Defending NCAA champion David Carr joined a special list of fellow Iowa State wrestlers Sunday night, becoming the 16th Cyclone to win three individual conference championships after defeating Jared Franek of North Dakota State 8–2 in the 157-pound final of the Big 12 Championships.
The win gave him an undefeated 21–0 mark on the year, as well as his 54th in a row.
In a battle of the top-two seeds, Carr struck first by landing the match's first takedown at the 2:31 mark in the first period. He extended his lead with 1:24 left by registering another two points off a takedown while Franek was only able to salvage an escape in the opening three minutes.
Leading 4–1 at the first break, the second period was relatively quiet for both wrestlers, as Carr continued to maintain his lead by escaping once 12 seconds in after choosing bottom to start.
The damage seemed to be already done, though, as Franek was unable to register any major points outside of escapes, recording another one in the third after being called for stalling.
Carr, meanwhile, made his win complete by landing one more takedown with four seconds left and also managed to lock up the riding time advantage at the end. The win extended Carr's record over Franek to 5–0, as he also defeated him 7–3 back in January.
With his win, Carr's name is now in a group that includes fellow All Americans such as Dan Gable, Kevin Darkus and Kyven Gadson, the last of whom was the last wrestler before Carr to both achieve a three-peat at the Big 12 Championships and win an NCAA title.
Gadson won his national championship in 2015 by pinning future Olympic gold medalist Kyle Snyder of Ohio State in the 197-pound final.
Alongside Carr, the Cyclones had seven more wrestlers clinch their bids into the national championships in the first session of the day.
At 133 pounds, sophomore Ramazan Attasauov finished third overall after winning all of his matches in the consolation bracket Sunday.
Attasauov began the day with a 2–1 win over Oklahoma's Noah Madrigal and earned the bronze medal by defeating Sidney Flores of Air Force in the playoff match. Attasauov came out with the victory over Madrigal thanks to locking up the riding time advantage at the end to break the deadlock.
He was joined in a third-place finish by 184-pounder Marcus Coleman, who earned his bid to the national finals by scoring bonus points victories in both of his matches.
The Ames native first defeated North Dakota State's DeAnthony Parker 18–2 and scored a major decision over Keegan Moore of Oklahoma 19–6 to qualify for his fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA finals.
Jarrett Degen (149 pounds) and Sam Schuyler (285) both tacked on a couple of more qualifiers for Iowa State by finishing fourth in their brackets. Degen first completed a wild comeback over Josh Edmond of Missouri 15–13 before falling to Northern Iowa's Colin Realbuto 8–6 to qualify for a fifth-straight trip to nationals.
Schuyler, meanwhile, got a close 5–3 win over Josh Heindselman of Oklahoma and then lost to No. 2 seed Zach Elam of Missouri 6–1 in the third-place playoff bout.
Ian Parker clinched another ticket for the Cyclones by finishing fifth 141 pounds. Parker went 1–1 in Sunday's consolation matches, first dropping the semifinal 5–3 to NDSU's Dylan Droegemueller before rebounding in the playoff match with an 8–7 win over Jacob Butler of Oklahoma.
Teammate Yonger Bastida also clinched his first national championships bid at 197 pounds with a fifth-place finish after being awarded a medical forfeit victory in the playoff round after Owen Pentz of NDSU retired from the match.
Joel Devine (174) rounded out the definitive list of qualifiers for the Cyclones by winning his seventh-place match over West Virginia's Dennis Robin. The win was a bit of revenge for Devine, who was pinned by Robin in the first period of their last matchup Feb. 4.
The NCAA Championships will be held at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit from March 17-19.