Three Big Takeaways: Six wrestlers make semifinals at Big 12 Championships


Collin Maguire/Iowa State Daily

Iowa State redshirt junior David Carr competes against West Virginia’s Alex Hornfeck on Feb. 4 in Hilton Coliseum.

Adarsh Tamma

Iowa State wrestling ended the first day of the Big 12 Wrestling Championships at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla. Saturday in fifth place as the team scored 82.5 points across all matches contested.

The No. 5 Cyclones trail Northern Iowa, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and top-ranked Missouri in the overall team standings, with the Tigers closing out Saturday with 109.5 points.

The Cyclones had six wrestlers advance to the semifinals in session one Saturday, with one set to compete in Sunday’s finals. The consolation round saw more points scored as five wrestlers will compete in Sunday’s consolation semifinals.

It was a day chock-full of mat madness, with a couple of major storylines standing out.

Another final for Carr

No. 1 seed David Carr continued his winning ways by punching his ticket to Sunday’s final with a trio of victories in the 157-pound division Saturday.

The defending Big 12 and NCAA champion will compete in his third consecutive conference final against the No. 2 seed, Jared Franek of North Dakota State. The pair last met back in January at Hilton Coliseum, when Carr bested Franek in a tight match by a score of 7–3, helping the Cyclones win over the Bison 26–9.

Carr earned a quick pair of wins Saturday in the first two rounds, acquiring bonus point wins over Gianno Petrucelli of Air Force and Jaxon Garoutte of Utah Valley.

Carr came out strong in the first period against Petrucelli, landing three takedowns to lead 6-2 after the opening period. He also carried the offensive pressure into the second by recording another trio of takedowns to extend his lead, then closed it out by getting the pin at the 5:54 mark.

A similar story played out in the match against Garoutte, as Carr was able to get back-to-back four-point near falls at the start of the first period as part of a 13-point opening period. This was followed by three more takedowns and an advantage on riding time to lock up the technical fall victory 18–3.

Carr’s semifinal against fifth-seeded Jacob Wright of Wyoming had a much closer outcome, as he led 4–2 after the first period thanks to a couple of takedowns. Wright was called for stalling in the second period before Carr delivered another takedown to keep the advantage and rode it out the rest of the way for a 7–4 win.

The victory was also Carr’s 53rd in a row, as he has not dropped a match since December of 2019.

Parker’s first-round upset

No. 1 seed Ian Parker suffered perhaps the biggest loss of the day for the Cyclones at 141 pounds when he fell to Oklahoma’s Jake Butler in the first round 7–4.

Parker, who beat Butler 8–3 in their last encounter, was unable to take control early as the Sooner scored two takedowns in the first period for a 4–2 advantage.

The same trend continued for the remaining five minutes of wrestling, as Butler again dictated the tempo by escaping twice in the second period and locking up the riding time advantage in the third to come through with the victory. The loss was Parker’s first since December when he fell to Iowa’s Max Murin 3-2 in the CyHawk matchup.

However, Parker’s day wasn’t done as he resurged in the wrestle-offs to reach the semifinals of the consolation bracket.

The Saint Johns, Mich., native got his first win of the tournament over Wyoming’s Darren Green 9–5, thanks to a third period that saw a takedown, escape and riding time all recorded.

This was followed up by a 5–0 shutout over Carter Young of Oklahoma State, as Parker got his second victory of the season over the Cowboy freshman to qualify for the consolation semifinals thanks in part to again getting the riding time advantage.

The win over Young means that Parker will qualify for the NCAA Championships for the fourth time regardless of his result against Dylan Droegemueller of North Dakota State in the consolation semifinals, who he beat 7–4 in January.

Semifinal defeats cost team points

Outside of Carr, no other Cyclone grappler reached a final, with five falling in the semis.

The lost points from those opportunities proved to be important, as the Cyclones fell from third to fifth in the team title race as a result. Wrestlers are awarded points depending on how far they advance in their respective brackets, with more being given as one gets closer to the final.

Ramazan Attasauov, the 133-pounder, was the first to experience this kind of defeat, as he lost to Oklahoma State’s Daton Fix on a major decision 13–3.

Fix, who finished runner-up at both the 2019 and 2021 national finals, used a strong second period to springboard to victory, as he recorded three takedowns in less than two minutes to end with a 7–2 advantage.

Attasauov’s hopes for a podium finish now rest in the consolation bracket, as he will face off against Oklahoma’s Anthony Madrigal in the semifinals Sunday.

The 149-pound weight class saw a close finish between Jarrett Degen and Willie McDougald of Oklahoma. The freshman Sooner made it two-for-two over his opponent on the season with a 5–4 decision.

Degen started the match in control, recording a takedown and escape through two periods to take the 3–1 lead. However, McDougald rallied with a major third, first getting two points off of a reversal and then clinching the victory by landing a takedown with eight seconds left.

184 and 197 pounds saw more of the same trend for the Cyclones as Marcus Coleman and Yonger Bastida lost in the semis to opponents who had beaten them in the regular season.

Coleman was again bested by Jeremiah Kent of Missouri 8–4, while Bastida was pinned by Wyoming’s top seed, Stephen Buchanan, in 6:57. Sam Schuyler rounded out Iowa State’s semifinalists in the heavyweight division, falling to third-seeded Luke Surber of OSU in another tight match 3–2.

Despite the losses, all five wrestlers still stand with a chance to qualify for the national championships due to the number of allocation spots for each weight class as determined by the NCAA. Coleman’s hopes may be the most difficult, as he will need to finish within the top four to punch his ticket to Detroit.

Day two of the Big 12 Championships will commence at noon Sunday with the consolation semifinals and matches for third, fifth and seventh place, all of which will be streamed live on ESPN+. The finals will follow at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.