Welcome to Day 4 of WIN Magazine’s countdown to the 2023 Final...
Seniors say Goodbye, Iowa tops Michigan, 26-6
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Seniors Tony Ramos and Derek St. John exited Mediacom Mat as winners for the final time Sunday afternoon, leading No. 3 Iowa to a 26-6 win over No. 11 Michigan inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
St. John, ranked No. 2 at 157, scored a takedown in the final period to defeat No. 14 Brian Murphy, 3-1, and Ramos scored takedowns in each period to defeat No. 19 Rossi Bruno, 6-1.
St. John finished his career with a 31-1 mark inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena, and Ramos had his hand raised for the 34th time in 34 career matches on his home turf.
Ramos said getting the win today was exciting, but also a bit of a relief.
“It’s not something I was trying to think about all week long, but people keep asking about it,” said Ramos, who is ranked No. 3 at 133. “To me I was trying not to make it a big thing, but it is a big thing. The last person to (go undefeated at home) four years was Tom (Brands), and three years was (Brent) Metcalf. Those are big shoes to fill and that’s a good class of people to be in.”
Brands was undefeated at Carver-Hawkeye Arena from 1989-92. He credits Ramos for showing up to win every time and giving the fans something to look forward to.
“There is something special about Carver-Hawkeye Arena, and there is something special about our fans, and there is something special about how they reward their guys,” said Brands. “It’s their team and they feel a lot of ownership with that. Especially when you’re doing the job, and the way Ramos competes, he’s been able to do the job.”
Eight Hawkeyes got the job done against Wolverines (10-4, 6-2), who entered the dual one-half match ahead of Iowa in the conference standings. Seven Hawkeyes won by decision, Mike Evans won by tech. fall, and the Hawkeyes owned a 17-3 advantage in takedowns.
Evans used three takedowns and eight nearfall points to defeat Collin Zeerip, 16-0, at 174. It was his team-best sixth technical fall of the year, and it was among a string of six consecutive wins for Iowa.
No. 12 Brody Grothus started Iowa’s stretch with a 17-14 win against No. 7 Eric Grajales at 149. Grothus trailed 9-5 after one period, but used a reversal and two nearfall to tie the match, 9-9, in the second. After two more nearfall points, an exchange of reversals, and a late takedown, the match was sent to overtime tied, 14-14. In the first tiebreak, Grothus used two back points and an escape to earn his fourth win over a top 10 opponent.
“Coach always says, `score a lot of points,'” said Grothus. “I did a lot of good things, but I also did a lot of bad things. You take away the positive, and I found a way to win… scoring a lot of points. I think that’s what makes wrestling exciting.”
St. John followed Grothus with a win at 157 to give Iowa a 12-3 lead at intermission.
No. 4 Nick Moore then defeated No. 6 Dan Yates, 8-2, to earn his second straight win over a top 10 opponent. Evan’s tech. fall at 174 extended Iowa’s lead to 20-3. Sammy Brooks earned his third win over a ranked opponent with a 9-4 decision over No. 16 Domenic Abounader at 184, and Nathan Burak extended Iowa’s lead to 26-3 with a 4-1 win at 197.
The dual opened at 125, where Cory Clark recorded a 4-1 win over No. 19 Conor Youtsey.
Iowa was three points shy of sweeping 10 bouts.
Michigan’s No. 13 Steve Dutton used a third period takedown to defeat No. 9 Josh Dziewa at 141, and — after the second tiebreak period — No. 2 Adam Coon used a six-second advantage in riding time to defeat No. 3 Bobby Telford at 285.
The Hawkeyes improved to 13-2 overall, 6-1 in the conference. With a win Feb. 23 at No. 15 Wisconsin, Iowa has a chance to share the Big Ten regular season title with Minnesota and Penn State.