AMES — When Iowa State wrestling redshirt freshman phenom David Carr was young, he wrote down his goals at his dad’s direction.
He wanted to be a four-time high school state wrestling champion. Check — he was a five-time state champion.
He wanted to wrestle at the prestigious Ironman wrestling tournament. Check — he won the tournament.
He wanted to win the Junior World Championships. Check — he beat defending junior world champion Khadzhimurad Gadzhiyev of Azerbaijan by technical superiority 10-0 en route to his gold medal.
He wanted to become a collegiate national champion. That’s still to be determined.
“I have pictures from when he was little of him having these things written down,” Iowa State wrestling legend Nate Carr Sr. said. “I think his biggest challenge is ahead of him, and that’s to win an NCAA championship this year for the Cyclones. It’s a very competitive field.”
Iowa State wrestling took a leap last season from sending just one wrestler to the NCAA Championships to sending all but one and finishing No. 16.
This season, the No. 12 Cyclones want to make another leap, and David Carr could be the catalyst.
“We want to win everything, and that’s coming out of David’s mouth more than it is my mouth,” Coach Kevin Dresser said. “If you spend any time around him, every time he shakes hands (with an opponent), he expects to win. If he gets 170 chances to shake hands in college, he’s going to try and win 170 matches, if he gets 107, he’s going to try and win 107.
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“Is that pressure? In David’s mind it isn’t. I think it’s exciting and I think it’s a challenge. David has a chance to prove himself this year as a Division I wrestler.”
David Carr has an incredibly upbeat and friendly personality. He’s always smiling, and he always has energy.
When he walked in the wrestling room during Iowa State’s media day on Tuesday, he approached his teammates one-by-one and talked and joked with them.
“He’s a hyper kid,” returning All American Jarrett Degen said with a laugh. “He brings a lot of energy. Like a lot, a lot. But it’s good. It makes the team have more energy.”
The energy is something he’s always had.
“I didn’t even really notice how much energy he had,” said Nate Carr Sr., who has the same traits. “He just kind of grew into it. He’s always excited. What’s good about him is he’ll take that energy into a workout and he’ll take that energy to obtain a goal.”
That’s something Iowa State’s Sam Colbray noticed.
It’s one thing to have energy, but David Carr has energy and knows how and where to channel it.
“Last season, he jumped into things — whether it be a workout or drill — and go 100 percent, giving full effort and full heart,” Colbray said. “He still does that, but now he focuses it on areas that he needs to in order to excel even more than he already has.
“His ability to keep improving is what keeps astonishing me.”
Carr is ranked No. 18 by Flowrestling, but even that publication admits it’s an ultra-conservative ranking. Flowreslting’s Willie Saylor and Christian Pyles have both said Carr is undoubtedly a title contender.
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Carr will be tested early in the season, first with Bucknell’s No. 14 Zach Hartman on Nov. 14 and then by Iowa’s No. 2 Kaleb Young on Nov. 24.
“I have one big goal,” Carr said with a knowing smile. “But right now, Wednesday I’m wresting for my spot, then the next biggest thing is the Cyclone Open, then the next biggest thing is Bucknell. I’m just taking it one event at a time.
“I’ve always dreamed of putting on the Iowa State singlet and running out into Hilton and wrestling. Right now, that’s all I’m thinking about. That’s something my dad did and that’s something my brother did.
“I just want to represent Iowa State.”
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