Lantern file photo
Logan Stieber has won at just about every level he’s ever wrestled.
That trend continued Sunday as the Ohio State redshirt freshman captured the 2012 Big Ten Championship at 133 pounds.
Stieber, who began the tournament as the No. 1 seed in his weight class, defeated Iowa’s redshirt sophomore Tony Ramos, 5-2.
“It was awesome. It just shows the hard work I’ve put in and the hard work all my coaches have put in to help me,” Stieber said. “They’ve helped me so much, it’s been amazing. I can’t thank them enough.”
Although he gave up an early takedown to Ramos, the No. 2 seed in the tournament, Stieber answered with a takedown of his own and two escapes that gave him a 4-2 lead throughout much of the match before an extra point for riding time was added at the end of the contest.
Stieber said his defense was better than it had been throughout the season, “even though (Ramos) scored right away.”
“I don’t think he got too many shots after that first takedown,” he said.
And even when Ramos took the lead early, Stieber said he “really didn’t react to it because (he) got away from (the takedown) so fast.”
“It wasn’t like too big of a deal, because it was still early in the match and I had to score a takedown to win anyways,” he said. “I knew I could score when I absolutely need to.”
For Stieber, who now has won 28 matches this season, a team high, the win wasn’t just about him.
Rather, he said it was for his team, his family and his coaches.
Despite such success so early in his wrestling career, Stieber has seemingly kept a level head throughout it all.
“It’s not like I won Big Tens and I’m the best wrestler in the wrestling room,” he said. “It’s not like I’m going untouched. It’s a group effort that’s helped me.”
Stieber said he gets beat up in practice every day, although it’s not without a fight.
“I wrestle real hard in practice everyday,” he said. “I don’t like giving up takedowns in practice, I don’t like losing in practice.”
It’s that attitude in practice that Stieber said helps him compete the way he does in actual live situations against competition.
A Big Ten Championship isn’t the end of the road, though, Stieber said.
“There’s lots of events. I want to win more Big Ten titles, I want to win Nationals. I want to make the Olympics,” he said. “My coaches and family keep me always motivated.”
At least for now, Stieber will have a chance to make one of those dreams a reality March 15-17 at the NCAA Division I Championships in St. Louis, Mo.
Including Stieber, the Buckeyes qualified seven wrestlers for nationals, though the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee will announce remaining at-large qualifiers Wednesday.