Three Big Takeaways: Carr falls in NCAA finals


Marijke Mendeszoon

David Carr takes down opponent on Jan. 27, 2023.

Anthony Hanson, Sports Reporter

Iowa State senior David Carr lost in the NCAA Championship finals Saturday to Big 12 rival Keegan O’Toole.

After defeating O’Toole twice within one month, the Missouri Tiger responded with a convincing win by 8-2 decision. O’Toole allowed Carr an escape in the second period. It became the Iowa State 165-pounder’s only points in the match.

Carr’s only takedown was waived off by a challenge in the first period.

The Iowa State 2023 wrestling season is now complete, with two Cyclones reaching the podium at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

O’Toole flips the script

David Carr controlled the first two meetings between the top contenders in the 165-pound weight class. Carr could not beat the former freshman national champion for a third time in one month.

In Iowa State’s final dual of the regular season, Iowa State faced Missouri and Carr recorded the first win between No. 1 and No. 2 at 165-pounds. At the time, O’Toole was No. 1 and Carr No. 2 but the Iowa State wrestler won by 7-2 decision.

Carr stole the No. 1 spot and two weeks later at the Big 12 Championships he pinned O’Toole in the first-place match. Carr was named the 2023 Most Outstanding Wrestler of the Big 12 after his finals win.

Both Carr and O’Toole were on a crash course again. They both cruised to the Saturday night’s finals at the NCAA Championships. This time, O’Toole controlled the match.

O’Toole scored the first takedown in the match and stayed on top of Carr for the remainder of the period. The score was 2-0 entering the second after O’Toole’s ride out.

Carr nearly gained an edge in the second period. O’Toole allowed his opponent to escape, and later Carr was awarded a takedown. The takedown would have put the Iowa State wrestler up 3-2 but it was waved off after a challenge and review.

Carr remained down 2-1 entering the third. In the final period, O’Toole’s overall control of the match translated into scoring. He escaped, scored a takedown and back points against Carr. Also in the third, O’Toole secured his riding time point. After the final buzzer, O’Toole was ahead 8-2. He gained his second consecutive national title.

Four-time All-American

Carr completed his fourth all-American season Saturday night.

In 2021, Carr won the national championship at 157-pounds. In 2022, Carr’s 55-match winning streak was ended by an upset win by No. 17 Hunter Willits. Carr completed his fourth top-three finish after his 2023 campaign. Carr was seeded third in 2020 before the national tournament was canceled.

Carr ended his 2023 season nearly flawless. Carr moved from 157-pounds to 165-pounds for the 2023 season. During the regular season and Big 12 Championships he was undefeated. His loss in the national finals made his record 27-1 for the 2022-23 season.

Carr, who redshirted during his first season in 2019, has one remaining year of eligibility.

Coleman takes fifth

Iowa State senior and Ames native Marcus Coleman completed his sixth and final season in college wrestling Saturday afternoon. Coleman lost to Trent Hidlay from North Carolina State in his final match as a Cyclone.

Coleman received a medical forfeit win in the fifth-place match against Trey Munoz of Oregon State.

Coleman completed his second all-American season of his career. The 184-pounder for Iowa State has qualified for the national tournament four times and reached his second podium on Saturday. Coleman finished in seventh place last season. Coleman finished his career a five-time NCAA qualifier.