Iowa State Cyclone Tailgate Tour Makes Stop in Algona

by Tyler Lance
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The 18th annual Cyclone Tailgate Tour stopped by Algona’s Columbia Event Center on Wednesday afternoon.

The free event gave fans an opportunity to interact with and get autographs from Iowa State coaches including Matt Campbell, Bill Fennelly, TJ Otzelberger, Kevin Dresser, and Christy Johnson-Lynch, as well as Athletic Director Jaime Pollard.

Former Bishop Garrigan Golden Bear star and current Cyclone women’s basketball standout Audi Crooks also appeared, and was a focal point of the event.

Fennelly says they love the fact that Crooks is more than just a basketball player.

Crooks, who had a constant stream of fans coming by to greet her and get autographs, says playing in the NCAA Tournament last season was a dream come true.

The biggest adjustment in year one of college basketball for Crooks was the increased physicality.

A couple more area athletes will be beginning their Iowa State careers soon, as Algona’s rising seniors Jack Limbaugh and Alex Manske are both committed to play football for the Cyclones. ISU Head Coach Matt Campbell told the crowd that although he is not allowed to mention recruits by name at this point, North Central Iowa has very good to the Cyclones, and he has a couple athletes from the area he is excited about. Campbell also mentioned former Lake Mills linebacker Caleb Bacon as one of the biggest key returners on Iowa State’s football team for the 2024 season.

Wrestling Coach Kevin Dresser, who was a two-time state champion at Humboldt High School in the 1980s, talked about the great support from the area, and how excited the ISU program is to wrestle again at his alma mater this winter.

Iowa State Athletic Director Jaime Pollard also addressed the crowd, saying that 2024 marked the most successful sports year in the history of the school’s athletic department.

Pollard mentioned ISU’s 17th place ranking in the Learfield Directors Cup, which measures a schools success in the NCAA postseason. The previous best finish for the Cyclone athletic department was 34th.

During Pollard’s speech, he also expressed excitement for the 2025 football season opener, as it was recently announced that Iowa State and Kansas State will open the 2025 season in week zero with a trip to Ireland’s Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Pollard encouraged anyone who has a trip to Ireland on their bucket list to check it off with the 2025 season opener.

Pollard also thanked the Algona crowd, saying it was the best lunchtime turnout the Cyclones have had in 18 years of the Tailgate Tour.

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