Former NCAA Champion Max Askren beat former Hawkeye All-American Phillip Keddy 2-0, 2-1 in the 84 kilogram finals for a spot on the 2013 U.S. Freestyle World cup Team on Sunday.
Keddy said afterward that despite the loss he still gets to join the 2013 Freestyle World Cup team when they travel to the annual international dual meet championships on Feb. 21-22 in Tehran, Iran.
But the former Hawkeye, who still lives in Iowa City, feels he missed a big chance.
“It was a great opportunity to have the wrestle-off here in Carver,” Keddy said. “I was real disappointed with the way it went, but I’ve got to learn form it and move on and get better. I’ve got a lot bigger things coming.”
Six nationally-ranked wrestlers came to Iowa City for the special wrestle-off. Preliminary matches were held earlier Sunday in the Dan Gable Wrestling Room.
Former Oklahoma State wrestler Clayton Foster beat former Iowa State NCAA champion Jon Reader 0-5, 2-1, 3-1 in the quarterfinals.
In the semifinals, Keddy beat Foster 1-0, 8-0.
“I wrestled well up there,” Keddy said. “Lots of action, and I scored a lot of points.”
Keddy had trouble getting his offense started against Askren. The two wrestlers were tied 0-0 before going into the clinch.
Keddy had a single leg but couldn’t finish and Askren flipped him over for the takedown and 2-0 overtime win.
It was the same move that led to a 2-1 loss in the second set.
“He’s a guy that wrestles a lot of counter offense,” Keddy said of Askren. “He’s got some funky stuff. I didn’t finish quick when I needed to … getting in on shots. That’s where he’s good.
“That’s my bad. That’s my mistake, especially knowing that’s where he’s good.”
Keddy said he doesn’t want to think too far ahead in his post-college career. The 2016 Olympics are a long ways off.
“One step at a time,” Keddy said. “Right now my plan is between now and the 2013 Worlds. The most important match is your next one.”