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Iowa State wrestling coach Kevin Dresser talks about his memories of Carver-Hawkeye Arena ahead of the annual Cy-Hawk dual. Cody Goodwin, cgoodwin2@dmreg.com

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AMES, Ia. — Brent Metcalf holds fond memories of Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

From 2007 through 2010, Metcalf was a one-man tour de force for the Iowa wrestling team. He won 108 matches and two national championships in his three collegiate seasons, the linchpin for a program that won NCAA team titles each of those years.

During that time, Metcalf, now an assistant coach for Iowa State, went 25-0 in duals held at Carver. He returned multiple times after graduation, as both a competitor and a spectator — the Olympic Trials, the UWW Freestyle World Cup, and various Iowa duals over the years.

This Saturday, Metcalf will go back to Carver once again — only this time, as the enemy.

“I’ve never been there as the opponent,” Metcalf said.

He smiled.

“From what I understand, they’re pretty harsh on the visiting teams.”

The Iowa wrestling team hosts Iowa State this Saturday in the annual Cy-Hawk wrestling dual. The Hawkeyes (4-0), ranked third nationally by Trackwrestling, have won 14 in a row over the 25th-ranked Cyclones (1-0).

That streak began during the 2005-06 season, and both Metcalf and fellow Iowa State assistant Derek St. John added to that during their Iowa careers. They went a combined 56-1 inside Carver while combining for 214 career victories, three individual national titles and seven All-American finishes.

Neither admitted to thinking much about returning to Carver ahead of Saturday’s dual, but they both expect the Iowa crowd — which has led the nation in wrestling attendance for each of the last 12 seasons — to be, well, less than cordial.

“I don’t think it’s going to bother me one bit,” St. John said. “It’s part of wrestling. I think there’s probably still some mutual respect that I competed there and was once a Hawkeye. Outside of that, I haven’t thought about it.

“I’m sure they’ll be screamin’ and hootin’ and hollerin’ against ya, but that’s part of the game.”

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Some of their favorite wrestling memories occurred in Iowa’s home arena. Kevin Dresser, the Cyclones’ head coach, actually won a national title inside Carver in 1986. He recorded three pins and won his semifinals and finals bouts by a combined 19-12 to win at 142 pounds.

“In front of a partisan crowd, too,” Dresser said. “That was really cool.”

St. John mentioned mostly team victories — the time the Hawkeyes beat Penn State in 2013, thanks, in small part, to St. John’s late takedown to beat Dylan Alton; or when they took out longtime rival Oklahoma State, eight matches to 10, and St. John edged Alex Dieringer, 2-1.

Metcalf recalled more individual wins. He rallied from a 6-1 deficit to pin Penn State’s Bubba Jenkins in 2008, took Penn State’s Frank Molinaro feet-to-back for another fall two years later, and, in 2009, he pinned Iowa State’s Mitch Mueller to help the Hawkeyes to an 18-16 victory.

“As a competitor, it sure was fun to wrestle in that atmosphere,” Metcalf said. “They were rabid fans and they really got excited. The majority of my matches, I gave them things to be excited about, too. That made it a lot of fun.

“We were on some really good teams, too, so we were really clicking at that time.”

Come Saturday, the Cyclones will face another really good Iowa team, at least on paper. Nine of the Hawkeyes' 10 presumed starters are ranked in the top 12 nationally at their respective weights by Trackwrestling. The Cyclones have just four.

As such, another big crowd is expected in support of the home team.

“It’s a great opponent that you have to get ready for,” Iowa coach Tom Brands said. “The coaching staff probably adds a little spice to it from a fandom point of view. From my point of view, there’s a lot of familiarity there, a lot of good relationships, a lot of good memories.

“I know what they’re trying to do in Ames, Iowa. I also know what we’re doing upstairs in our wrestling room. That’s our focus. That’s always been our focus. It will always be our focus.”

Metcalf, a four-time world team member, drew on his international experience when trying to articulate the message he’d tell his wrestlers before Saturday. Over in Iran, for example, wrestling is king, and the fans there are just as passionate as those in Iowa City.

But Metcalf found a way to quiet them — score points.

“That was something I always enjoyed doing,” he said. “Just shutting that crowd up. My biggest message to our guys would be just managing those cheers. If something doesn’t go your way, don’t let your emotions get too high.

“Don’t get so wrapped up in the moment in what’s going on that you lose your head. Know what you’re going into. You’re going into an enemy arena, one that’s going to be hostile and loud, and you can quiet those loud people really quick by scoring points.”

Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.

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