A season for the ages
Ryan Young - The Daily Iowan
Issue date: 5/15/08 Section: Sports
When it comes to wrestling, winning isn't the only thing that matters to 149-pounder Brent Metcalf. How he wins is important, too.
Call him a chip off the block of his head coach, Tom Brands. Call him a wrestling workaholic with a bottomless-pit appetite for triumph.
Either way, following a climactic sophomore season, the junior-to-be is both a Big Ten and NCAA champion, a Dan Hodge trophy winner, and now, The Daily Iowan's Male Athlete of the Year.
It's tough to argue against a year that featured a 39-1 overall record, 12 pins, seven technical falls, and nine major decisions.
Since ending his national-title run two months ago, Metcalf said, he's not quite an Iowa City celebrity, but he has received a few pats on the back.
"I've had a few people in my classes come up to me and say congratulations and stuff," he said. "Those people were probably wrestling fans in the first place, though. Definitely, this campus and this atmosphere, people recognize your success, and it makes it fun."
Despite leading the Hawkeyes to their first national title since 2000 with a comeback victory over Penn State's Bubba Jenkins in the NCAA championship finals, Metcalf hasn't taken a break from competition. A national title isn't enough.
Soon, he will venture to Las Vegas for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, beginning on June 13. He's hungry for a gold medal.
Asked which accomplishment - a gold medal or a national champion - holds more importance in his mind, Metcalf said it depends on the time of year.
"When it's college national championship time, that's the most important thing in the world right now, right then," he said. "Now, we're past that and in the summer months where Olympic and world championships become the main focus. It's like a cycle."
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A season for the ages - Sports
? 2008 Daily Iowan
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