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Hawkeye wrestlers take stock

BY DANNY PAYNE | JANUARY 29, 2014 5:00 AM

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Any college-wrestling fan who watched Iowa’s wrestling dual with No. 3 Minnesota on Jan. 25 knows Derek St. John lost. The defending 157-pound NCAA champion dropped a 7-4 decision to Dylan Ness of the Gophers. Ness used his funk and rolled the Parnell native onto his back for a reversal and three near-fall points in the last 30 seconds of the match for the win.

But according to Hawkeye cocaptain Tony Ramos, a loss such as the one St. John suffered — or any loss for that matter — can help a wrestler see weaknesses and fix those chinks in the armor.

“Anytime you lose, it helps you, because you see where your weaknesses are, you can work on them,” Ramos said. “ … Yeah, it’s not fun losing, but it shows you what you need to do and what you need to work on.”

Ramos was in a situation similar earlier this season after the Midlands Championships. On Dec. 30, 2013, the Carol Stream, Ill., native was pinned by Joe Colon of Northern Iowa. Ramos has not lost since the fall.

“It happens to everyone, it happens to the best of us, but you have to learn from it and keep moving forward,” Ramos said.

As would be expected, head coach Tom Brands defended his wrestlers. While speaking about the losses his team suffered during the Minnesota dual — including St. John — he admitted he is concerned, but then added that it’s his job as a coach to have concern.

“We like our team; we wouldn’t trade them for anybody,” Brands said. “But let’s clean up that slop.”

Telford up to No. 1

After his first-ever victory over then-No. 2-ranked Tony Nelson of Minnesota, Iowa heavyweight Bobby Telford took over the top spot in InterMat’s newest poll, released Tuesday.

While the big man played down his ranking, he spoke about his upcoming two matches, which will be the toughest competition he has faced this season. With Nelson in the rear-view mirror, the Hockessin, Del., native will set his sites onto Northwestern’s Mike McMullan, followed by previously-No. 1 ranked Adam Coon of Michigan, whom Telford lost to in the Midlands final.

“That’s why you come to wrestle here, wrestle in the Big Ten, wrestle especially at Iowa,” the junior said. “It’s a strong schedule, and you can make it even stronger.”  

Iowa not on National Duals list

According to NWCA Online, the official website of the National Wrestling Coaches Association, Iowa is not on the list of teams scheduled to compete in the National Duals. The tournament, seen as very prestigious by some, is scheduled to take place Feb. 16 and 17 at Ohio State.

In last year’s edition of the tournament, held in Minneapolis, the Hawkeyes bested Cornell, 21-16, and fell to Minnesota and Missouri by scores of 22-15 and 18-6, respectively.


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