April 8, 2015
- Read the April issue of Hawk Talk Monthly
- Download your Hawk Talk Monthly iOS app
- Download your Hawk Talk Monthly android app
- Download your Iowa Hawkeye iPad and iPhone app!
- Download your Iowa Hawkeye Android app!
- Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
- 24 Hawkeyes to Watch
IOWA CITY, Iowa — It was just over a year ago Tony Ramos let it be known he was the best wrestler in the country. This week, he’s upped the ante and set his sights on the world.
Ramos, a national champion at the University of Iowa in 2014, competes Saturday and Sunday in Los Angeles when the United States hosts the top countries in the world at the 2015 Freestyle World Cup, a team dual meet tournament featuring teams from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cuba, Iran, Mongolia, Russia, Turkey, and the U.S.
The U.S. team features 2012 Olympic champions Jordan Burroughs and Jake Varner, and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Coleman Scott.
Ramos is one of three former Hawkeyes on the 16-man roster. Brent Metcalf and Matt McDonough are the others.
“It’s exciting,” said Ramos, “It means you’re among the best in the world, and if you’re the guy wrestling, it means you’re number one in America.”
Ramos is the United States’ top wrestler at 57 kg by virtue of winning the 2014 World Team Trials last May. He was 5-0 against the U.S. field at the trials, but was bounced in the opening round of the World Championships in Uzbekistan four months later.
He has since won gold at the Canada Cup, but this is his first World Cup competition, an event regarded as one of the most important tournaments behind the Olympic Games and World Championships.
The United States is in a four-team pool that includes Cuba, Mongolia and Russia. After pool competition each team will wrestle its equal placer from the other pool to determine final team placing, including the 2015 World Cup Champion.
“It’s exciting. It means you’re among the best in the world, and if you’re the guy wrestling, it means you’re number one in America.”
Tony Ramos, United States World Team
A clean sweep of your weight class in each of the four duals equates to a gold medal.
“There is a World Cup title on the line,” said Ramos. “If you go undefeated you win World Cup gold, so that’s at stake, and also just moving up the world rankings and making a name for yourself.”
Ramos, ranked No. 19 in the UWW World Freestyle Rankings, is one of seven members of the 2014 U.S. World Team in the eight-man lineup. Each weight class lists two competitors — Andrew Hochstrasser is also listed at 57 kg — but U.S. head coach Bruce Bennett expects the No. 1 wrestler to wrestle all four matches, and so does Ramos.
“I’m expecting to wrestle all of them,” said Ramos.
“I’ve been doing a good job of getting my body in peak shape and ready to wrestle high level competition.”
The United States opens competition Saturday against Cuba and Russia, and closes pool play Sunday morning against Mongolia. The United States will face its equal from Pool B on Sunday afternoon. Visit themat.com for more information.