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Top News Stories... moving to USOC website platform with new look and functionality

This week, will move to the USOC platform, with a new look, new functionality, but with the same favorite features....

Terry Shockley named Chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame

Shockley will succeed long-time chairman Jim Keen. Sr. as Chairman of the Board....

Iowa's Tony Ramos determined to finish career with NCAA title

The Hawkeye senior will battle Virginia Tech's Devin Carter in the NWCA All-Star Classic on Saturday....

NCAA announces finalist cities for its championships for 2014-18, including wrestling at all levels

Cleveland, Kansas City, Louisville, New York City, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia & St. Louis are Div. I finalists. Div. II and III finalists also announced....

BIG TEN FEATURE - Donny Pritzlaff of Wisconsin enjoys defending his turf

Donny Pritzlaff is the big man on campus for Wisconsin's wrestling team, the defending NCAA Champion looking for another title. The first step towards achieving that goal is winning the Big Ten Conference and retaining the No. 1 seed at 165 pounds at the NCAA Championships in Iowa City in two weeks. "I like it," said Pritzlaff about being a national champion always defending his turf. "I welcome a good fight. The guys have been giving me their best shot all year. I enjoy when people rise to the occasion. Being the top guy, people are gunning for me. You have to enjoy that if you are going to be successful." Pritzlaff had little challenge holding his ground in the first session at the Big Tens, winning a pair of dominant bouts and moving into the semifinals. He knows all about what it takes to be a champion. "I have studied a lot of film, and have listened to (coach) Barry Davis," said Pritzlaff. "I've been looking ahead to this all year long. I think I'm ready. I wrestle better when I'm prepared. But you can't take anybody lightly. You have to wrestle each match tough." Pritzlaff opened the tournament with a fall over Ryan Kane of Northwestern at 165 pounds. From the top position, after scoring a number of takedowns, Pritzlaff snapped Kane back and settled with power for the pin at 3:39. He was taking care of business, as all returning champions must do. In the second round, Pritzlaff dominated No. 8 Kirk Moore of Purdue, 17-5. He was unable to secure the technical fall or pin, which was his goal in the third period, but he controlled every aspect of the match. "Things are going well," said Pritzlaff. "We trained hard, but tapered a little bit this week. I'm having fun. That is my focus this year, getting enjoyment out of wrestling. Earlier in the year, I'm not sure I was as loose as I should have been." Pritzlaff knows it will be no easy chore defending his NCAA title. Although he has recently beaten Iowa State star Joe Heskett, who is toiling at the Big 12 meet in another gym this weekend, Pritzlaff knows how good Heskett can be. In addition, there are guys in this tournament who could trip him up if he is not at his best. Although he is a senior, Pritzlaff has a ton of wrestling in him. He is already considered a major prospect for the United States in freestyle wrestling. After a strong prep career in New Jersey, Pritzlaff went to Wisconsin with high goals. His cousin Glenn was a NCAA champion at Penn State, and now he has an NCAA title of his own. Both are also talented international wrestlers. Donny also owns a Junior World gold medal, winning a freestyle title for the United States against the best 20-year-olds in the world back in 1998. "I'm going to do freestyle," said Pritzlaff. "I will stay in Madison next year to finish my degree, and hopefully help coach with the program. I'd love to keep training there. I love the coaching staff and I love the city, the entire thing." As long as Donny Pritzlaff can continue to enjoy wrestling, he should be a factor in the sport for a long time.
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