CEDAR RAPIDS - Earlier this season, a reporter asked Iowa City West boys' tennis coach Mitch Gross about the #x201c;triple crown#x201d; of prep tennis.
At the time, Gross dismissed the thought of winning a state championship in singles, dou ... »
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MADISON, Wis. — Brent Metcalf is ready to take on the world — again.
He seems poised to take care of some unfinished business.
Metcalf will attempt to win his first World Championship title, claiming the 143-pound spot at the ASICS U.S. Freestyle World Team Trials on Sunday night at Alliant Energy Center. He qualified for his third World team since 2010, sweeping Jordan Oliver in a best-of-3 series, 4-2, 3-0.
He may not be satisfied with how he competed at the Trials, but he is excited for a shot at his first World medal in Tashkent, Uzbekistan from Sept. 8-14.
“I could criticize myself a lot there, but you guys know how stingy I am,” Metcalf said. “I’m fired up about the future.”
The former University of Iowa national champion has had an impressive year, rolling through the U.S. Open, beating the world’s top-ranked wrestler in an exhibition dual and going unbeaten at the World Cup.
“I think I have a lot of experience on the international scene,” Metcalf said. “It’s time to put it together and get what I want.”
He dismissed the impact of his current confidence level. He has been in this position before only to come away without hardware.
“I don’t know,” Metcalf said. “You’ve gone through this how many times now. You’re kind of sick of it and you’re ready to go do the things you want to do, so it’s time to do that for me.”
Metcalf closed the door on Oliver, pushing Oliver out of the circle for one point apiece in the final period of the second bout. He opened the scoring with a point when Oliver failed to score in a mandated 30-second time frame.
The opening bout contained more reactive scoring from Metcalf. He remained in control and stayed in position, scoring the three final points on a defensive tilt on an Oliver shot and one on a pushout. Metcalf started the scoring with a pushout in early minutes.
“You could see I was scoring points off of his flurries,” Metcalf said of the first match. “That is where I’m good. Maybe wrestle smarter in the second match I can start flurries, but do you want to wade into his game plan.”
Metcalf will remain consistent with his training, doing much of his current regimen and working hard each day to improve his positioning and offense. He has executed a successful blueprint in recent competitions.
“I wrestled the way I can wrestle and me getting to guys early, scoring early, getting on top and turning,” Metcalf said. “That will help me to be the world champion.”
The Hawkeye Wrestling Club placed two wrestlers on the U.S. Freestyle World Team, another on the national team and earned a spot on the U.S. Junior World Team, flexing the program’s growing strength. Metcalf admitted fuel was added to the fire when Tony Ramos won the 125.5 pound spot Saturday night.
“I think that does fire you up,” said Metcalf, complimenting Ramos’ performance. “I mean I’m a motivated guy, but I tell you what I don’t want Tony Ramos to be the only (HWC) guy on this World team. That would look pretty bad on my part when I’m supposed to be the leader of that room.”
Former Anamosa two-time state champion Moza Fay stepped up a class to face a step up in competition. Fay, who is ranked second at 154 pounds, competed in the stacked 163-pound field that included two-time World champ and Olympic champ Jordan Burroughs and two-time national champion and four-time NCAA finalist David Taylor.
Competition for three national team spots at 154 will be July 24th in Fargo, N.D. Fay didn’t want to be idle between then and his runner-up finish at the U.S. Open in April.
“That is a big gap,” said Fay, a member of the Army World Class Athlete Program. “I didn’t want to go that whole time without competing. I wanted to get a few matches and learn something about myself.”
Fay finished fourth overall and third in the challenge tournament, dropping his final match against Andrew Howe, wrestling in his first competition in Madison since transferring to Oklahoma University for his last year of eligibility last season after being an NCAA champ, two-time national finalist and three-time All-American for University of Wisconsin.
“I’m going to analyze that,” Fay said. “I’m going to fix it.”
Fay stumbled early, losing his opening match by two points to Quinton Godley, of the Wolfpack Wrestling Club. Fay rebounded with a win over Tyler Caldwell in the consolation round and then avenged the loss to Godley, scoring a technical fall in the third-place contest.
Fay said he realized there comes a point you make up your mind to wrestle and win. He is optimistic he will earn his first national team berth, being a win away for the first time Sunday.
“I’m absolutely confident in that fact,” Fay said. “I feel good that none of my other 70-kilo competitors were here. They were here watching but they weren’t competing.”
HWC’s Phil Keddy competed in the 189-pound class. He entered the third seed. Keddy opened with a 13-6 win over Quentin Wright. He was derailed by second-seeded Ed Ruth in the semifinals and injury defaulted from the tournament.
Former Iowa State national champion Jon Reader was also in the 189 bracket. He opened with a win on criteria against Chris Perry, fell to top-seeded Clayton Foster in the semifinals and advanced to the third-place bout in a rematch with Perry, who won by fall.
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