AMES — Redshirt freshman David Carr made Iowa State history Wednesday, becoming the Cyclones’ first junior world wrestling champion.
Carr, the son of Iowa State wrestling legend Nate Carr Sr., beat Japan’s Jintaro Motoyama, 5-4, in the final at 74 kilograms in Tallinn, Estonia, to capture the gold medal.
Carr used a pair of takedowns — one in each period — to beat Motoyama, who is a U23 world bronze medalist.
The only other Iowa State junior world medalist was Zach Thompson, who won a silver medal in 1998 at 90 kg.
With Carr’s win, the United States continues its dominance at the 74 kg weight class. Penn State’s Mark Hall was a junior world gold medalist in 2016 and ’17 and Virginia Tech’s Mekhi Lewis won it last year. Both won NCAA championships that same season as freshmen.
Winning a world championship is never easy, but Carr had a particularly difficult path. In the first round, he wrestled 2018 junior world bronze medalist Devid Betanov of Russia. Carr beat him 4-0 thanks to a pair of takedowns.
In the second round, Carr wrestled Mohammad Nokhodilarimi of Iran, the 2019 Asian senior bronze medalist. Those two had no problem putting up points, with Carr winning 14-7.
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Carr’s toughest opponent, on paper, was the one he dispatched the quickest. In the semifinals, Carr wrestled Khadzhimurad Gadzhiyev of Azerbaijan, the 70 kg junior world champion in 2018. Gadzhiyev bumped up to 74 kg in 2019.
Carr beat Gadzhiyev 10-0 in 43 seconds thanks to a low single-leg shot that he turned into in ankle lace.
Since 2009, seven wrestlers have won junior world gold medals — Dom Bradley, Dayton Fix, Mark Hall, Spencer Lee, Mekhi Lewis, Kyle Snyder and Gable Steveson. Those seven have combined for 14 NCAA All-America honors and nine individual national titles.
Carr will wrestle at 157 pounds for the Cyclones next season and, given the recent history, big things should be expected for the Iowa State legacy wrestler.
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