Nov. 29, 2012
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Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.
IOWA CITY, Iowa — When University of Iowa junior Tony Ramos takes Mediacom Mat on Saturday night at 7:37 p.m. (CT) against Iowa State, he will be out to prove a point.
Ramos puts his 5-0 record on the line when he faces highly-touted Cyclone freshman John Meeks in a 133-pound match inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Des Moines, Iowa, product is one of the most decorated wrestlers in Iowa high school history, finishing his prep career with four state titles and a 168-0 record, becoming just the sixth grappler all-time to accomplish the feat.
None of that matters to Ramos.
“It’s the same thing as when our freshmen come in here, when you hear about (Cory) Clark and (Thomas) Gilman,” he said. “The first time you grab them you have to prove a point right away. It’s no different than wrestling Clark and Gilman, they’re young and tough, and you have to make a statement right away.”
Ramos anticipates Meeks will enter his first Iowa-Iowa State dual with an aggressive mindset, especially after dropping his most recent outing to 19th-ranked Scott Festejo, 7-3, of Old Dominion on Nov. 25.
“It’s not something I am reading into, but it’s something I am getting ready for because I know he is going to get up for it, especially coming off a loss,” said Ramos. “That’s not how he wanted to go out in his debut as a starter, so he is going to be more ready to go.”
“It’s the same thing as when our freshmen come in here, when you hear about (Cory) Clark and (Thomas) Gilman. The first time you grab them you have to prove a point right away. It’s no different than wrestling Clark and Gilman, they’re young and tough, and you have to make a statement right away.”
Junior Tony Ramos on his upcoming match against Iowa State’s John Meeks
Iowa head coach Tom Brands says Ramos has “picked up right where he left off and then some” from his sophomore season when he finished third at the NCAA Championships.
“If you need an example, look at him,” said Brands. “He’s very mature, grown up and has done some good things. He (Tony) is very motivated.
“He wears his emotions on his sleeves or his predictions outside his lips. When he was recruited I remember him saying he was going to take out Zadick and everybody else in our room as well. If you can back it up, so be it, it’s even more entertaining.”
Ramos accomplished one of his goals as a sophomore in being one of the final eight wrestlers still standing on the NCAA podium, but it was two rungs too low.
“I wanted to be on top of it,” said Ramos.
It is that motivation that has pushed Ramos through summer workouts in an effort to make good on his goal.
“There’s always that extra motivation to keep you going through the summer and keep you working hard,” said Ramos. “(There is) someone that beat you and you have to get out there and work harder to avenge yourself and accomplish what you want to accomplish.
“Now that we’re back in season, you get that spark again. You’re wrestling in Carver, you’re competing for another national team title and individual title… that really motivates you even more.”
Meeks is the next wrestler in Ramos’ path.
“He has a good test with this freshman that they’re high on,” said Brands. “He has to be ready.”
Live and exclusive television coverage of the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series dual will be available on Mediacom channel MC22.