England can’t ‘seal the deal’ in relief effort


Photo: Tim Reuter/Iowa State Daily

Redshirt freshman Mikey England takes on Virginia Tech’s Chris Moon during the wrestling meet Friday, Jan. 13, at Hilton Coliseum. England lost to Moon 6-4.

Jake Calhoun

In terms of competition, last week was rough for Mikey England.

The redshirt freshman forfeited a lead in his last two matches — a 4-2 sudden-victory loss to Missouri’s Patrick Wright on Jan. 8 and a 6-4 loss within the final minute against Virginia Tech’s Chris Moon last Friday — due to the “little mistakes” he admittedly made in those bouts.

“The kid competes, but he’s just this close to getting over the hump,” said senior Andrew Sorenson. “It’s part of a confidence thing with him. He can compete with these guys and he’s capable of winning, but when it doesn’t happen for him every day in the room, it’s different. His mindset might not be there.”

England has been starting at 174 pounds in place of Chris Spangler, who sustained a concussion at the Midlands Championships in late December. After placing eighth at the Midlands, England was slated to be a consistent replacement for sixth-ranked Spangler.

“I come in here and practice every day, expecting to eventually be the guy,” England said. “When Spangler went down, I was ready, I was wanting to compete.”

ISU coach Kevin Jackson said England out-wrestled both Wright and Moon in those losses, but got beat by his own technique.

“He’s competed at a high level, he just hasn’t finalized the deal,” Jackson said. “He hasn’t finalized the win.”

Jackson, however, said he has been impressed with how far England has come since his redshirt season last year.

“I do think he’s taken great strides from last year to this year as far as his mentality and his confidence and his ability to compete,” Jackson said. “He just has to grow from a confidence standpoint where he makes his mind up that he’s not going to lose, especially when the match is in the balance.”

In terms of improvement, England recognized the mistakes he made in those bouts and will try to patch those up in time for this weekend’s dual meets against Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

“[They’re] just little things: getting my offense going earlier in the match, keeping my technique correct,” England said. “From a mental aspect, [I need to] keep my poise and go and get the win instead of waiting for something to happen.”