Ramos, St. John 1 Win From Gold

March 22, 2013

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DES MOINES, Iowa — University of Iowa wrestlers Tony Ramos and Derek St. John advanced to the finals of the NCAA Championships following overtime victories in tonight’s semifinal round. Ramos scored a takedown in the second sudden victory period and St. John used an escape in the second tiebreak to advance to tomorrow night’s NCAA finals.

The Hawkeyes also have two wrestlers alive in the wrestle-backs. Mike Evans and Ethen Lofthouse will compete in the consolation semifinals tomorrow morning.

Iowa sits in fourth place in the team race with 68 points. Penn State leads the pack with 114.5. Oklahoma State (94) and Minnesota (86) round out the top three, while Cornell trails Iowa with 51 points.

“Every point and every takedown has been very hard for us,” said head coach Tom Brands. “You can see the strategy from teams wanting to keep it close and go long. That’s not a knock on them, it just means we have to do a better job of scoring points. As coaches it’s our job to communicate that, and as competitors you have to go quick and finish.”

Ramos punched his ticket to the finals with a 6-4 win in the second sudden victory period over Wisconsin’s Tyler Graff. Graff swung first with a takedown midway through the first, but Ramos’ escape made it a 2-1 match after one period. Graff chose down in the second and scored a reversal to extend his lead to 4-1, but Ramos tallied another escape and trailed 4-2 heading into the third. Ramos opened the third period with an escape and eventually tied the match, 4-4, when Graff was called for stalling.

The wrestlers scored no points through the first overtime, and Ramos scored the winning takedown 38 seconds into the second sudden victory period to earn the win.

“I felt him wearing down after the first period and he wanted to come out and get a takedown,” said Ramos. “That’s what he wanted, and I was going to run, run, run. I’ve got tough guys that I work with that are hard to get to, so I thank them for helping me out there, working for a score, pushing that.

“I knew I had to go and I got the takedown. The pressure was on him. I knew I might get hit again (with stalling), so I was ready for him to come and I had to get my takedown.”

Ramos advances to the finals for the first time in his career. He’ll face Ohio State’s top-seeded Logan Stieber.

St. John advanced to the finals for the second straight year following a 3-2 win over Oklahoma State’s Alex Dieringer. He traded escapes with Dieringer through regulation and the first overtime before eventually creating a riding time advantage and forcing Dieringer to cut him in the final tiebreak.

“It kind of felt like I was chasing a lot of the match,” said St. John. “He was backing up quite a bit. Just kept trying to stalk in and stalk in. I fought off a couple of shots, got in deep a couple of times, and he snaked out. I never really finished a takedown to win that match. I needed to get a takedown to get an exclamation point on that match instead of going to the final overtime.”

St. John will face Northwestern’s top-seed Jason Welch in the 157-pound finals. He is undefeated in five career meetings against the Wildcat senior.

Evans secured his first career trip to the All-American stand with an 8-0 major decision in the round of 12. He later beat Ohio’s Cody Walters, 5-2, to advance to the consolation semifinals.

Lofthouse secured All-America honors for the second straight year with consecutive wins over the No. 10 and No. 11 seeds. He used riding time advantage to win a 3-2 overtime decision over Boise State’s Jacob Swartz, and a third-period takedown to blank Missouri’s Mike Larson, 3-0.

Matt McDonough (125), Mark Ballweg (141) and Nathan Burak (197) all lost in the round of 12, one step shy of All-America honors.

McDonough ends his storied Hawkeye career with 122 career wins and a pair of national titles.

Session V of the NCAA Championships begins Saturday at 10 a.m. ESPNU will televise the All-American round. The finals will be televised on ESPN beginning at 7 p.m. Fans can listen to the championships online via Hawkeye All-Access or on the radio at AM-800 KXIC. Steven Grace and Mark Ironside will call the action live from Wells Fargo Arena.

Team Points
1. Penn State 114.5
2. Oklahoma State 94
3. Minnesota 86
4. IOWA 68
5. Cornell 51

IOWA’S SEMIFINAL RESULTS (# indicates tournament seed)
133 – #2 Tony Ramos (IOWA) dec. #3 Tyler Graff (WISC), 6-4 (SV-2)
157 – #2 Derek St. John (IOWA) dec. #6 Alex Dieringer (OKST), 3-2 (TB-2)

IOWA’S CHAMPIONSHIP MATCHUPS (# indicates tournament seed)
133 – #2 Tony Ramos (IOWA) vs. #1 Logan Stieber (OSU)
157 – #2 Derek St. John (IOWA) vs. #1 Jason Welch (NW)

IOWA’S CONSOLATION ROUND RESULTS (# indicates tournament seed)
125 – #9 Trent Sprenkle (NDSU) dec. #3 Matt McDonough (IOWA), 3-1 (SV-1)
141 – # 11 Michael Nevinger (Cornell) dec. #7 Mark Ballweg (IOWA), 12-8
174 – #3 Mike Evans (IOWA) major dec. Todd Porter (MIZZ), 8-0 (1:00 RT)
174 – #3 Mike Evans (IOWA) dec. Cody Walters (Ohio), 5-2 (1:40 RT)
184 – #12 Ethen Lofthouse (IOWA) def. #10 Jacob Swartz (Boise St.), 3-2 (TB-2)
184 – #12 Ethen Lofthouse (IOWA) dec. #11 Mike Larson (MIZZ), 3-0 (3:38 RT)
197 – #4 Alfonso Hernandez (WYO) dec. Nathan Burak (IOWA), 6-3

IOWA’S CONSOLATION MATCHUPS (# indicates tournament seed)
174 – #3 Mike Evans (IOWA) vs. #4 Robert Kokesh (NEB)
184 – #12 Ethen Lofthouse (IOWA) vs. #2 Ben Bennett (CMU)