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.
Iowa State's wrestling history with the University of Iowa dates back 1916, according to the Iowa State University records, with the Hawks holding 69-16 record over their Cyclone counterparts. The last Iowa State win came in 2004 in Iowa City when the Cardinal and Gold outscored the Hawkeyes 19-16. Since then, Iowa has won 19 straight Cy-Hawk meetings.
HAWKEYE HEROES: Complete history of the Iowa Hawkeyes men's wrestling program
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.
The Gable trophy, however, which came about in 2010, has yet to leave Iowa City.
On Sunday, Nov. 26, these two programs met head-to-head for what was one of the most intense early-season battles so far this year. Tensions rise every time Iowa wrestles Iowa State, and the 2021 dual nearly ended in a brawl. Brands told Stalemates in a video published last year that there's no "bad blood" between him and Dresser, and while this year was less chippy than year's past, these two teams bring a high level of emotion to the mat every time they compete.
Rivalry scores from recent duals
2023-2024: Iowa 18-14
2022-2023: Iowa 18-15
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.
LOOKING BACK: Takeaways from the 2019 Cy-Hawk dual
On the Iowa side, Hawkeye NCAA finalist Real Woods earned his first career Cy-Hawk win in a nail-bitter match against Iowa State's Casey Swiderski. He'll look to notch another win this year as he takes on Anthony Echemendia of the Cyclones.
This year's Iowa State team is potentially one of the best teams the Cyclones have fielded in the last decade. Will its starpower be enough to hold off the Hawks?