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Iowa History Daily: March 21 - Gibbons's Cyclones Dethrone Gabel's Hawks

Iowa History Daily: On March 22, 1987, Iowa State completed a run to a team wrestling national championship. With standout performances by Bill Kelly, Tim Krieger, Stewart Carter, and Eric Voelker, the Cyclones victory stopped the Iowa Hawkeyes from claiming a tenth straight national title.

Led by 27-year old, second year head coach Jim Gibbons, the Cyclones sought to reestablish their place at the top of collegiate wrestling. For almost a decade prior, Iowa State alumni Dan Gable and his team out east in Iowa City dominated on the mat. As the Hawks entered the season, Gable stood on the precipice of becoming the first coach to win ten straight national collegiate titles in any sport.

However, as nationals dawned in College Park, Maryland, the cross-state Cyclones showed up and put on an incredible performance across the tournament. Iowa State racked up 133 points as seniors Kelly and Carter helped paved the way with individual titles. Kelly’s pin of top-seeded, defending champion Brad Penrith from Iowa sealed the Cyclone victory.

Gibbons, himself a champion in 1981 during his own days in the circle at Iowa State, gloried in the Cyclones seventh NCAA wrestling team title. In a testament to the state’s dominance in college wrestling, the win brought the trophy back to Iowa (in the possession of either the Hawkeyes or the Cyclones) for the 17th time in the 19 years since Gable wrestled at Iowa State. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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