Dec. 23, 2013
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Penn State freshman Jimmy Gulibon knew it was coming. He had been grilled and drilled on it all week in practice leading up to the anticipated wrestling dual against third-ranked University of Iowa.
All 13,747 spectators in attendance in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Dec. 21 knew it was coming, too.
Hawkeye senior 133-pounder Tony Ramos has earned a reputation as a pinner, and his signature move is a cow-catcher that has floored many foes, the most recent being Gulibon. When Ramos went for the move early in the match, Gulibon reacted and successfully avoided being floored; he had no answer at the 5-minute, 22-second mark.
“He was ready for it more (early in the match),” Ramos said. “It was something they worked on and were aware of; they coached him well. They told him to watch the cradle, watch the cow-catcher. When you’re tired, you’re getting worn out and beat on, you’re going to make a mistake and slip up somewhere.”
The result was nothing new for Ramos, who is 4-0 all-time against the Nittany Lions with three consecutive falls. As a freshman he defeated Andrew Long, 3-2. As a sophomore he pinned Frank Martellotti in 4:20. Last season he pinned Jordan Conaway in 4:23.
“Third period I picked neutral because I knew he was ready to fall on his face. I was faking and faking and he fell to his knees and it just happened, it was there. You take what they give you, that’s what it is about wrestling. You don’t need to think, just do what you know what to do, and good things will happen.”
UI 133-pound wrestler
Ramos, a three-time NCAA qualifier and a two-time All-American, is ranked third in the nation with a 9-1 record. Gulibon is his seventh fall victim of the season, giving Ramos 31 career pins.
“(UI head coach) Tom (Brands), (associate head coach) Terry (Brands) and I have been talking because I haven’t been getting as many (falls) this year,” Ramos said. “They thought maybe I was looking for it too much instead of last year, wearing out guys and the openings would happen and you take them.”
Against Gulibon, Ramos built a 9-4 lead heading into the third period behind four takedowns. Gulibon had been warned for stalling twice.
“Third period I picked neutral because I knew he was ready to fall on his face,” Ramos said. “I was faking and faking and he fell to his knees and it just happened, it was there. You take what they give you, that’s what it is about wrestling. You don’t need to think, just do what you know what to do, and good things will happen.”
The win was a highlight for the Hawkeyes, who finished on the short end of a 24-12 score against No. 1 Penn State. Other Iowa winners were senior Derek St. John at 157 pounds (10-4 over James Vollrath), and junior Bobby Telford at 285 (3-2 over Jimmy Lawson).
Ramos gave Iowa a 6-3 lead in the dual, an event that had the attention of the entire wrestling community. No one needed to tell Ramos the importance of bonus points on a night like that. His pin of Conaway a year ago in Carver-Hawkeye Arena lifted the Hawkeyes to a 22-16 victory.
“I’m a leader, I’m a captain, it’s something I know I need to do myself,” Ramos said. “I know what I have to do. You want to win by as much as you can, Tom talks about domination all the time.”
Ramos is now three wins from becoming the 38th wrestler in program history to reach 100. The milestone will probably come Dec. 29-30 at the Midlands Championships in Evanston, Ill. Opponents beware, the milestone will probably also be reached via cow-catcher.
“It’s exciting because you know you did your job,” Ramos said. “They can work to defend something as much as they want, but if you overpower and put your will on them, you’ll get what you need.”