Dennis, Ramos Meet for Rio Berth

April 10, 2016

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Daniel Dennis and Tony Ramos rose to the top of their bracket to force a 57 kg Hawkeye Wrestling Club final showdown at the 2016 United States Olympic Wrestling Team Trials. The former Hawkeyes All-Americans will battle in a best-of-three bout format Sunday at 6 p.m. (CT) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The winner will earn a roster spot on Team USA at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“We both did our job on getting to the finals,” Dennis said. “I think that is what people are looking at this weekend and are probably excited to watch this matchup. I don’t want to say it’s historical, but for people who are looking forward to this match and to this weight class this is one of the bigger matchups they want to see.”


Dennis, the No. 3 seed, advanced to the finals with a 9-2 decision over Alan Waters of the Missouri Wrestling Foundation in the quarterfinal round.

He advanced to the finals with a 6-2 come-from-behind decision in his semifinal bout against Tyler Graff of the New York Athletic Club. Dennis trailed 2-0 before scoring six consecutive points with a takedown and two straight gut-wrenches for the victory.

“I got a pretty good gut and it’s four points if you can pin them twice,” Dennis said. “As soon as they get on top if I can lock up the gut, I feel good about synching up. That was the only chance I had on top.

“I wish I would have given myself more opportunities to get on top, but you take what you can get and capitalize on what position you’re in at the moment. I was up on top, locked it up tight as hell, and I got points out of it.”

Ramos, the top seed at 57 kg, advanced to the finals with two wins by criteria. He battled it out with Nahshon Garrett of the Cornell/Titan Mercury Wrestling Club, tying 3-3 in the quarterfinal round. Ramos trailed 3-0 after the first period, but scored a takedown and was awarded a point for passivity in the second. He earned the criteria advantage by being the final wrestler to score.

“He hit me with that double, and he tried to hit it a few more times,” Ramos said. “He kind of warmed me up for that Coleman match. He got a few doubles, but never finished and I got off him. He got the caution and he got the shot clock and push out.

“To be honest I thought he was on the shot clock for the first period. I thought they hit him twice, but it was only once. I know I can get to my offense when I need to score. That is another thing, all you guys say I can’t score when I need to score. And when it comes time to score, who’s the one scoring? Who’s winning matches?”

He advanced to the semifinal bout against Colman Scott of Sunkist Kids, where he again was awarded for being the aggressor, recording two two-point moves to Scott’s one for the 4-4 final win by criteria.

“It’s awesome, it’s just like being back home,” Ramos said. “I have had a lot of big wins in Carver-Hawkeye Arena and that was another big one.

“I told Coleman after the match, `hey, great match. If you’re done with your career you’ve had a great one.’ He told me, `It’s up to you now, go up there and win.'”

The Sunday night finals of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials will be tape-delayed on NBC Sports beginning at 9:30 p.m. Carver-Hawkeye Arena doors open to spectators for the night session at 5 p.m. Competition begins at 6 p.m.

57 KG — Tony Ramos (TMWC/HWC) win by criteria Nahshon Garrett (TMWC), 3-3
57 KG — Tony Ramos (TMWC/HWC) win by criteria vs. Coleman Scott (Sunkist), 4-4
57 KG — Daniel Dennis (TMWC/HWC) dec. vs. Alan Waters (MWF), 9-2
57 KG — Daniel Dennis (TMWC/HWC) dec. Tyler Graff (NYAC/RWC)), 6-2
Attendance: 11, 171

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