University of Iowa senior Tony Ramos won the 133-pound 2014 NCAA Wrestling championship Saturday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Ramos scored two nearfall points in the first tiebreak to defeat Wisconsin’s fifth-seeded Tyler Graff, 3-1. Ramos, the No. 3 seed and returning NCAA runner-up, wrestled his way into the championship finals with late heroics, and the final match of his collegiate career was no different.
After a scoreless first period, Ramos and Graff exchanged escapes in the second and third periods to send the match to overtime tied, 1-1.
Neither man scored in the first sudden-victory period, and Ramos was unable to get out from bottom in the first tiebreak, meaning he had to extend the match by staying on top of Graff for 30 seconds, or find a way to expose Graff’s shoulders to the mat. He chose the latter.
“I knew he liked to roll,” said Ramos. “As soon as he hit that roll, I was just finding some way to score. I caught that arm and thought if I just fall back a little bit… I’m just glad I got it.”
Wisconsin challenged the official’s call, but video review confirmed the back-points and Ramos rushed into the stands to embrace his family.
“It’s awesome. I’m excited. I can’t wait to get out of here, take that drug test, celebrate with my family, get my bracket, go home and put it on the wall,” said Ramos, who became the 53rd Hawkeye in school history to win the NCAA title.
“He put together five matches in the ‘W’ column,” said UI head coach Tom Brands. “The match was similar where you have to ride to win. The way this one went was overtime, the Big Ten final with Graff was ride him out in the third period. We ride him, we get the nearfall, and we held him.”
Ramos defeated Graff in the Big Ten finals on March 9. His national title marks the 61st time in program history a wrestler has won both championships in the same season. He finished his career with three All-America honors, one NCAA title, one Big Ten title, and 120 career wins — the 19th highest total in program history.
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Iowa finished fourth in the team race with 78.5 points. Penn State won its four straight NCAA title with 109.5 points. Minnesota (104) and Oklahoma State (96.5) finished second and third, respectively.
Iowa closes the 2013-14 season with a shared Big Ten dual title, one Big Ten champion, six All-Americans and one national champion.
Cory Clark, Derek St. John, Mike Evans, Nathan Burak, and Bobby Telford will be among the 80 Division I wrestlers honored at the NCAA Parade of All-Americans on Saturday before the national finals.
St. John placed fifth at 157 pounds to earn All-America honors for the fourth straight year. A senior from Parnell, Iowa, St. John is just the 18th four-time All-American in program history. He finished his career with one NCAA title, one Big Ten title, and 106 career wins, but said it’s too early to process what he has done the last four years.
“I came (to this tournament) for a purpose, and placing the lowest you’ve placed in four years kind of stings,” said St. John, who finished fourth as a freshman, second as a sophomore, and first as a junior. “There’s been a lot of big matches, and a lot of accomplishments, but you have to come ready to go and you need to be ready to go every match. It’s a get what you deserve kind of thing I guess.”
Evans and Telford both earned All-America honors for the second time.
Evans placed sixth for the second straight year. He finished the season with a career-best 28 wins and a team-high six technical falls. Telford rebounded from an injury at the 2013 tournament to place fourth at 285 pounds this year. He previously placed fifth as a freshman in 2012.
Clark and Burak each climbed to the All-America stand for the first time in their careers. Clark went 5-2 in his first appearance at the national tournament and placed fifth at 125.
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“I’ve always set high goals. This year’s was winning a national championship and it didn’t happen,” said Clark, who is the fourth Hawkeye freshman in five years to earn All-America honors. “It’s hard not to reach those goals, but the experience will definitely help going into next year.”
Burak was stopped short of the All-America stand as a freshman in the round of 12 last season, but he knocked through that door in 2014 and finished in eighth place at 197.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS (#indicated tournament seed)
174 – #1 Chris Perry (Oklahoma State) dec. #2 Andrew Howe (Oklahoma), 4-0
184 – #2 Ed Ruth (Penn State) dec. #1 Jimmy Sheptock (Maryland), 7-2
197 – #2 J’Den Cox (Missouri) dec. #1 Nick Heflin (Ohio State), 2-1
285 – #2 Nick Gwiazdowski (N.C. State) dec. #1 Tony Nelson (Minnesota), 4-2
125 – #1 Jesse Delgado (Illinois) dec. #2 Nahshon Garrett (Cornell), 3-2
133 – #3 Tony Ramos (IOWA) dec. #5 Tyler Graff (Wisconsin), 3-1 (TB1)
141 – #2 Logan Stieber (Ohio State) major dec. #4 Devin Carter (Virginia Tech), 10-1
149 – #2 Jason Tsirtsis (Northwestern) dec. #11 Josh Kindig (Oklahoma State), 3-1 (SV1)
157 – #3 Alex Dieringer (Oklahoma State) major dec. #9 Dylan Ness (Minnesota), 13-4
165 – #1 David Taylor (Penn State) dec. #2 Tyler Caldwell (Oklahoma State), 6-0
FINAL NCAA TEAM STANDINGS (top 10 teams)
1. Penn State 109.5
2. Minnesota 104
3. Oklahoma St.96.5
4. IOWA 78.5
5. Edinboro 62
6. Ohio State 57
7. Cornell 53
8. Virginia Tech 49
9. Northwestern 46
10. Oklahoma 45