Feature Articles

JUCO Champ Hunter Changes Direction, Now a Cyclone

Willie Saylor, Editor

The list of new wrestling faces heading to Ames, IA this fall got longer Saturday. Patrick Hunter (125), a Junior College National Champion two seasons ago while representing the Iowa Central Triton’s, has been secured by Coach Kevin Jackson.

In graduating several key pieces from a squad that won several Big XII Championships recently, the Cyclones need to replenish their depth. They have a stellar class coming in this year (TOM ranked 6th earlier this summer, http://news.theopenmat.com/2010/05/tom%E2%80%99s-2010-recruiting-class-rankings and now have added another young prospect.

Hunter won his JUCO title in his first year on the Triton’s, posting a 31-8 record, and pacing Iowa Central to a team title. Last year, Hunter red-shirted to save a year of eligibility. He has three years of competition remaining.

A former New Jersey state placer and National Prep Runner-Up for St. Benedict’s’, Hunter was a hot commodity this summer. He originally was courted, and signed, by Coach Barry Davis and Wisconsin. Due to transcript discrepancies and entrance requirements, Hunter was unable to enroll there.

Iowa Central Coach, Luke Moffitt made preliminary contact with a few Division I coaches letting them know of Hunter’s availability.

That’s when Coach Jackson called.

With just one 125lber on the ISU roster, Hunter will ostensibly enter the season with an opportunity to start. Last year’s National Runner-Up, Andrew Long, was dismissed for behavioral reasons, and incoming blue-chipper, Ryak Finch is likely to red-shirt.

Hunter sees the path ahead of him as an opportunity to be seized through dedicated training. “I want to work hard and earn both the respect of my new teammates and a spot in the line-up. I want to beat people I’m not supposed to, climb the ladder and make a run. Ideally, the goal is to make Dean’s list both semesters and win a National Title.”

A commitment to hitting the books is something stressed by Hunter, who says he will major in Education. “I want to give back to the youth; to help them avoid mistakes, and to help change their lives in a positive direction.

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