Iowa won the Division I wrestling championship yesterday, but not without a little drama, a little disappointment, and a little controversy. Oh, and a porn star.
The Hawkeyes won the team title, despite not having an individual champion in any weight class and after having their best hope for a personal title upset in his final match. Junior Brent Metcalf was riding a 69-match winning streak, when he was beaten in the final by N.C. State junior Darrion Caldwell. Caldwell decided to celebrate his big upset with a victory backflip, but Metcalf responded by shoving him to the ground while he was in midair.
Let me be the first to say that fighting has no place in wrestling. But running away in the final seconds and then showboating on the mat is not exactly being a gracious winner. (Especially when you just took an "injury timeout" in the third period because your lower back was hurting. I guess the flipping cured that.) Metcalf has only lost 2 wrestling matches in his entire varsity life (he was 288-0 in high school and 71-1 in college before Sunday) with both losses coming to Caldwell—so he was understandably perturbed. I don't know if that makes Metcalf a hero, but it is shocking to see so much aggression from men in headgear.
Oh, and in case you were wondering: Edinboro University's Paul Donahoe, the former Nebraska wrestler who was kicked off the team for showing his wang to people, beat a one-legged guy in the semi-final (seriously!), but lost the championship match on a technical violation in double overtime. (He illegally clasped his hand behind his opponent's head, and was docked for the winning points.) It was his only loss of the season, if you don't count his pants.
Caldwell shocks defending champ [St. Louis Post Dispatch]
Commentary: NCAA wrestling title tainted by lack of individual champions [Daily Iowan]
Wrestler Donahoe loses title in heartbreaker [Outsports]
One-legged wrestler defeated in NCAA wrestling semifinals [USA Today]