytona Beach, FL. The NCWA is mostly comprised of wrestling organizations that have lost their NCAA status due to Title 9, lack of funding, or other various reasons. Collegiate level wrestling programs in the state of Iowa have fortunately not experienced as many of these problems as other parts of the country, therefore, the NCWA is relatively new to this state, as we are the only Iowa team. Although it requires some travel for the club to compete against other NCWA teams, we are lucky enough to have many NCAAD2, NCAAD3, NAIA, and NJCAA schools close by to provide us with quality competition. These programs, however, are funded by athletic departments and supported with coaches on payrolls and wrestlers on scholarships. It is hard for us to compete with that level of organization, yet we have seen much success this first half of the season against teams of the sort.

Tournament and Dual Meet Results

Winona State University Invitational

On Oct. 29 the ISUWC ventured up to Winona State University to compete against four other NCWA teams. They included Winona State University, Wayne State College, University of Minnesota – Duluth, and Northland International University. The ISU club brought seven wrestlers and came back with three champs, two runners up, and a third place finish! Below are the individual results for each wrestler.
133 lbs Justin Hirae (3-1) − 2nd Place Finish

149 lbs Zach Cooper (3-0) − 1st Place Finish

157 lbs Lucas Derifield (0-3) − 7th Place Finish

174 lbs Dylan Nelson (3-1) − 2nd Place Finish

184 lbs Trevor Dammon (2-2) − 3rd Place Finish

197 lbs Marc Benning (4-0) − 1st Place Finish

285 lbs Alex Nielsen (3-1) − 1st Place Finish

NIACC/Kaye Young Open

The ISUWC brought five wrestlers up I-35 for a Nov. 5 tournament against some sound NAIA, NJCAA and NCAAD3 schools. There were some new faces on the team for this tournament, and they all faired pretty well considering their limited amount of practice time. Below are the individual results or each wrestler.
157 lbs Zach Cooper (1-2)

184 lbs Aaron Blakely (0-2)

Trevor Dammon (2-2) − 5th Place Finish

285 lbs Brad Gingerich (1-2)

Alex Nielsen (1-2)

Luther College Open

On Nov. 12 the club traveled to northeast Iowa to compete in the Luther College Open. It too, was a very competitive meet with over 200 NAIA, NJCAA and NCAAD3 wrestlers competing. Despite the tough competition, we were able to finish the day with Ryan Kooiker placing 3rd at 184 lbs. A list of all the wrestlers who attended and their results is below.
157 lbs Lucas Derifield (0-2)

149 lbs Nate Magill (2-2)

184 lbs Ryan Kooiker (3-2) − 3rd Place Finish

285 lbs Alex Nielsen (1-2)

Harold Nichols Cyclone Open

The next day six of the club wrestlers travelled across the street to Hilton Coliseum to see how they match up against D1 competition. It was a tough day for the wrestlers, but Zach Cooper and Marc Benning came off the day with notable wins. Following are the results of the day.

149 lbs Zach Cooper (1-2)

149 lbs Dalton Hemer (0-2)

174 lbs Dylan Nelson (0-2)

197 lbs Marc Benning (1-2)

285 lbs Alex Nielsen (0-2)

NWMSU and KS Dual Meet

The Northwest Missouri State and Kansas State dual made for a very exciting night. It was our first dual meet as a club, and all of the guys were very excited to see how the team faired in such an environment. NWMSU are the reigning national champions, so this was a great opportunity to gage our talent against a team who had already proved themselves on the national stage. Below are the results of the dual meets.


141 lbs Travis Peter (NWMSU) def. Justin Hirae (ISUWC) by fall

165 lbs Lucas Derifield (ISUWC) def. Zach Girard (NWMSU) by fall

174 lbs Jordan Peter (NWMSU) def. Reece Sharp (ISUWC) by fall

184 lbs Blake Schoeninger (NWMSU) def. Ryan Kooiker (ISUWC) by fall

197 lbs Trevor Dammon (ISUWC) def. Alex Freund (NWMSU) by dec. 8 - 1

235 lbs Ben Perna (ISUWC) def. Nick McKay (NWMSU) by fall

285 lbs Adam McElderly (NWMSU) def. Alex Nielsen (ISUWC) by fall

Exhibition matches

141 lbs Garrett Buckely (NWMSU) def. Justin Hirae (ISUWC) by fall

165 lbs Hedrick (NWMSU) def. Lucas Derifield (ISUWC) by fall

174 lbs Apgar (NWMSU) def. Reece Sharp (ISUWC) by fall

235 lbs Ben Perna (ISUWC) def. Ford (NWMSU) by fall

285 lbs Alex Nielsen (ISUWC) def. Young (NWMSU) by fall

ISUWC 45 – KS 0

141 lbs Justin Hirae (ISUWC) def. Tyler Williamson (KS) by dec. 11- 8

184 lbs Ryan Kooiker (ISUWC) def. Gallaway (KS) by fall

Buena Vista Open

The Buena Vista Open proved to be yet another tough tournament for our wrestlers, but we were ready for the NAIA, NJCAA and NCAAD3 competition. Five wrestlers made the early morning trip up to Storm Lake, IA and our second seeded Kooiker came out of the day as champ! This was a very positive boost as the club heads into winter break, and prepares for the second half of the season.
165 lbs Lucas Derifield (0-2)

174 lbs Ryan Kooiker (4-0) 1st Place Finish

184 lbs Trevor Dammon (1-2)

197 lbs Ben Perna (3-2) 4th Place Finish

285 lbs Alex Nielsen (2-2)

Ranked Wresters

The NCWA has a points system that allows clubs to measure their success against other teams in our division. At the conclusion of the first half of the season, the ISUWC is sitting at ranked 16th on the NCWA Coaches Poll and 23rd on the NCWA points chart out of 82 teams! We also have some nationally individually ranked wrestlers that are listed below. With consistent practice and competition, the ISU Wrestling Club would surely be top 10 contenders at Daytona Beach.
133 lbs Justin Hirae − Ranked 25th

149 lbs Zach Cooper − Ranked 20th

174 lbs Ryan Kooiker − Ranked 8th

Dylan Nelson − Ranked 26th

184 lbs Trevor Dammon − Ranked 17th

197 lbs Marc Benning − Ranked 8th

Ben Perna − Ranked 9th

285 lbs Alex Nielsen − Ranked 8th

Social Media

A big part of our support network is the ability to communicate our results and progress to all of those who take an interest in our club. We have a Facebook (Iowa State University Wrestling Club) and Twitter (@ISU_ClubWrestle) account that allow us to post our results to resources that are available to family, friends and supporters.

The club also has a YouTube account (isuwrestlingclub) where videos of our matches are uploaded. It’s hard to follow the club around to every wrestling meet, so this provides everyone with an opportunity to get in on the action! Subscribe to our channel to receive updates when new videos are posted.



Officers Behind every successful organization is a solid core of officers and administration that keeps the club moving along as efficiently as possible. Below is a list of all the officers who have had a hand in helping make this season possible:

Zachary Byrnes

Vice President

Caleb Bashore


Caleb Jens


Derek Miller

Fundraising Chairwoman

Shelby Johnson

Recruiting Chairman

Aaron Blakely

Scheduling Chairman

Nate Magill

Also thanks to Kelsey Hartnett for helping with bookkeeping at the NIACC Open.


Thanks to those community members who donated to our club.
ASABE − Iowa State University Chapter

Ron and Laura Franzen and Family

Kory Kehrli

Deb and Mike Huegel

Kevin and Linda Byrnes
Also, a special thanks to Ames High School for the use of their wrestling room, and to the ISU Athletic Department and Wrestling Coaching Staff for supporting our club in its startup.

Next Semester Plan

Just like first semester, the team will jump right back into competition with our first tournament at William Penn University on January 7th. The following two months will be busy with preparation for the conference and national meets. There will be a lot to figure out during the preparation such as travel arrangements, travel costs, and how to cover those costs, but we’re confident that our officers will successfully manage all of these tasks. Fundraising will play a big role as well as adding a few more donors to our list.

Another big task for next semester will be transferring the organization from one group of officers to the next. There is a handbook being created that will outline all of the duties that must be carried out and who will be responsible for them.

With so much to be proud of so far, and an upcoming semester of success to add, a banquet will be in good order to help recognize all of those members who vested many hours of practice and competition into this, as well as those sponsors who donated to the club. Plans have not started for this yet, but will soon be underway.

Thank You!

The members of our team have worked very hard over this past semester to make the most out of the fast start to this club. Without an actual coach and structured practices, these wrestlers have managed to rise up and compete against NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA wrestling teams with big budgets and prestigious coaches, and not only have they competed, but they have succeeded. Last year, this team was talk. This year we skipped the walk and went straight to the run, and we’re not stopping until get down to Daytona Beach for the national tournament! Thank you to everyone who has been involved. Help spread the word about us, so Iowa State Wrestling can have another team to be proud of!


Zachary Byrnes

ISU Wrestling Club President

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Webmaster: Zachary Byrnes