AMES — David Carr stood in the center of the Iowa State wrestling mat and let the 11,238 fans in attendance cheer and cast down their praise and adulation.
No. 11 Carr (157) beat No. 2 Kaleb Young of Iowa 6-1 to officially announce his presence to the college wrestling nation.
Iowa State lost to Iowa 29-6 Sunday at Hilton Coliseum, but Carr proved he belongs in the NCAA title conversation.
“That was nuts. That was crazy,” Carr said of the cheers raining down on him. “It’s a phenomenal feeling and it makes me want to go back and work hard. It makes me want to crush every workout and believe in my coaches even more.”
The match was tied 1-1 after Young got an escape early in the third period. Carr’s relentless pace earned him a stalling point and he led Young 2-1 with 32 seconds left.
Carr didn’t want to win the match because of a stall. He wanted to get a takedown and earn the win.
Carr got in on a single leg with 31 seconds left and worked it into a cradle as Young tried to defend th attack.
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Carr sat him down with 26 seconds left to get the takedown and earned two near-fall points with five seconds left to seal the match.
“The most impressive thing about David was the presence at the end,” Iowa State coach Kevin Dresser said. “Let’s face it, he has a little different pressure on him because of everything he’s done and accomplished. David was hungry at the end to get that last takedown.
“When he locked that cradle up, that’s a dicey situation. You can get the points, but all of us old wrestling experts know that when you get in there and start driving that thing too fast, it can go south really fast. It can go from, ‘Maybe I’m getting a pin’ to ‘I’m getting reversed for six.’ I’ve seen too many guys get in that hold and have it go the other way. To have the presence of mind to keep that thing under control and not force it and baby it along was really impressive.
“Just the ‘I’m going to go win this match’ mentality was great to see because Young’s a tough customer.”
While Carr knew he was in a potentially dangerous situation, he felt comfortable that he could finish it.
“I get into that position a lot in practice,” Carr said. “I felt kind of comfortable, I just didn’t want to rush it.”
The only other Iowa State wrestler to win Sunday was Ian Parker at 141 pounds in sudden victory against Carter Happel.
“Today we got man-handled by a very good wrestling team,” Dresser said. “I don’t think there’s a way to spin it any other way than that. The fortunate thing about wrestling a great team is you really, really get exposed and you really learn the things you have to go to work on.”
Parker said the meet was a good measuring stick for Iowa State.
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“One of the coaches was saying that performance was like it was a really good team and they just punched you in the face,” Parker said. “You have to learn off of that. It’s not that our effort wasn’t there, we just learned some things in some positions that individuals have to work on and go back and use it as motivation.”
Both Carr and Dresser noted that it’s only November and that March is a long way off. They feel confident Iowa State can improve and get better from this loss.
“I’m looking forward to see how we regroup,” Dresser said. “It’s easy to bring a team in and train a team after a big win. It’s not as easy to train after a loss but you learn a lot about your wrestlers. I’m curious to see what they look like tomorrow, how rested they are, how much they weigh or don’t weigh. I think we have a lot of character and I think we have a lot of guys that wrestling is really important to them. Those teams improve pretty fast.”
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