By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
Max Askren battles Phil Keddy in the finals of the 84 kg World Cup Team Wrestle-off at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. Photo by Darren Miller, University of Iowa Athletics
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Max Askren (Somers, N.Y./New York AC) needed just two periods to defeat Phil Keddy (Iowa City, Iowa/Hawkeye WC), 2-0, 2-1, in the finals of the Special Wrestle-off for the 84 kg/185 lbs. position on the 2013 U.S. Freestyle World Cup Team.
The bout was held in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, just prior to the start of the Iowa vs. Purdue Big Ten dual meet.
The first period went to a clinch, which Askren won when he scored two-points from the defensive position. He added two points in the second period on a crotch lift.
“I think I did alright. I have a long way to go. I’m not in as great shape as I am going to be. It was fun. I am excited to get overseas and compete. It is not so fun wrestling Americans. It is fun going to other countries and seeing new faces,” said Askren.
Askren, a past NCAA champion for Missouri, defeated Keddy on his home mats from when he was an All-American star for Iowa.
“I never wrestled at Carver-Hawkeye in a dual meet when I was in college. That was great. I was born in Cedar Rapids. It was exciting to finally compete here,” said Askren.
The 2013 Freestyle World Cup, which is the annual international dual meet championships and is one of the most important events of the year, is scheduled for Tehran, Iran, February 21-22.
Askren, who attended high school in Wisconsin, has been training with World champion Jordan Burroughs and Coach Mark Manning in Nebraska. He also trains back at home in Wisconsin with his older brother Ben, a 2008 Olympian in freestyle who is now a success in mixed martial arts.
Askren had to win three matches today to qualify for the U.S. team. Six nationally-ranked wrestlers accepted invitations to compete in the Special Wrestle-off. Preliminary matches were held at the Dan Gable Wrestling Complex on Sunday morning.
In the quarterfinals, Askren stopped Tyrel Todd (Ann Arbor, Mich./New York AC), 2-1, 3-0. In the semifinals, Askren defeated Austin Trotman (Boone, N.C./AppState RTC), 1-1, 5-2, 2-1.
Keddy, who received a bye in the quarterfinals based upon his success in recent competitions. In the semifinals, he defeated Clayton Foster (Laramie, Wyo./GRIT Athletics WC), 1-0, 8-0.
The Hawkeye Wrestling Club and the University of Iowa wrestling program are serving as hosts for a Freestyle National Team training camp at the Dan Gable Wrestling Complex in Carver-Hawkeye Arena at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, January 5-9.
84 KG FREESTYLE WORLD CUP SPECIAL WRESTLE-OFF
At Iowa City, Iowa, January 6
Max Askren, Somers, N.Y. (New York AC) dec. Phil Keddy, Iowa City, Iowa (Hawkeye WC), 2-0, 2-1
Max Askren, Somers, N.Y. (New York AC) dec. Austin Trotman, Boone, N.C. (AppState RTC), 1-1, 5-2, 2-1
Phil Keddy, Iowa City, Iowa (Hawkeye WC) dec. Clayton Foster, Laramie, Wyo. (GRIT Athletics WC), 1-0, 8-0
Quarterfinals results top bracket
Austin Trotman, Boone, N.C. (AppState RTC), bye
Max Askren, Somers, N.Y. (New York AC) dec. Tyrel Todd, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC), 2-1, 3-0
Quarterfinals results bottom bracket
Clayton Foster, Laramie, Wyo. (GRIT Athletics WC) dec. Jon Reader, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids), 0-5, 2-1, 3-1
Phil Keddy, Iowa City, Iowa (Hawkeye WC), bye