Saturday, March 20, 2010

No National Title For IU's Escobedo

Sometimes not getting what you want is the best thing that could happen to you.

Sometimes, it just sucks.

So we offer Indiana wrestler Angel Escobedo, whose bid to become a two-time national champion ended with Saturday’s surprising 125-pound semifinal defeat.

Escobedo can still finish third if he wins two matches today. He is guaranteed to finish as the Hoosiers’ first four-time All-America.

The top-ranked Escobedo cruised into the semifinals with three dominating performances to improve to 36-0. But he was upset by fifth-seeded Andrew Long of Iowa State, 7-4, in the semifinals.

Escobedo jumped to a 2-0 lead off a takedown, trailed 4-2 in the third period, then got a 2-point reversal to tie the score. Long got a one-point escape and a 2-point takedown in the final 90 seconds to end Escobedo’s quest to add to the national title he won two years ago. He finished fourth in the nation as a freshman and fifth last year.

Escobedo plans to enter international competition with the goal of making the U. S. Olympic freestyle wrestling team in 2012. Maybe this defeat will help motivate Escobedo to Olympic success, much as a surprising college defeat helped Dan Gable win Olympic gold in 1972.

We’ll know in a couple years.

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