Cedar Rapids, Iowa News, Sports, and Weather
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- Tony Ramos has waited for this opportunity.
Everything fell into place this time, so he took advantage of the chance.
The University of Iowa senior will compete in the 48th Annual National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star Classic, wrestling Virginia Tech's Devin Carter in the 141-pound match of the dual. The event will be held Saturday, Nov. 2 at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.
Ramos, an NCAA runner-up and two-time All-American, is listed No. 1 in preseason rankings by Wrestling Insider Newsmagazine. Carter, a junior, is ranked third at 141, coming off a red-shirt season.
"I really pushed for it," Ramos said about participating in the event. "I'm excited for it."
He said involvement interested him in previous seasons, but the timing of the competition did not work well with the Hawkeyes schedule. The early November date worked fine this year.
"It's definitely something I wanted to do the last couple years," said Ramos, who enters the year with an 88-12 career mark said. "It was too close to competition."
Ramos and Carter have faced each other three times. Carter won the first meeting in overtime in the 2011 Midlands Championships final. Ramos has won the last two matches, including an 8-3 decision at the 2012 NCAA Championships.
Some work went in to finalizing an opponent. Ramos said Ohio State's Logan Stieber had been a possibility as well. Despite wrestling at a higher weight for the exhibition, Ramos will be at 133 for the season.
"I'm not going up. I'm staying down," Ramos said. "I was looking for the best match possible."
Ramos is the first Hawkeye to compete in the event since Daniel Dennis beat Maryland's Steve Bell, 9-8, at 133 in 2009.
He won't be the state's only representative. Iowa State's Michael Moreno will wrestle in the 165-pound match against Penn State's three-time NCAA finalist and 2012 NCAA champion and Hodge Trophy winner David Taylor.
Moreno, an Urbandale native, was 31-10 last season and placed sixth at the NCAA Championships at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.
Iowa State wrestlers own a 48-17-3 overall record in the event, including wins from Jon Reader and Jake Varner in 2009. David Zabriskie also took part for Iowa State that year.
Former Hawkeye wrestler and coach, Jim Zalesky, a former Cedar Rapids Prairie champion who is the current head coach at Oregona State, will be represented. The Beavers' Taylor Meeks will face Minnesota's Scott Schiller in the 197-pound match.
The marquee match is at 149 between two-time NCAA champion Stieber and Oklahoma NCAA champion Kendric Maple. Stieber won at 133 last season and Maple was the 141-pound national champion in March.
Tickets remain available at Ticketmaster.com, according to the UI Sports Information news release. More information can be found at www.nwcaonline.com.