Carton looking to bounce back


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Iowa 141-pounder Topher Carton was up 3-2 in the semifinal round of the Luther Open over Luther’s Drew Van Anrooy last weekend.

A late takedown by Anrooy caused Carton to lose the match — along with some of the praise that Iowa head coach Tom Brands gave him was slightly simmered.

“There were some comments during the first media day that Tom said I was the most improved wrestler up to that point,” Carton said. “To continue that, I need to be the most improved wrestler every day, every week, every month — just keep building and building, that’s how I’m going to be successful.”

For Carton, the loss in the semifinals meant that he would not have a chance to directly challenge senior Josh Dziewa.

Granted, topping Dziewa would’ve likely required something special from Carton — the former is ranked No. 6 at 141-pounds by Flowrestling.

“I really just work on myself, just like any other competitor. He’s a good kid, one of my teammates,” Dziewa said. “It’s up to what I do more than anything else. It’s not up to the coaching staff, it’s not up to what he does, and it’s what up to what I’m up to.

“If I go out there and score a lot of points, then I’m going to be the guy.”

The two wrestlers have faced just once in college competition, at last year’s 141-pound Luther Open final. Dziewa beat Carton by decision, 4-0.

While Carton has certainly become a better wrestler since that point, Brands feels that there’s still plenty of work to do.

“The adjustments have to come from [Topher], more than us — he seems to be able to respond better and turn things around, but it’s more from our direction,” Brands said. “In order for him to get over the hump, it’s going to have to come from himself.”

An absolute monster during his prep days at Davenport Assumption, Carton put up a 175-2 record during his high school career. After redshirting during the 2012-13 season, he went 27-9 last season but did not compete in a single dual meet.

For Carton, the hope is to change that this season, and he has a pretty good idea where to start.

“I feel like in a couple of those matches, I let the other guy dictate the pace of the match rather than going out and wrestling my match, and I think that’s something I need to work on,” Carton said. “When I wrestle to my full ability and I control the pace of the match — the matches that I did that, everybody that I wrestled broke.”

With the Iowa City Duals coming up this weekend, Carton should have another chance to prove something in the early goings of the season.

“Every match is important, and you have to take in one at a time, you don’t want to look ahead,” Carton said. “Every match is chance to build and a chance to grow — every time you step on the mat you should be trying to get better.”

Follow @JordyHansen on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa wrestling team.

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