116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
AMES — David Carr was Iowa State’s first national champion last season since Kyven Gadson in 2015.
Carr, a sophomore, has his spot at 157 pounds on lock, but the weights around him are in a little bit of flux.
At 149 pounds, Ian Parker, who was at 141 pounds, decided to move up and compete with four-time NCAA qualifier and two-time All American Jarrett Degen.
“The great thing about the sport of wrestling is being able to choose what weight class you want to go,” Coach Kevin Dresser said. “Ian came to me early in the fall and said, ‘Hey, I’m big and I’m strong and I feel really good right now. I want to stay here.’ I support any athlete that wants to move weight classes.
“Sure, you always give your recommendation but I learned a long time ago as a coach, the minute I told a guy what weight to go at, it blew up in my face. So I’m not going to do that. He has the option to go to 141 but Ian looks great right now. Jarrett Degen understands he has to compete for that spot and there are some things to figure out.”
Parker has always had to cut a lot of weight while at Iowa State, including when he started his career at 133.
“Every summer I get fairly large — not bad weight, good weight — and I progressively bring it back down,” Parker said. “But this year, I just felt myself wrestling better at the higher weight. I’m more explosive, I feel stronger and I’m just a better wrestler.”
Degen is ready to compete with Parker.
“It’s interesting,” Degen said. “It’s good for practices but as the season comes around it’ll get interesting for sure.
“Ian’s obviously a top-notch wrestler but I’m not just going to say it’s his spot or it’s my spot.”
Part of what went into Parker’s decision was so he could train with Carr on a more regular basis.
“When I got into the seasons in the past, I couldn’t train with (Carr) anymore because he was too big,” Parker said. “It’s awesome, now. I never really had a chance to get my butt kicked by a partner and now I do. I think that’s awesome. I think everybody needs that in the room. Someone who is equal or better than them. That way you’re always working to get better.”
Carr has taken something away from training with Parker, too.
“Dude’s scary,” Carr said of Parker. “He’s strong, athletic and being able to wrestle with him now that he’s closer to my weight, I can tell his game has already been upped. We wrestle a lot and it’s fun for me and it’s fun for him because we’re just helping each other grow.
“He doesn’t get tired. It’s good for me because it pushes me. When I got here, he was always the hard worker in the room and I tried to emulate that. He pushed himself until he couldn’t go anymore and that kind of mentality, I got from him. You have to go until you can’t walk out of the room. That’s what he does every day and it motivates me.”
On the other side of Carr, at 165, Iowa State has plenty of options. Isaac Judge wrestled there at times last season, so did Logan Schumacher and Grant Stotts. But Campbell transfer Austin Kraisser has turned heads.
“We have five guys battling there and four guys could step in and be the guy,” Dresser said. “We got a transfer, Austin Kraisser, from Campbell and let me tell you what, he can wrestle. We just have to get him back into shape.”