David Carr realized a lifelong dream on Saturday night.
David Aaron Carr (born March 28, 1999) is an American freestyle and folkstyle wrestler. In freestyle, he was the ’19 Junior World Champion at 74 kilograms while representing the United States. As a folkstyle wrestler, Carr is an NCAA Division I All-American and two-time Big 12 Conference champion out of the Iowa State University and was a four-time OHSAA champion as a high schooler. As of March 9, 2021, Carr is the #3-ranked 157-pound NCAA wrestler in the country as per Intermat.
Carr, Iowa State’s wildly-talented sophomore, defeated Rider’s Jesse Dellavecchia, 4-0, to win an NCAA wrestling title at 157 pounds on Saturday night here at the Enterprise Center.
Exactly 40 years after his dad, Nate, won his first title for Iowa State, David Carr did the same. He scored a takedown in the second period then added a point for riding-time in the third to win his first collegiate national wrestling title.
“All glory to God,” Carr said. “With Him, I couldn’t do this. I walk by faith, not by sight. Jesus got me through this whole tournament.”
Carr has long been surrounded by wrestling history.
It’s in his family. His father won three consecutive national titles for Iowa State from 1981-83, then went on to win a bronze medal at the 1988 Olympics. His uncle, Jimmy, made the 1972 U.S. Olympic team at just 17 years old. His older brother, Nate Carr Jr., wrestled at Iowa State and now coaches at Lock Haven.
“I told my dad, when I decided to come to Iowa State, I wanted to come here and bring back the program,” David Carr said afterward, and then added: “And break all of his records while I’m at it.”
It’s in the program for which he now wrestles. On Saturday, David Carr became Iowa State’s 70th individual national champion. He’s the first to do so since Kyven Gadson won in 2015 at 197 pounds. Gadson famously told ESPN in the post-match interview that he “just wants some ice cream,” after pinning Ohio State’s Kyle Snyder.
Of course, Carr remembered that, and delivered his own version of it on Saturday night after he won.
“I just want some gummy bears,” he told the cameras and smiled.
That’s a nod to Gadson, of course, but it’s also a reference to something Iowa State coach Kevin Dresser has preached to Carr since he first arrived in Ames.
Dresser has constantly told Carr that if he doesn’t eat gummy bears and gets better sleep, he’d win multiple national titles. That’s a lighter way of saying, eat better and take care of yourself in order to wrestle your best. Carr’s win on Saturday made him Dresser’s first individual national champion in his 14 years as a college head coach.
But if nothing else, that post-match spoke to Carr’s calm demeanor that he displayed not just on Saturday night, but throughout the tournament this week.
Again, there’s history here. Metcalf, a former Hawkeye, lost in the NCAA finals in 2009 to North Carolina State’s Darrion Caldwell, then knocked Caldwell down in the middle of his own backflip celebration.
“I was happy to have that moment with my coach,” Carr said. “He’s pushed me a lot this year, and he’s one of the reasons I’m at this big stage and winning because of him.
“The whole coaching staff, the culture we’re building is about scoring points and having fun.”
Carr has wrestled on big stages before. Two years ago, he won a Junior men’s freestyle world championship. He’s previously won a Cadet men’s freestyle world medal, too, and has wrestled many of the nation’s best Senior-level men’s freestylers, too.
As such, he has much larger aspirations than just an NCAA title. He wants to bring the Iowa State program back and contend for team championships. He wants to continue chase world and Olympic golds after that, followed by a successful coaching career, too.
But he also wants to best his dad’s accomplishments. That means, perhaps, four national titles, a daunting task that only four wrestlers have ever achieved in the 93-year history of the NCAA Wrestling Championships.
David Carr now has the opportunity to add his name to that exclusive list. He took the first step this week.
The rest is up to him.
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DAVID CARR “Wins National Championship For Iowa State”