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

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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....



Division I Championships - Finals Update



A new NCAA champion team has been crowned, and 10 NCAA champions have been determined for the 2001 season, during the final session of the NCAA Div. I Championships at Carver Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa. The University of Minnesota became the first team in NCAA Championships history to win the team title without a single finalist. All 10 Gophers were All-Americans, the first time that any team has ever had 10 individual All-Americans. Coach J Robinson's team won the first NCAA title ever for Minnesota, and snapped the Univ. of Iowa's run of five straight titles. Five past champions were able to claim titles again: Stephen Abas of Fresno State (125), Eric Juergens of Iowa (133), T.J. Williams of Iowa (157), Donny Pritzlaff of Wisconsin (165), Cael Sanderson of Iowa State (184). Juergens and Pritzlaff were champions in 2000 while Abas and Williams were champions in 1999. Sanderson won his third straight NCAA title, and has still never lost a college match, running his consecutive streak to a record 119 in a row. Sanderson became the first wrestler in NCAA history to receive the Outstanding Wrestler award. After placing second the two previous years, Michael Lightner of Oklahoma (141) claimed his first NCAA title. Two other 2000 NCAA runners-up, Adam Tirapelle of Illinois (149) and Josh Koscheck of Edinboro (174), were also able to claim the gold medal. Other individual NCAA champions were Mark Munoz of Oklahoma State (197) and John Lockhart of Illinois (Hwt). A summary of the gold-medal finals matches follows: 125 pounds No. 1 Stephen Abas of Fresno State (33-0) vs. No. 2 Jody Strittmatter of Iowa (32-2). Abas is a junior from Hayward, Calif., while Strittmatter, a senior, hails from Ebensburg, Pa. This championship match was all Abas at the beginning, with the Bulldog from Fresno State scoring two takedowns and a two-point turn in the first period. The second period was a see saw battle of takedowns and escapes. Strittmatter fought hard in the third period to stage a come back on his feet but it was too little too late, as Abas walked away with a wild and exciting 13-10 decision. Both wrestlers showed an array of takedown skills throughout the match, and Strittmatter never let up, even though he trailed the entire bout. 133 pounds No. 1 Eric Juergens of Iowa (29-1) vs. No. 2 Johnny Thompson of Oklahoma State (32-2). Juergens is a senior from Maquoteka, Iowa, while Thompson is a freshman from Oklahoma City, Okla. The second of the Iowa's four finalists faces a great newcomer in OSU freshman Johnny Thompson. The match started out vintage Juergens style. Juergens scored often in the first period with several ankle picks attempts while controlling the tie. The secone period showed both athletes exhibiting their ability to flurry, although Juergens appeared to be the agressor through the period, eventually scoring a late period takedown while Thompson flirted with the out of bounds line throughout the match. The third period began with Juergens escaping quickly from the bottom to take a two point lead. Thompson countered a tremendous Juergens shot with some amazing defensive flexibility, but was eventually hit for a one point stalling call. Juergens continued to force the issue, scoring a late takedown, and won his second consecutive NCAA title by a score of 10-7. 141 pounds No. 1 Doug Schwab of Iowa (34-0) vs. No. 2 Michael Lightner of Oklahoma (34-0). Schwab, a senior, is from Osage, Iowa. Lightner, also a senior, is from Marlow, Okla. This much anticipated re-match of the 1999 NCAA finals began with both wrestlers testing the waters early on in the first period. Lightner struck first off of his patented high crotch, only for Schwab to escape quickly. The first period ended with Lightner and Schwab both scoring takedowns off of high crotches respectively. The second period was more of a chess match on the feet with a tremendous flurry by Schwab to fight off a sweep single attempt by Lightner. Neither wrestler could convert any attempts into takedowns. The third period began with Lightner holding a one point advantage after a Schwab escape Both exhibited an extreme will to win on their feet, trading several takedown attempts. Lightner was hit for a stall warning with 30 seconds left in the match. Lightner dropped in on a low single with six seconds remaining and was able to hold off the charging Schwab to earn his first NCAA title with a 5-4 decision. 149 pounds No. 3 Adam Tirapelle of Illinois (29-2) vs. No. 4 Dave Esposito of Lehigh (37-5). Tirapelle is a senior from Clovis, Calif. and Esposito is a senior from Matawan, N.J. This was a tactical chess match for both wrestlers. The match began with both wrestlers looking to control the tie-up by hand fighting while looking for position to score. Tirapelle was able to strike first with 36 seconds remaining in the first period off of a double leg going out of bounds to take a 2-0 lead. Esposito was able to escape early on in the second period to cut the lead to 2-1. The rest of the second period was more of the tactical hand fighting by both wrestlers. The final period began with Tirapelle escaping for a 3-1 lead. Tirapelle was hit for stalling, giving Esposito a point and a 3-2 lead. Tirapelle was able to score off of a elevated single leg with 30 seconds remaining in the match, while Esposito escaped to end the match with Tirapelle winning a 5-3 decision. 157 pounds No.1 T.J. Williams of Iowa (28-0) vs. No. 2 Bryan Snyder of Nebraska (28-1). Williams is a senior from Harvey, Ill. while Snyder is a junior from Easton, Pa. Snyder looked to slow the tempo down of this match, as Williams outstanding speed could pose a problem for Snyder. However, Snyder was himself looking for a quick double leg, nearly scoring a takedown going out of bounds with 50 seconds remaining. The first period ended scoreless at 0-0. Snyder chose down to begin the second period and escaped quickly to take the 1-0 lead. Snyder appeared to pick up the pace midway through the period looking for several takedown attempts. Snyder again nearly scored going out of bounds with a power double leg, missing by inches. The third period began with Williams reversing Snyder off of a switch to take a 2-1 lead. Williams elected to cut Snyder loose to tie the score at 2-2. Both wrestlers began to aggressively look for the opening to score the winning takedown. Neither wrestler was able to convert takedown attempts, sending the match to overtime. Snyder repeatedly attacked Williams with double leg attempts and was unable to score the winning takedown. Williams had the choice to take down in the sudden death period and was able to escape with 20 seconds remaining for the exciting 3-2 victory, giving him his second NCAA title. At 165 pounds No. 1 Donny Pritzlaff of Wisconsin (37-1) vs. No. 2 Joe Heskett of Iowa State (36-3). Pritzlaff, a senior, is from Lyndhurst, Wis. and Heskett, a junior, is from Cuyuhoga Falls, Ohio. The rematch of last year's final began with Heskett coming out firing several shots very aggressively. The first period ended scoreless, 0-0. Pritzlaff began the second period on bottom, with Pritzlaff escaping at 1:15 remaining to take the lead at 1-0. Pritzlaff looked to control the tie-up but was unable to convert at the end of the period. Heskett began the third period on bottom and escaped quickly to tie the score at 1-1, and riding time was not a factor. Both wrestlers fought for position throughout the period, with Pritzlaff nearly scoring off of a sweep single. Heskett was able to counter the single, sending the match to overtime. The extra session was more of the same from Pritzlaff, attempting several sweep single attempts. Finally, Pritzlaff was able to convert the sweep single leg into victory, scoring the winning takedown with 12 seconds remaining. Pritzlaff becomes a two time NCAA Champion. 174 pounds No. 1 Josh Koscheck of Edinboro (41-0) vs. No. 3 Maurice Worthy of Army (34-0). Koscheck is a junior from Waynesburg, Pa., while Worthy is a senior from South Toms River, N.J. NCAA runner-up Kosche
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