116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
AMES - Championship week still is a time for innovation for Iowa State sophomore wrestler David Carr.
As the Cyclones prepared for the Big 12 Championships on Saturday and Sunday in Tulsa, Okla., Carr still was trying out new moves on Wednesday that he hopes to have refined by the weekend.
'I just want to be exciting,” said Carr, who is the No. 1 seed at 157 pounds. 'I want to be someone that people love to watch because I'm always scoring points or doing new moves. In all of my matches this year, I haven't done the same move twice.”
Carr went 12-0 during the regular season and won all but two of his matches with bonus points.
'I'm always trying to use different moves and elevate my game,” said Carr, a defending Big 12 champion. 'That's fun for me. I was just working on some new stuff today and I'm excited to try some of those new things on the mat this weekend.”
Oklahoma State's Wyatt Sheets found the best way to slow Carr this season, by spending more time on his knees than a person laying new floor tile in their bathroom.
Carr won that match 8-4 - all of Sheets' points came from escapes.
Carr already was one of the most dynamic wrestlers in the nation on his feet, but this season, thanks to his constant experimenting, he's added a much improved top game to his arsenal.
In his 12 matches, he got back points 18 times - 15 four-point near falls and three two-point near falls - not counting the times he ended the match via fall.
'David's improved a lot in terms of top and bottom - especially on top,” ISU Coach Kevin Dresser said. 'He's also improved his mindset. He's mentally stronger this year in terms of battling when he's getting a little tired. He keeps scoring points in those third periods whereas last year, he would've been OK with 6-1 or 7-2.
'Now, he's pushing those scores to 12-2, tech falls and pins.”
While wrestling tournaments, like the Big 12 Championships, are an individual affair, Carr still is focused on the team aspect.
'I'm trying to be a guy who can get bonus points against anybody. To be able to do that, I have to get a lot of takedowns but I also need to be dangerous on top,” said Carr, who had 44 takedowns this season - 14 more takedowns than the next closest Cyclone wrestler Ian Parker, who is the No. 1 seed at 141. 'I need to be able to get tech falls and pins. When you get bonus points in tournaments, it's like having an 11th wrestler.”
The team aspect is something Iowa State, as a whole, is focused on.
Oklahoma State has won nine straight Big 12 team titles. The Cyclones want to be the ones to change that. ISU and OSU have three No. 1 seeds, so it'll come down to bonus points and how the lower seeds wrestle.
'I've been here for five years and we haven't gotten one yet,” said Gannon Gremmel, the No. 1 seed at heavyweight. 'It's time. Everyone has to do their job and score points and if you see the opportunity for bonus, you have to take it, for sure.”