Image courtesy of Iowa State University Sports Information.
Last year, in late December, Iowa State wrestler Austin Gomez announced that he would medically retire from the sport. At the time, The 22-year-old from Carol Stream, Illinois, stated that the decision was due to a mounting list of injuries over his last few seasons in Ames.
“Today, I make the hardest decision of my life, but the right decision for the health and safety of my future,” Gomez wrote in a statement. “I have decided to hang it up and medically retire.”
Fast-forward to April 2021, and It would appear that Gomez has had a change of heart and isn’t ready to leave his shoes on the mat just yet. Gomez placed his name in the transfer portal on April 8, 2021.
Though injuries have proved troublesome throughout his career, Gomez amassed quite a few notable accolades from his time as an Illinois prep competitor to his lone full varsity season in Ames in 2018-19 under coach Kevin Dresser.
As a prep, he was a three-time Illinois state champion for Glenbard North, a 2016 Junior freestyle national champ, and a 2013 Cadet men’s freestyle world-teamer. As such, he was considered a top-tier recruit in the Class of 2017.
At Iowa State, Gomez’s time on the mat was severely hampered by injury. Still, as a redshirt freshman in 2017-18, Gomez was 8-0 while competing unattached. On the international circuit, he was a 2018 Junior World Team Qualifier.
During the 2018-19 season, his healthiest as a collegiate wrestler, Gomez authored a 24-7 record as a redshirt freshman season. He placed third at the Big 12 Championships that year. Those marks were good enough to qualify the then-redshirt freshman for the 2019 NCAA Championships, where he made it to the round of 12. Gomez hasn’t appeared in a match for Iowa State since his showing at the 2019 NCAA Championships in Pittsburgh.
Wherever Gomez lands, he’ll be adding some quality depth to the lightweight room, assuming injuries don’t creep up again.