May 12, 1990 |
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States
|Weight||125.5 lb (57 kg)|
|College team||Iowa Hawkeyes wrestling|
|Club||Hawkeye Wrestling Club|
|Coached by||Tom Brands and Terry Brands|
McDonough attended Linn-Mar High School in Marion, Iowa. His career high school record was 151-15. McDonough was a three-time high school wrestling state champion and four-time state placewinner for Linn-Mar under head coach Doug Streicher. As a freshman, McDonough was a teammate of Jay Borschel, four time Iowa state champion, undefeated NCAA champion (2009-2010) and subject of the non-fiction wrestling book Four Days to Glory.
Matt's dad, Mike was also a wrestler for Iowa back in the '70's.
McDonough made a surprise drop to 125 pounds as a freshman after competing his first year (when he was redshirting) at 133 pounds. After winning the starting spot in the Iowa Hawkeye lineup, McDonough went on a tear scoring 23 dual victories, won a Midlands title, and went 11-0 on his home mat at Carver–Hawkeye Arena. McDonough did not receive his first loss and only loss on the year until the Big Ten conference finals where returning NCAA champion Angel Escobedo defeated him. McDonough then won the NCAA title over another freshman Andrew Long, of Iowa State.
McDonough returned for his sophomore season at 125 pounds and went 27-2 on the year, with one of those coming to Brandon Precin of Northwestern in a dual. McDonough later avenged the loss at the Big Ten conference tournament where McDonough won his second conference title. At the NCAA championships, McDonough finished second after losing to Anthony Robles in the finals.
McDonough also repeated as Midlands champion.
McDonough returned to the top of the 125 pound weight class as a junior when he defeated Nico Megaludis in the NCAA finals 4-1, which also was his 100th career victory in college. McDonough won his second Big Ten conference title over Zach Sanders on Minnesota. He went 36-1 and for the third straight year won a Midlands title.
McDonough ended his career in a Hawkeye singlet with a 22-5, giving him a career record of 122-9. He made his fourth Big Ten conference finals, but was unable to win his third straight title. McDonough sustained a shoulder injury which prevented him from making the top eight, which cost him his fourth All-American honors.
The injury McDonough sustained in his senior year of college prevented him from getting back on the mat initially, but when he did he debuted at 61 kilograms at the Dave Schultz tournament.
In May McDonough entered the World Team Trials at 57 kilos where he made his first attempt at making Team USA's freestyle team since college. It was the first time McDonough had been a weight that low since college (57 kg = 125.5 pounds). McDonough took 3rd in the tournament with his lone loss coming to Brandon Precin. He earned another victory over Nico Megaludis to make the national team.
The finish at the Trials allowed McDonough to challenge the University Nationals champion for their spot on the University Nationals team for a chance to compete in Hungary. McDonough won 16-10 and 15-5 in a best of three series over Nahshon Garrett (Cornell) to claim the 57 University spot.
As a member of the national team at 57 kg, McDonough traveled on a multi-week overseas trip, that included two tournaments. The first tournament that the USA wrestlers competed in was the Ivan Yarygin Memorial tournament in Russia. McDonough went 0-1 at the Yarygin tournament. The following week McDonough traveled with USA wrestlers to France for the Paris Grand Prix where he competed at 57 kg. McDonough picked up a 9-8 win in the qualifying round, and then lost his next match to be eliminated. McDonough then weighed in to compete at 61 kg in Paris which led to him earning a bronze medal.
In April, McDonough picked up a 6-2 victory over 2013 World Team member Angel Escobedo at the AGON Wrestling Championships, which moved him up the National rankings to #2 behind teammate Tony Ramos. He also served as a 61 kg alternate to the second place World Cup team in LA, but never saw any action.