As I mentioned last week former Hawkeye and World Team member at 65 KG Brent Metcalf was going to be on the ‘Gym Class’ (12 minute mark) the Cedar Rapids radio program on Friday. The radio station had previously interviewed Tony Ramos just a day before and both were very well done.
Metcalf opened the interview by talking about the transition from college wrestling to freestyle and how he handled that himself. Metcalf talked about how the old rules were “silly”, citing how he disliked the leg clinch, specifically wondering how you could lose a match when your opponent never really has control of you, and he also talked about how the score not resetting every period is a positive change. Metcalf went on to say that the rules change are also beneficial for the college guys making the transition from the college ranks, as Tony Ramos and Ed Ruth were able to make the team out of college. Being able to get new blood on the international scene is always a good thing.
When asked his thoughts on wrestling almost being pulled from the Olympics Metcalf said, “I had always dreamed of being an Olympic champion and I could always watch it on TV and I could one day be apart of that. As far as my cycle goes, I don’t know if I will be going through 2020, maybe I will. I was more worried about the future and worried about my son. What if he wants to be an Olympic champion?”
On his Beat the Streets dominance over Kurbanaliev, Metcalf discussed how this was the second time he had competed in the event and that by moving the stage (like they did this year) they were able to get more fans in the bleachers and that added to the energy in Time’s Square. Metcalf claimed that the energy from the crowd was really beneficial in his match, as he was trailing the #1 wrestler in the World, and needed a come from behind victory to give Team USA another victory.
On Team USA, Metcalf said he really likes Jordan Burroughs as a leader of the Team, and Burroughs is getting the job done on his end. It feels like the 100th time I have said this, but Metcalf stressed on how Team USA needs to be focused on medals, and it’s really all about gold medals, which is something that has been lacking lately. It cannot be stressed enough how wrestlers (both on the international and college scene) need to be more hungry and less satisfied with just making a team or just being an All American. If someone is going to knock Penn State off their title run, that team needs to have a bunch of wrestlers who won’t be satisfied unless they are the ones standing on the top of the podium.
Metcalf was also asked how does scouting work for international wrestling, which he said you can use YouTube, but he doesn’t view that as the best way to learn. He said what has been really beneficial to him is that now that he has been around the circuit for a few years he is starting to get familiar with the competition. Metcalf states that he doesn’t completely ignore film, as it’s good to know if you’re opponent “will do something funky”, but it’s a real benefit to competing against wrestlers from other countries as you don’t really know who you will end up facing.
Metcalf’s schedule leading up to the World Championships :
- Currently just got to Arizona for their first training camp until July 3rd
- July 16th Baku, Azerbaijan – Golden Grand Prix
- Training camp in Colorado Springs
- September 8-14 World Championships (Metcalf wrestles on the 9th)
He also had a little comment at the end of his segment about Derek St. John and Phil Keddy. St. John recently finished his Iowa career as a four time All-American placing 5th in Oklahoma City. Metcalf said that St. John will get into the mix in a few years, but “after he get things worked out with his body”. That can be taken as St. John has some injuries to overcome and let his body heal, or St. John needs to figure out where he would like to compete. The closest weight to where he competed in college is 70 KG, but since it is not an Olympic weight, maybe St. John is planning on trying to grow into the 74 KG class. Metcalf also mentioned that Keddy needs to get things worked out with his body too, but since Keddy defaulted out of the tournament I would assume that one is about Keddy getting healthy.