Ramos, St. John to compete this weekend

BY DI STAFF | NOVEMBER 01, 2013 5:00 AM

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It’s been four years since an Iowa wrestler has been invited to grapple in the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star Classic. NCAA runner-up Daniel Dennis won a 9-8 decision in 2009 over Maryland’s Steve Bell.

But that will change on Saturday, when Tony Ramos and Derek St. John represent Iowa at the preseason exhibition, scheduled for Nov. 2 at 6 p.m. (CDT). The dual will take place on the campus of George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

Ramos, the preseason’s No. 1 wrestler at 133 pounds, will bump up a weight class to wrestle Virginia Tech’s Devin Carter, who’s ranked third at 141 pounds.

St. John, the defending national champion at 157 pounds and preseason No. 1 at that weight, will wrestle Boston’s Nestor Talfur. Talfur is 11th in the preseason rankings.

The dual’s highlight bout will be a 149-pound matchup between Ohio State’s Logan Stieber and Oklahoma’s Kendric Maple. Stieber went 27-0 last season en route to a 133-pound national championship — he topped Ramos, 7-4, in the championship match. Maple went 31-0 last season on his way to the 141-pound national title.

Iowa wrestlers have made 54 appearances in the event’s 48-year history. Iowa wrestling coach Tom Brands said he likes the all-star meet idea and said the out-of-weight matches are what will bring the exhibition attention.

“It could be an opportunity to save Boston wrestling,” Brands said in a release. “That’s how we’re going to look at it. It puts it in the news, and it creates some positive national attention."

— by Cody Goodwin

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