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Photo: Heavy tire lifting can be an effective overall-body exercise for wrestlers....
By Rob Sherrill
When it comes to the NCAA tournament, wrestlers with Pennsylvania roots tend to dominate. Normally, over 60 Keystone State wrestlers qualify for the tournament, which means that approximately one in five of the wrestlers fans watched last weekend at the Chesapeake Energy Center in Oklahoma City is a Pennsylvania native.
And Pennsylvania spread-eagled the field once again this season, claiming 18 All-Americans, or just under one fourth the total of 80.
No other state reached double digits. Ohio was second with nine All-Americans. Iowa (six) was third and Minnesota (five) was fourth.
Two states, California and Illinois, each had four. In all, 23 different states produced an All-American.
Despite its 18 All-Americans, however, Pennsylvania’s haul represented more quantity than quality. Only three of the 18 — Josh Kindig (149) of Oklahoma State, Ed Ruth (184) of Penn State and Jimmy Sheptock (184) of Maryland — advanced to the finals. Ruth earned his third title, while Kindig and Sheptock went down to defeat.
Thirteen of the 18 finished fourth, fifth, sixth or seventh.
Ohio, the only state to crown multiple champions — three-time champion Logan Stieber (141) of Ohio State and two-time champion David Taylor (165) of Penn State — also led all states with three finalists.
Ramos snaps Illinois drought
When Tony Ramos of Iowa won the 133-pound title, he became the first native Illinoisan to win an NCAA title in 11 years. The last to accomplish the feat: Matt Lackey of Illinois in 2003. Ramos, a graduate of Carol Stream Glenbard North, also became the first Chicago-area wrestler to win a title since 2001, and the first graduate of a Chicago-area public school to do so since 1996.