Former Iowa wrestlers place at US Open

BY CODY GOODWIN | MAY 11, 2015 5:00 AM

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Five former Iowa wrestlers competed at the U.S. Open in Las Vegas this past weekend. All five placed among the top five at their respective weight classes, and two won individual national titles in the freestyle competition — the Olympic style that closely resembles folkstyle, or college wrestling.
Brent Metcalf and Tony Ramos won titles at 65 kilos (143 pounds) and 57 kilos (125.5).

Metcalf beat former Oklahoma State standout Jordan Oliver, 2-1, in the finals for his second-straight national championship.

“Dominate is not the word — figure it out, gut it out,” Metcalf told USA Wrestling after the match. “When you are in a match where the guy is very stingy and hard to get to, he’s got a strategy. Maybe he’s banged up, so he really doesn’t want to wrestle in certain positions.

“I have to get to where I want to be. It was the same story as last year. I did a better job last year countering and taking advantage of opportunities than I did.”

Ramos used a 4-point move in the waning seconds to beat former Boise State wrestler Andrew Hochstrasser, 7-3, for his first title.

“I knew there was only 15 seconds left, and I had to score quickly,” Ramos said. “I’m going to wrestle hard the whole match, and I never stop wrestling. This is my spot. You can’t panic out there. You panic, and you can’t think, and you can’t win.”

For taking first, both Metcalf and Ramos earned automatic spots in the best-of-three finals of the 2015 U.S. Freestyle World Team Trials, which are set for June 12-14 in Madison, Wisconsin.

The three other former Hawkeye wrestlers also earned trips to the World Team Trials by virtue of placing fifth or higher at their respective weights. Daniel Dennis, an NCAA finalist in 2010, placed fourth at 61 kilos. Two-time NCAA champion Matt McDonough placed fifth at 57 kilos. Derek St. John, a 2013 NCAA champ, placed fifth at 70 kilos.

NBC Sports will replay the U.S. Senior Open on Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. (CDT).

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