A legendary wrestling rivalry has been renewed – at least for one night.
The National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star Classic returned on Tuesday and was held at the FloSports Events Center in Austin, Texas. After a four-year absence, this wrestling show returned for the start of the season, with a 15-match card that has featured many of college wrestling’s biggest stars.
Alongside the valiant return of the event itself, one of the sport’s old rivalries also took on a new form.
Two-time Iowa State All-American David Carr defeated Princeton’s Quincy Monday 2-1. Carr, who finished third nationally by InterMat at 165 pounds, used a strong third period to accumulate 76 seconds of driving time, enough to give him the match’s deciding point and first Monday, InterMat’s at 157 is in 1st place.
These names will sound familiar to die-hard wrestling fans and old-school Big 12 wrestling fans, if only because their fathers, Nate Carr and Kenny Monday, wrestled each other many times in the 1980s.
Oklahoma State Representative Kenny Monday defeated Cyclone wrestler Nate Carr in the finals of the Big 8 Championships in both 1982 and 1983. Carr then retaliated in the national tournament finals in those same years.
Nate Carr, who now works with the Cyclone Regional Training Center, became a three-time NCAA champion and then won bronze at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Kenny Monday, now the head wrestling coach of the newly formed Morgan State program, won an NCAA title in 1984, won gold at both the 1988 Olympics and the 1989 World Championships, and then won both the 1991 World Championships and the 1992 Olympic Games Silver.
Both Carr and Monday have continued to wrestle each other throughout their senior-level freestyle careers, and now their sons are forging successful collegiate careers of their own. David Carr won an NCAA title in 2021 and finished third at last year’s national tournament. Quincy Monday reached the national finals last year.
More:Iowa wrestlers wipe out Grand View, ending college wrestling’s longest back-to-back winning streak
Tuesday’s game was the first meeting between David Carr and Quincy Monday. Both acknowledged their respective family histories in advance. Carr is now the third in his family to win the NWCA All-Star Classic after his father, who won both 1981 and 1982, and Uncle Jimmy, who won for Kentucky in 1975.
It may also be the last meeting, at least for a while. Carr is firmly entrenched as an NCAA contender at 165 pounds. Montag made the preseason decision to drop to 157 where he will be among the favorites in March.
But on Tuesday they reignited an old family rivalry and despite the low scoring, wrestling fans everywhere were treated to an extraordinary matchup between two high-profile contenders. It’s been decades since the last Carr Monday wrestling match, but like all previous ones, this one was one to remember.
Iowa Wesleyan’s Adaugo Nwachukwu defeats McKendree National Champion
One of college wrestling’s top pound-for-pound wrestlers competes for Iowa Wesleyan.
The NWCA All-Star Classic featured four women’s freestyle bouts between some of college wrestling’s top women wrestlers. Adaugo Nwachukwu from Iowa Wesleyan was one of the fighters and she actually put on the weight, defeating McKendree’s Alara Boyd 6-0.
Of the four women’s matches, this one held the most fascination as both wrestlers are college stars. Nwachukwu, the NAIA’s highest-ranked wrestler at 136 pounds, won a national title last year and then a bronze medal at the World Junior Freestyle Championships last summer. Boyd, ranked #2 on the NWCA’s NCAA Women’s Rankings at No. 143, is a former NCAA Women’s Champion and won a bronze at the 2016 World Cadet Championships.
Tuesday was all Nwachukwu. She scored a takedown and step-out point in the first leg for a 3-0 lead, then another step-out and another takedown in the second for the final score. Boyd has never really threatened Nwachukwu, who can now add this monster singles victory to her still-growing wrestling resume.
More:Iowa wrestlers win 5 singles titles in debut competition at Missouri Valley Open
Mizzou’s Rocky Elam defeats Iowa’s Jacob Warner in a thrilling OT match
Tuesday wasn’t the best night for the Hawkeyes.
Three Iowa wrestlers were initially scheduled to compete, but that number dwindled to two last week when Real Woods, who transferred to the Iowa wrestling program from Stanford, pulled out of the event due to an undisclosed injury. Iowa coach Tom Brands said last week that Woods is considered “commonplace.”
Then the two remaining Iowa representatives, Jacob Warner and Tony Cassioppi, both lost close games.
Warner lost to Missouri’s Rocky Elam 8-6 in overtime. Elam, a two-time All-American, scored takedowns in the first and third periods for a 5-2 lead, then Warner hit a reversal in the final 26 seconds, giving Elam a run and then countering a late Elam shot that scored his own takedown and tied the match 6-6, forcing overtime. Elam quickly turned an outside head shot for a takedown into a sudden victory to win.
Iowa’s Tony Cassioppi falls to Penn State’s Greg Kerkvliet in the heavyweight division
Cassioppi then lost to Penn State’s Greg Kerkvliet 8-5 in a two-time heavyweight All-Americans bout.
Before Tuesday, Cassioppi had hit Kerkvliet three times in a row during her college career. Cassioppi won 9-0 at the 2021 Big Ten Championships, then went on to win twice last year: 7-2 in the January duals and 6-4 in a sudden-win thriller in the Big Ten semifinals.
But on Tuesday, Kerkvliet scored three takedowns against Cassioppi, amassing more than two minutes of driving time for a crucial win. Cassioppi made it interesting by tacking at the end of the second period to go 5-3, then escaping to start the third and was deep in a shot when the rule ended. A finish would have forced a sudden win, but Kerkvliet adjusted his defense and eventually scored again to end the match.
The good news for the Hawkeyes is that it’s still November and there’s a lot to learn from Tuesday’s performances. Shame they slammed into such a high-profile event, but their bigger goals for the 2022-23 season still lie ahead.
More:Five takeaways from Iowa Wrestling’s victories over Sacred Heart and Buffalo
Parker Keckeisen falls to Penn State leader Aaron Brooks
Parker Keckeisen has an overall record of 48-3 in his first two collegiate seasons, both of which ended with him receiving All-American honors. Penn State’s Aaron Brooks has suffered two of those losses: 6-4 in the 2021 NCAA semifinals and 3-2 last year when Northern Iowa wrestled the Nittany Lions in Florida.
They met again on Tuesday – and Brooks won again, 12-8. He totaled five takedowns against Keckeisen and built an 11-5 lead midway through the third period. Keckeisen got a takedown back at the end of the third period to ward off a potentially important decision.
Both boys could be on a collision course in the 2022-23 season. Brooks is the InterMat’s top 184-pounder, while Keckeisen is second. If all goes according to plan – and the madness of March will obviously have a say in that – they could scored again Saturday night at the NCAA championships.
It will at least be a subplot worth pursuing.
Minnesota’s Pat McKee pins Iowa’s Kysen Terukina
Iowa State’s Kysen Terukina was a late addition after Arizona State’s Brandon Courtney was eliminated from the 125-pound match. He faced Minnesota’s Pat McKee, a two-time All-American, in the opening game, and McKee made it quick by pinning Terukina in the second period.
In the second round, Terukina held 3-0 and brought McKee to his knees with heavy hands, but McKee bounced back to his feet and defended Terukina’s following shot. Then he immediately attacked again with an underhook, with which he took Terukina to her feet – back to the edge. McKee braced himself for the fall in 3:48.
Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at@codygoodwin.
2022 NWCA All-Star Classic
FloSports Event Center in Austin, Texas
- 125: #4 Pat McKee (Minnesota) pinned #19 Kysen Terukina (Iowa State) in 3:48
- 133: #6 Lucas Byrd (Illinois) Dec. #4 Michael McGee (Arizona State), 3-2
- 157: #3 Will Lewan (Michigan) Dec. #5 Bryce Andonian (Virginia Tech), 3-1
- 197: #4 Rocky Elam (Missouri) Dec. #2 Jacob Warner (Iowa), 8-6 (SV)
- 285: #2 Greg Kerkvliet (Penn State) Dec. #4 Tony Cassioppi (Iowa), 8-5
- 184: #1 Aaron Brooks (Penn State) Dec #2 Parker Keckeisen (Northern State), 12-8
- 141: #4 Andrew Alirez (Northern Colorado) Dec. #1 Cole Matthews (Pittsburgh), 4-2 (SV)
- 165: #3 David Carr (Iowa State) Dec. #1 Quincy Monday (Princeton), 2-1
- Montag is ranked #1 by InterMat at 157 pounds.
- 165: #1 Keegan O’Toole (Missouri) Dec. #5 Dean Hamiti Jr. (Wisconsin), 7-1
- 149: #2 Austin Gomez (Wisconsin) Dec. #3 Sammy Sasso (Ohio State), 10-9
- 174: #1 Carter Starocci (Penn State) Dec. #2 Mekhi Lewis (Virginia Tech), 2-0
- 191: Sydnee Kimber (McKendree) via Kelani Corbett (Missouri Valley), 6-0
- 170: Yelena Makoved (North Central) Tech case Jessie Lee (Life), 10-0
- 143: Adaugo Nwachukwu (Iowa Wesleyan) over Alara Boyd (McKendree), 6-0
- 109: Emily Shilson (Augsburg) via Peyton Prussin (Life), 8-4