Jan. 8, 2014
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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.
By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — In a career decorated with electrifying falls against Penn State’s Jordan Conaway, Minnesota’s Chris Dardanes, four in the NCAA Championships, and most recently Penn State’s Jimmy Gulibon, University of Iowa 133-pound wrestler Tony Ramos might be remembered most for a single takedown.
Ramos, a senior, has decked 32 foes during his four-year, 103-win reign of terrorizing lightweights from coast-to-coast. He is 30-0 on Mediacom Mat inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
And on Friday, he will be an underdog versus No. 1 Jon Morrison of Oklahoma State.
Ranked anywhere from third to fifth in the latest polls, Ramos will once again compete against a top-ranked competitor from Oklahoma State. That in itself is a good omen for Ramos and a kiss of death for the Cowboys.
“Rankings are pretty stupid but a lot of it is because no one knows how to rank 133 because of the crazy stuff that has happened,” Ramos said. “Rankings aren’t going to matter; they can have them wherever they want. It will figure itself out.”
“Rankings are pretty stupid but a lot of it is because no one knows how to rank 133 because of the crazy stuff that has happened. Rankings aren’t going to matter; they can have them wherever they want. It will figure itself out.”
UI 133-pound wrestler
The last time Ramos was not favored against a No. 1 ranked 133-pounder from Oklahoma State was Jan. 7, 2012 when he tangled with undefeated and defending national champion Jordan Oliver. Oliver was invincible at the time, winning all 10 of his matches that season by fall. The Cowboy junior had won 39 consecutive bouts and only two of his opponents made it past the opening three minutes.
After a scoreless first, the wrestlers traded escapes in the second and third periods. Ramos then scored a takedown with 22 seconds left in the third to grab a 3-1 lead, but Oliver wiggled free with six seconds on the clock and used a riding-time point to force overtime. After a scoreless sudden victory period, Oliver was tagged for a caution point in the first tiebreak period and Ramos secured the win with a 30-second ride.
The result stole the roar from the Cowboys’ 17-16 (criteria) team decision, ending Iowa’s 84-match unbeaten streak.
“It was exciting, a fun match,” Ramos said. “This is a little bit different. (Morrison) is someone I have grown up wrestling and we don’t like each other too much.”
The Ramos-Morrison rivalry has its roots on mats in the Land of Lincoln. Morrison is from Orland Park, Ill. (Carl Sandburg High School) and Ramos is from Carol Stream, Ill. (Glenbard North). They have gone head-to-head for a decade and Ramos has had his hand raised in all but two of those bouts.
Morrison is 83-26 in his college career, 14-0 this season with four wins against ranked opponents. Something void from the three-time NCAA qualifier’s resume is a victory against a Hawkeye. He is 0-2 against Matt McDonough and last season was 0-2 against Ramos — losing 3-2 in the dual at Stillwater, Okla., and 6-1 in the NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.
“I am more aware of what he does because we have wrestled so many times,” Ramos said.
While Morrison has gone 14 matches this season without a blemish, Ramos has 15 wins with losses to Edinboro’s A.J. Schopp (3-2) and Northern Iowa’s Joe Colon (fall). Those setbacks have done nothing to shake Ramos’s poise. He is still the same Hawkeye who placed third in the nation in 2012 and runner-up in 2013.
“Confidence doesn’t change, I think I can beat everyone,” Ramos said.
Friday’s dual is scheduled to begin at 7:07 p.m. (CT). Oklahoma State leads the series 27-18-2, including an 18-12 win last season.