Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Defending The Title: 1952: Those Who Did and Those Who Didn't Defend The Title

 George Layman of Oklahoma State, the NCAA champion at 137 lbs in 1951, repeated again as the champion at 137.  

1952 Champion 115
Hugh Peery of Pittsburgh 

The son of three time NCAA champion Rex Peery of Oklahoma State, Hugh would win his first NCAA championship here in 1952 as a sophomore. He'd go on to win two more NCAA titles to match his father as a three time NCAA champion.  His brother Ed, who we'll get to in future articles was also a three time NCAA champion.  Many believe that had it not been for the rule of freshmen ineligibility, that all three members of the Peery family would have been four time NCAA champions.  While we often hear names like Sanderson and Smith as to the best wrestling families, it's hard to argue against the Peerys.  As to Hugh himself, even before winning his first NCAA title he won a Pan-American gold medal in 1951.  Post his wrestling career he was a long time dentist in Pittsburgh. 

1952 Champion 123
Bill Borders of Oklahoma 

A three time BIG 12 champion who finished as the NCAA runner-up in 1951, Borders was a senior the year he won the NCAA title.  He would later practice as an attorney in Tulsa. 

1952 Champion 130
Gene Lybbert of Northern Iowa 

A two time Iowa high school state runner-up, add Gene Lybbert of Northern Iowa to your list of NCAA champions who never won a state title.  Finishing third as a junior at the NCAA championships in 1951, Lybbert would capture the NCAA title as a senior.  A veteran of the Korean War, Lybbert went on to coach at Blue Earth High School, where he led his team to Minnesota state titles in 1956, 1957 and 1958. 

1952 Champion 147 
Tommy Evans of Oklahoma 

A state champion out of Tulsa Rogers High School, Evans won his first NCAA title here as a sophomore. He most likely would have won another title in 1953 as a junior, but he missed the season due to a knee injury.  He'd come back strong as a senior in 1954 to win a second NCAA title.  He later coached at Oklahoma and led the Sooners to NCAA team titles in 1960 and 1963. 

1952 Champion 157
Bill Welck of Northern Iowa 

Another NCAA champion from Tilden Tech high school in Illinois, Bill Welck would win an NCAA title for the Panthers here in 1952.  He would then leave college to server in the Army, returning to Northern Iowa to pick up a second NCAA title in 1955.  Post college he made the World Greco-Roman team in 1961.  Once done as a wrestler he turned to coaching.  While he coached at San Francisco State University for a while as well as the Olympic team, the majority of his time was spent at the high school level He coached various high schools throughout both Iowa and Illinois.  Accumulatively he put together an incredible 855 victories against only 153 losses. 

1952 Champion 167
Joe Lemyre of Penn State

Lemrye was a junior when he won the NCAA title, he would finish in third place in 1953. 

1952 Champion 177 
Bentley Lyon of California 

After finishing fourth in the nation as a junior in 1951, Lyon won the NCAA title as a senior. 

1952 Champion 191
Harry Lanzi of Toledo 

Also a member of the Rocket football team, after finishing third in the nation as a junior in 1951, Lanzi won the NCAA title here as a senior. 

1952 Champion UNL 
Gene Nicks of Oklahoma State 

A two time state champion out of Ponca City, had the rule of freshman ineligibility not be reinstated by the time Nicks came to Oklahoma State he might have been a four time NCAA finalist for the Cowboys. Also a member of the football team, Nicks soon earned the nickname "90 second Nicks" as he enjoyed pinning opponents and pinning them fast.  Finishing as the NCAA champion in here in 1952, he'd settle for runner-up honors as a junior in 1953, before reclaiming his throne in 1954.  Post college, Nicks became a chemist for Conoco.  


As mentioned Layman won his second NCAA title

Borders, Lybbert, Lemyre, Lyon & Lanzi were seniors 

Peery would go on to win two more titles in 1953 & 1954, as Evans would repeat again in 1954, Welck would repeat in 1955 and Nicks would repeat in 1954. 

No comments:

Post a Comment