Monday, September 20, 2021

Defending The Title: 2014: Those Who Did and Those Who Did Not Defend the Title

Illinois' Jesse Delgado, Penn State's David Taylor and Oklahoma State's Chris Perry all win title #2. 

Ed Ruth of Penn State wins title #3 and Logan Stieber of Ohio State wins title #3 of 4. 

2014 Champion 133
Tony Ramos of Iowa 

A three time Illinois state champion for Glenbard North, Tony Ramos found himself fighting for a spot in the Hawkeye lineup which he eventually won in January of his freshman year. That season he finished one match shy of All American status.  As a sophomore in 2012, he finished in 3rd place at the NCAA championships. As a junior in 2013 he gave eventual four time NCAA champion Logan Stieber of Ohio State a scare, but ended up losing out to the Buckeye finishing in 2nd place.  The NCAA title would not allude Ramos in his final season as a Hawkeye, being crowned champion in 2014.  Post college he won World Cup Silver in both 2015 and 2017.  Coaching at Iowa for a spell, he is now the top assistant at North Carolina. 

2014 Champion 149
Jason Tsirtsis of Northwestern 

One of the best wrestlers to ever come out of the state of Indiana, Jason Tsirtsis came to Northwestern after winning four state titles for Crowne Point High School.  Competing for the Wildcats, Tsirtsis won the NCAA title in his freshman season of 2014. Having another strong showing in 2015, he finished 3rd in the nation.  A series of unfortunate events would unfold during his career, which lead to not placing at the 2016 NCAA tournament. He then took the 2017 season off.  This story does have a happy ending though. Tsirtsis transferred to Arizona State where in his final season of 2018 he won a PAC-12 title and finished 7th at the NCAA championships.  Brother Alex was an All American at Iowa. 

2014 Champion 157 
Alex Dieringer of Oklahoma State 

There have been other great wrestlers from the Badger State, but let me give you a step by step analysis of why I think Alex Dieringer of Oklahoma State takes the honors as being the best wrestler the state ever produced.  After winning two state titles for Port Washington High School, about the only opponent that Dieringer couldn't figure out during his collegiate career was Derek St John of Iowa.  Finishing 3rd in 2013 as a freshman, he'd only lose one more match & that was it. He completely dominated his way to three NCAA titles in 2014, 2015 and 2016.  He went 133-4 altogether, capturing Pan American Bronze in 2020. 

2014 Champion 197 
J'Den Cox of Missouri 

Wrestling for nearby Hickman High School, J'Den Cox brought four state titles and 205 victories with him as he entered the University of Missouri. He won the NCAA title as a freshman in 2014, adding two more titles in his junior and senior seasons of 2016 and 2017.  He finished 5th in the nation as a junior in 2015.  During college he won an Olympic Bronze Medal in 2016, and has since added a Pan-American Gold, along with two World Golds and a Bronze.  Brother Drae wrestled and coached at Lindenwood. 

2014 Champion HWT
Nick Gwiazdowski of North Carolina State 

A two time New York State champion for Duanesburg high school, in 50 matches, he either pinned or teched  every opponent that stepped on the mat with him during his senior season.  Continuing his success at the collegiate level, he competed his true freshman year at Binghamton securing 8th place All American honors for the Bearcats in 2012. For the record, he is the last CAA (Colonial Athletic Association) champion to have also won an NCAA title during his career.  Taking a redshirt, he then transferred to North Carolina State where he won three ACC titles.  As a redshirt sophomore in 2014 he won his first NCAA title, adding a second in 2015 as a junior.  As a senior in 2016, he finished as the NCAA runner-up.    Post college he has won three Pan-American Golds, along with two World bronzes. 


Delgado, Stieber, Taylor, Perry, Ruth already mentioned 

Dieringer repeated in 2015 and 2016

Cox did not repeat in 2015, but did in 2016 and 2017 

Giwazdowski repeated in 2015 but not in 2016 

Tsirtsis did not repeat 

Ramos was a senior 

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