Jan. 13, 2014
- Read the January issue of Hawk Talk Monthly
- Download your Hawk Talk Monthly iOS app
- Download your Hawk Talk Monthly android app
- Download your Iowa Hawkeye iPad and iPhone app!
- Download your Iowa Hawkeye Android app!
- Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
- 24 Hawkeyes to Watch
By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — When Indiana’s Adam Chalfant hammered Northwestern’s Mike McMullan in a 285-pound match Jan. 4, the wrestling community noticed.
Except University of Iowa junior Bobby Telford.
“I didn’t know they wrestled, I wasn’t paying attention to it, and to tell you the truth, I really don’t care,” Telford said. “It’s not my match, it’s outside my hands, there is nothing I can do.”
UI associate head coach Terry Brands broke the news to Telford that Chalfant posted a 9-4 decision against the defending NCAA and Big Ten Conference runner-up.
Fast-forward eight days — Jan. 12 — when Chalfant and Telford met on Mediacom Mat inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Telford trailed the first 5-minutes, 50-seconds after surrendering a takedown 1:24 into the match. He then tied the score 5-5 with a late escape, and won with a takedown and two nearfall points in overtime.
“It’s Big Ten wrestling. This is what you live for and this is what you have to get up for. I’m ready to rock-and-roll, but at the same point I have to keep building. I’m not where I want to be in my season, so I have to keep it going.”
UI heavyweight wrestler
“It’s Big Ten wrestling. This is what you live for and this is what you have to get up for,” Telford said. “I’m ready to rock-and-roll, but at the same point I have to keep building. I’m not where I want to be in my season, so I have to keep it going.”
Telford, ranked third in the country, improved to 15-1; Chalfant (No. 7) is 17-2.
“We knew it was going to be a tough match,” Terry Brands said. “The way Chalfant beat up Northwestern over there in that dual a couple weeks ago. He’s a big, strong kid and he’s going to come out and fight; that’s what he did. He came out and got that takedown.”
It was a two-point move Telford said never should have happened. He didn’t need a wakeup call.
“You’re not looking back at your coaches like you just got shot in the heart or shot in the gut,” Telford said. “It’s not a big deal. There were still five or six minutes left at that point.”
“It’s a takedown, get back in the match at the quickest opportunity you can,” Brands said.
Telford and Chalfant, a senior, had met just once prior to Sunday’s dual. Telford won 7-3 at the 2013 Big Ten Championships in Champaign, Ill. Neither reached the podium at the NCAA Championships: Telford won his first match before defaulting because of injury. Chalfant went 1-2.
Don’t waste time reminding Telford that heavyweight is a stacked bracket in the Big Ten, including eight of the top 12 nationally ranked competitors. He will tell you that the other nine weight classes aren’t too shabby, either.
“When I was a little kid and someone asked where I wanted to wrestle, the answer was the Big Ten,” Telford said. “The Big Ten has the best wrestling. When I think back to my senior year and (Iowa’s Brent) Metcalf was wrestling the kid from Ohio State (Lance Palmer) in the (conference) finals, they said right away this is probably the national championship two weeks from now. That’s what you expect in Big Ten wrestling. You don’t come here to hold out until the end of the year. You come here to compete all the way through the year and then show up again at the end of the year to make a statement.”
On Jan. 10, McMullan rebounded from his loss to Chalfant to defeat two-time defending conference and NCAA champion Tony Nelson. That’s life in the topsy-turvy Big Ten.
That’s the unknown Telford chooses to live with.