Photo courtesy of the Ohio State Athletic Department
No. 4 Logan Stieber threw up his arms, victorious for 19th time this season.
After knocking off Iowa’s No. 2 Tony Ramos, 7-0, the redshirt freshman finally had a second to breathe.
He looked up to see an electric home crowd, all eyes on him.
“We haven’t beat Iowa in forever. It’s a big win for us,” Stieber said.
For the No. 7 Ohio State wrestling team, Stieber’s win was just the beginning.
OSU defeated the No. 2 Iowa Hawkeyes, 21-9, Friday night at St. John Arena.
It is their first win against Iowa since Feb. 12, 1966.
For OSU coach Tom Ryan, the win was extra special, with Iowa being his alma mater and the place where he was named an All-American twice.
“I feel great, I feel great,” Ryan said. “You know, because these guys put so much time into what they do. Six o’ clock mornings, back in the afternoon; sometimes they’re back in the evening. They got eight hours of study tables. They got so many things on their lives.”
The Buckeyes improved to 9-2 on the year and 3-2 in the Big Ten Conference.
“It shows we can fight a little bit more, at the beginning of the year some close matches weren’t going our way, you know, we weren’t fighting as well, but we had a lot of close matches tonight and we fought well,” Stieber said.
It was Iowa’s first loss in the Big Ten and only their second on the entire season, the other being a one-point defeat against No. 1 Oklahoma State.
The Hawkeyes took an early 3-0 lead after Iowa’s Matt McDonough took down OSU’s Johnni Dijulius, 5-2.
But OSU roared back with five straight wins from Stieber, his younger brother freshman Hunter Stieber, freshman Cam Tessari, redshirt freshman Josh Demas and freshman Derek Garcia.
The flurry rocketed OSU to a 15-3 lead.
For Logan Stieber, it was his second win in eight days against a top 10-ranked opponent.
One-hundred-forty-one-pound Hunter Stieber gave OSU a 6-3 lead, scoring a 4-2 decision against Iowa’s senior Montell Marion, the No. 3 wrestler in the nation.
Tessari brought the OSU lead to 9-6 after defeating Iowa’s Mike Kelly, 9-4, in the 149-pound match.
Demas followed suit scoring a takedown with 10 seconds remaining in the 157-pound match to secure a 7-3 win against Iowa’s Derek St. John.
Garcia narrowly beat Iowa’s redshirt freshman Mike Evans, 6-5. For No. 6 Evans, it was only his third loss on the season.
Garcia also claimed the Russ Hellickson Award, which is given to the most outstanding wrestler of the night.
“I think the best feeling is beating Iowa,” Garcia said. “Honestly I can guarantee everybody on the team would say the same thing.”
Iowa wouldn’t score again until the 174-pound match where sophomore Ethen Lofthouse beat OSU’s sophomore Joe Grandominico, 7-1.
Grandominico, who usually wrestles at 157-pounds, started in place of redshirt junior Nick Heflin.
Rather, Ryan started Heflin at 184-pounds in place of injured redshirt junior C.J. Magrum. Heflin defeated Iowa’s Vinnie Wagner, 7-4, despite wrestling a weight class up.
At 197-pounds, OSU’s freshman Andrew Campolattano beat Iowa’s junior Grant Gambrall giving OSU a 21-6 commanding lead against the Hawkeyes with only one match left to wrestle.
By the time Iowa’s heavyweight senior Blake Rasing beat OSU’s Peter Capone, 7-2, an OSU victory was already in hand.
The OSU crowd directed chants of “overrated” at Iowa before forming a mass near the entrance of the locker rooms to celebrate what some are calling the Buckeyes’ biggest dual win in program history.
“We’re no joke,” Garcia said. “We showed everybody right now that we are real.”