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GaryAbbott

Top 10 wrestling stories of the year

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Happy holidays. I posted my annual top 10 wrestling stories of the year blog on TheMat.com this morning.

 

http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Wrestling/Features/2014/December/24/Abbott-blog-top-10-stories-of-2014

 

Please give your feedback on what stories you feel belong on the list. There was a lot going on in wrestling in 2014, and I'd enjoy to hear your perspective...

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I don't know the criteria, but putting the women's team bronze at #1 (or even on the list) seems pure political correctness. In terms of the interest women's wrestling garners, it's nowhere near the top as your web traffic surely attests.

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..wow.

 

.. 3 time Champ, current #1 at 189 USA and  the most distinguished wrestler in Nittany Lion history Ed Ruth is an after thought but, Dave Taylor makes the list. 

Edited by cjc007

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..wow.

 

.. 3 time Champ, current #1 at 189 USA and  the most distinguished wrestler in Nittany Lion history Ed Ruth is an after thought but, Dave Taylor makes the list. 

there is a simple clear reason for this. The extended plot line of Burroughs/Taylor was much more intriguing than Ruth making the team. The story was better. 

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Metcalf was an intriguing story this year.  After being written off by many as being over-the-hill (count me as one of the skeptics), he clearly separated himself from the rest of US field at 65KG --- a crowded field that includes wrestlers that many had/have high hopes for achieving internaional success.  Then he goes overseas and wins gold in Azerbaijan --- creating high expectations for the World Championships.  But, once again, he was unable to perform well on the biggest of all stages.

 

This all begs a few questions.  Did his career peak at Azerbaijan?  Will Oliver, Pico, Stieber, Russell or someone else surpass him on '15 or '16?  Or is he still improving and on track to potentially break through for a World/Olympic medal in 15/16?

Edited by Angry_Fish

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It appears Gary posted the same text twice, in its entirety, when posting the article.

 

Otherwise, I like the list, although I admittedly don't follow the high school and international scenes nearly as much as I follow collegiate wrestling, high school for philosophical reasons (I don't really want to get involved in anybody's recruiting), and international for reasons that, to nearly everybody, should be entirely obvious. (see my most recent topic on the international board for a hint)

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The Metcalf story is the one that gets to me most.   As mentioned above, aging and really becoming long in the tooth, Brent was seemingly being caught and passed up by a couple of the guys on the US ladder.  It appeared he was on his last legs and on his way out.   But then the rule changes and the weight classes shrinking and it was new life to an old dog.   He could not have asked for a better situation, it was almost as if the powers that be got together and with Brent in mind, altered things to his favor.   

 

And what a ride 2014 was.   His gold medal performance in Azerbaijan as well as domestic wins over highly regarded international opponents had us all on the edge of our seats and considering the unthinkable, Brent with a world level medal! And he did nothing to discourage our optimism come US open or WTT.   We could almost envision Brent atop the medal stand with our national anthem playing and our flag raising.   It was a dream come true...

 

But it was all a mirage.   Our hearts were once again ripped from our chest and we were left pondering what may have been.  Once again we were disappointed and defeated, scratching our heads in search of answers.   Some came to this board and ripped apart any semblance of honor and class as they spewed their venom, placing blame on everyone and refusing to face reality.   It was the usual suspects, I wont name any names, there is no place for that here.   We must conduct ourselves with class and respect if we expect our athletes to follow suit internationally.   

 

To the question above, yes the passing of the torch is in effect.  A new lion has emerged and the old lion will leave his pride.   He will have a say in his vanquishing, but he will not be victorious.   Welcome Aaron Pico, we have waited long enough..  

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Metcalf is a great story. i dont think his wins prior to the world's were a mirage either. medaling at the worlds is hard. there are 10 guys or more at each weight that can medal. sometimes they are on the same side of the bracket and there are only 2 medals to go around. doesn't mean they weren't as good as we thought they were if they dont make the podium. 

 

Metcalf may never get a world level medal but he's still one of the best american lightweights of his generation. 

 

anyway, good list. 2 of my favs were Dlagnev getting bronze and the junior and cadet team having awesome performances. 

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fwiw Metcalf is 2-1 (I think) vs Romonov. This weight is a mess. Safayran won two years ago and lost early this year. Romonov was a nobody until he finished all his opponents at this years worlds, then lost in a dual meet shortly thereafter. Taghavi alternated between 1st and dnp several times. Everyone in the top 15 or so can beat everyone.

 

The thing with Metcalf is people get so excited about his chances every year and then do down about it when he doesn't medal. Canada's Garcia is abut her guy who can't quite break through (although he does have some top 10 finishes).

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