Metcalf dominates at Beat the Streets
(Photo by J.R. Sachs/Tech-Fall)
There was a whole lot going on all around Wednesday at the 2014 Beat the Streets event “Team USA vs World All-Stars”, as you might expect from a wrestling meet staged outdoors in the middle of Times Square in New York City. Enormous electronic billboards and neon signs flashed overhead, adding visual noise to the loud music and raucous crowd sitting mat side. None of that fazed Hawkeye Wrestling Club’s Brent Metcalf, who took care of business against Russia’s Magomed Kurbanaliev, winning an 11-8 decision over the 2013 World bronze medalist at 65kg/143 lbs.
Overall, Team USA won 8 of the 11 matches on the night, including a pin by current World champion Jordan Burroughs. The event, a fund-raiser for the Beat the Streets organization, raised $1.6 Million for New York City area youth wrestling and education programs.
“There was a great crowd and during the match you could definitely feel their presence,” Metcalf said afterward. “But once I step on the mat my mind is clear and focused regardless of the location. When you’re wrestling outside you kind of just have to wing it in that you’re not going to have perfect conditions. Get yourself hot, do the best you can to stay warm and then just go wrestle.”
Just go wrestle he did, turning in the consensus best match of the night. After taking an early lead with a takedown and a two-point turn, Metcalf trailed briefly after Kurbanaliev scored a four-point move early in the second period. The HWC star quickly countered with another takedown and gut wrench and added a 1-point push out at the end to win 11-8. In a video interview (linked below) after the match, Metcalf was critical of his own performance.
“He’s sneaky. He scored off moves I should have been scoring on,” Metcalf said. “I gave him a 4 there, which is probably my 2 if I am smart. That’s a 6-point swing.”
Asked about his instant analysis the next day, Metcalf was more measured in his reaction. “I sometimes come off in post-match interviews as negative,” he admitted. “I’m just self-evaluating the match like I would if there wasn’t a camera in my face. (Looking back) I did a lot of good things. I got to my offense a lot, I stayed in great finishing position, and I got my turns on top.
“The match was a good reminder to be smart with the last 5 percent of the finish where I have the score and they try to snake you.”
Next up for Metcalf is the 2014 World Team Trials. His US Open championship in April means he receives an automatic berth in the finals, facing the winner of the challenge tournament. This is the first time Metcalf has had the bye into the finals, but he doesn’t expect it to change his preparation.
“I think I’ll get ready to go like normal,” he said. “My routine on the day of the match might change but the preparation is the same — get ready to take on the world. Any and all.”