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Iowa State heavyweight Harrington to leave program

Marcus Harrington battling Iowa's Sam Stoll (Photo/Mark Lundy, Lutte-Lens.com)

Iowa State heavyweight Marcus Harrington is hanging up the headgear for the tools of his chosen profession, law enforcement.

The Cyclone starter in the 285-pound class during the 2017-18 season has decided to end his wrestling career step away from wrestling to focus on getting a job in his major, criminal justice.

"I just thought it was time," Harrington told the Des Moines Register Thursday. "I could just tell by the way the last couple of years have went, and my motivation has just been elsewhere. Just haven't had the same spark that I used to about the sport.

"I just took it upon myself to make the decision to move onto the next chapter of my life," Harrington continued, despite having one more year of wrestling eligibility left. "I'm excited to get into a career. I'm a criminal justice major, and looking for jobs in that area really excites me. That's the passion of my life right now."

Iowa State associate head coach Mike Zadick confirmed Harrington's decision, telling the Register, "He just kind of decided he wanted to (be done). He just let us know that he was looking to further his career and take off making money."

Harrington said his decision was not made in haste, disclosing to Register sportswriter Cody Goodwin that he had been thinking about stepping away from the sport for a year or so, even talking to head coach Kevin Dresser about his feelings. This past season, the Waterloo native, who had moved up to heavyweight after having wrestled for the Cyclones previously at 197 pounds, tallied a 22-13 record in 2017-18, placing fourth at the 2018 Big 12 Conference Championships, just missing qualifying for the 2018 NCAA Division I Championships.

Harrington described the past season as having "a lot of ups and downs" but added, "Not to say I didn't have a lot of ups this year. I enjoyed wrestling for that coaching staff, and they helped me out tremendously.

"But after the season concluded, I just figured it was time. I talked to my parents about it, and they understood. The coaches were all for me following my dreams and doing what made me happy."

In Harrington's absence, Iowa State will have two heavyweights on its roster: redshirt sophomore Gannon Gremmel, and Iowa City West big man Francis Duggan -- ranked No. 70 among InterMat's top recruits -- who just signed with the Cyclones.

Harrington leaves Iowa State with an overall collegiate record of 37-33. Prior to coming to Ames, Harrington wrestled at Waterloo West High School -- Dan Gable's alma mater -- where he amassed 145 wins and scored back-to-back Iowa state titles at 195 pounds in 2013 and 2014.

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