Wrestling history runs deep in the state of Iowa.
Between Iowa State's Cael Sanderson becoming the first wrestler to go undefeated in his college career to Iowa head coach Dan Gable putting together one of the most impressive, dominant team winning streaks in history, the Hawkeye and Cyclone programs have become known for developing legends and making national noise.
These teams have produced a combined 11 Olympic gold medalists and won a total of 32 NCAA team titles— a true testament to the kind of elite wrestling fostered within these environments.
But, in addition to their accolades and achievements, Iowa and Iowa State have recently become known for something else: the intensity of the Cy-Hawk rivalry.
Cy-Hawk week.— Iowa State Wrestling (@CycloneWR) November 28, 2022
The history of the official Cy-Hawk dual is fairly young, beginning in the 2000's, and the Cyclones captured the win when these two teams took the mat for this meeting in 2004.
HAWKEYE HEROES: Complete history of the Iowa Hawkeyes men's wrestling program
Since then, Iowa hasn't lost one dual to its in-state foe. Much like the Bedlam rivalry between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, this competition extends beyond wrestling, with all of the athletic programs at these two institutions putting extra emphasis on these rivalry bouts.
For the wrestling teams in particular though, there's bonus motivation to win: the victor of the dual takes home the Dan Gable Trophy, a honor named after the legendary Iowa coach and former Iowa State wrestling star.
Gable is also far from the only wrestler to be affiliated with both programs. In fact, all three of Iowa State's coaches, including head coach Kevin Dresser, wrestled for the Hawkeyes. Now they're Cyclones though, and they want nothing more than to beat fellow Hawkeye alum and current Iowa head coach Tom Brands in his own gym.
The Gable trophy, however, which came about in 2010, has yet to leave Iowa City.
On Sunday, Dec. 4, these two programs meet head-to-head for what will likely be one of the most intense early-season battles so far this year. Tensions rise every time Iowa wrestles Iowa State, and last year's dual nearly ended in a brawl. Brands told Stalemates in a video published earlier this week that there's no "bad blood" between him and Dresser, but, there's no doubt these teams will be their very best to the mat when the first whistle blows at 2pm.
Rivalry scores from recent duals
2021-2022: Iowa 22-11
2019-2020: Iowa 29-6
2018-2019: Iowa 19-18
2017-2018: Iowa 35-6
2016-2017: Iowa 26-9
2015-2016: Iowa 33-6
2014-2015: Iowa 28-8
2013-2014: Iowa 23-9
2012-2013: Iowa 32-3
2011-2012: Iowa 27-9
2010-2011: Iowa 22-13
2009-2010: Iowa 18-16
2008-2009: Iowa 20-15
2007-2008: Iowa 20-13
2006-2007: Iowa 24-6
2005-2006: Iowa 20-15
2004-2005: Iowa State 19-16
While Iowa has dominated the rivalry, Iowa State has had a number of notable moments throughout this history, starting with, of course, the most recent Cyclone win the rivalry back in 2004.
Iowa State put itself on the board first in that bout when Nick Passolano outscored Luke Lofthouse 12-8, but the Hawkeyes kept things close, picking up a win from Paul Bradley at 184 before the teams traded wins at the next several weights. Trevor Smith won 197 pounds for the Cyclones, while Matt Fields took heavyweight for Iowa. The Hawks would also go on to win 133, 149 and 165 pounds, with Ty Eustice earning bonus at the middle of those three weights, but a pin from Grant Nakamura at 125 pounds for the Cyclones combined with decision wins from Nate Gallick and Trent Paulson sealed the deal.
Under Tom Brands' tenure, however, Iowa has never lost to its neighboring rival.
The closest Iowa State came to topping the Black and Gold again came not that long ago, back in 2018, when the Cyclones lost by just one point in a fiery 19-18 contest. Ian Parker, Jarrett Degen, Marcus Coleman and Austin Gomez all picked up wins against Iowa staples, with Coleman earning big team points following his injury default victory against Myles Wilson in particular. That dual started out at 141 pounds, and the wins from Parker and Degen gave the Cyclones some momentum, but Iowa shut that surge down with a decision win from Kaleb Young, and, more importantly to the team score, a pin from Alex Marinelli. Jacob Warner, Sam Stoll and Spencer Lee also all picked up wins, with Lee's victory coming by way of a major decision against Alex Mackall.
"I've always said that the great guys like the packed arenas," - Kevin Dresser.— Jacqueline (@JacquelineCord) December 5, 2021
David Carr is definitely one of those guys who looks forward to and thrives off packed arenas. The Cy-Hawk duals happens to be one of his favorite matches.#Cyclones | @cyclonefanatic pic.twitter.com/p0mvOVzGvw
Iowa State's David Carr, the only NCAA champion in the Cyclone lineup, is undefeated in his Cy-Hawk duals. All-American teammate Marcus Coleman can also claim this accolade while last year's podium finisher Yonger Bastida is 2-1 with wins over Wilson and Warner and a loss to Michael Kemerer.
LOOKING BACK: Takeaways from the 2019 Cy-Hawk dual
On the Iowa side, Hawkeye three-time NCAA champion Spencer Lee has never lost to an Iowa State wrestler in his career. His All-American teammates Real Woods and Tony Cassioppi are also undefeated against the Cyclones, while 2022 NCAA finalist Jacob Warner is 2-1 against Iowa State.
Iowa will need its stars to perform on Sunday if it wants to hold off the rising Cyclones. Will this be the year Iowa State reverses recent historical trends?