High expectations accompanied Iowa State freshman David Carr when he stepped into the lineup this season.
He provided another reason why on Sunday.
Carr scored a pair of takedowns to beat Oklahoma State’s Wyatt Sheets for the 157-pound title at the Big 12 Wrestling Championship at BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla. He became the first Cyclone freshman to win a conference title since Lelund Weatherspoon at 184 in 2014.
Titles from Carr and Ian Parker (141) helped the Cyclones secure a runner-up team finish. Iowa State scored 116 1/2 points, 31 behind champion Oklahoma State. UNI was third with 111 1/2 points, receiving titles from 174-pounder Bryce Steiert and Taylor Lujan at 184.
Carr broke open a scoreless final with an escape, following with a takedown about 30 seconds later in the second period. He added a takedown in the third, beating Sheets 6-4.
It was the first time Iowa State crowned multiple champs since 2014 and Carr earned a chance to become the program’s fourth four-time conference titlist, joining Pete Galea (1973-76), Tim Krieger (1986-89) and Cael Sanderson (1999-2002).
Parker, ranked eighth, won his first Big 12 title, beating Oklahoma’s No. 7 Dom Demas, 4-2, in the second sudden victory overtime period.
The pair exchanged escapes in regular and the first overtime tiebreakers. Parker scored a takedown in the ensuing period.
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Alex Mackall (125) and heavyweight Gannon Gremmel earned runner-up finishes and two of Iowa State’s eight NCAA qualifiers. In addition to their four finalists, 2019 Big 12 champion and former Independence prep Chase Straw (165), Jarrett Degen (149), Sam Colbray at 174 and 184-pounder Marcus Coleman advance to the national tournament.
Steiert improved last year’s third-place Big 12 finish with an impressive title run. He built an 11-6 lead before pinning Oklahoma’s second-seeded Anthony Mantanona in 5:52.
Lujan won his second title in three seasons, joining Drew Foster as two-time Big 12 champs for the Panthers. The second-ranked senior scored two takedowns in the first period, adding one in the final two frames, for a 10-6 win over South Dakota State’s Zach Carlson.
Steiert and Lujan are four-time NCAA qualifiers and two of six UNI wrestlers to receive automatic bids. Jay Schwarm (125) rebounded from a first-round loss to get fourth and his third trip to nationals. Jack Skudlarczyk (133) and freshman Michael Blockhus at 141 and heavyweight Carter Isley earned their first nationals berths.
UNI Coach Doug Schwab was named Big 12 Coach of the Year.
South Dakota State 197-pounder and former Alburnett two-time state champion Tanner Sloan placed second, falling to West Virginia’s top-seeded Noah Adams, 5-1, in the final. Sloan advanced to the national tournament.
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