AMES - And so the streak goes on. The characters come and go, but the story remains the same - Iowa keeps beating Iowa State in wrestling.
Iowa beat Iowa State 21-16 Sunday for its 28th straight victory over the Cyclones. The Hawkeyes dominated the meet, winning seven of the 10 matches before a crowd of 10,040 at Hilton Coliseum, yet the outcome wasn't decided until the final bout.
Top-ranked Mike Zadick's 10-4 victory over Billy Maldonado at 149 pounds secured the victory for the Hawkeyes. A Maldonado victory would have given the meet to Iowa State, which hasn't defeated Iowa since 1987.
All of that was lost on Zadick, however.
"I didn't even know the score," he said. "I guess the coaches would tell me if we were down by five points and I had to get a pin, then I'd be doing throws the whole match.
"But as far as that, they didn't tell me. I didn't even check it out. I just knew I had to go out and perform and compete."
That was the difference overall. Iowa performed and competed and Iowa State did not. The Cyclones kept it close only because their two stars, Cael Sanderson and Joe Heskett, earned bonus points with pins. Aaron Holker had a major decision for Iowa State's other win.
In the seven other matches, Iowa State did not have a single takedown against their more aggressive opponents.
"When they won points, it wasn't a whole lot because of what we didn't do, it was a whole lot of what they did do," Iowa State coach Bobby Douglas said. "They beat us in some key situations that changed some bouts."
Because of Iowa's youth, this seemed to be an opportune time for Iowa State to end the streak. Instead, Douglas is now 0-15 against Iowa as Iowa State's coach.
"I'm not snakebitten by this," Douglas said. "If it wasn't Bobby Douglas here on the tail end of a losing streak, it would be somebody else. I'm fortunate to be here. We're going to do something about it. It's just a matter of time."
A key match was Eric Juergens' 4-1 victory over Zach Roberson at 133, which put Iowa ahead 18-12. Roberson was leading 1-0 in the final period when Juergens escaped and then took Roberson down just 27 seconds later.
"We drill that and we're preached that, that it's a good time to get in there," Juergens said. "The guy is probably a little disappointed you got away and he's not really focused."
Iowa also got victories from Matt Anderson at 157, Tyler Nixt at 174, Jessman Smith at 184, Steve Mocco at heavyweight and Luke Eustice at 125.
Sanderson, now 133-0 in his career, pinned Ryan Fulsaas in 1:41 at 197 with a nifty move. He had Fulsaas wrapped up on the mat, then did a backward somersault while still holding on, came out on top and pinned him in one move.
Heskett pinned Cory Connell in 4:18 at 165 after taking him down seven times and Holker was a 14-0 winner over Luke Moffitt at 141.
Unless the two teams meet at the National Duals next month, this was the last chance Sanderson and Heskett had to beat Iowa.
"It was important to us," Heskett said. "Anytime you don't accomplish a goal when it's that important to you, it hurts a little bit. It's not the end of anything. We're just going to have to do some things to start it off the second half."