By Gary Mihoces, USA TODAY Sports
FAIRFAX, Va. — Moving up a weight class was no big deal for Iowa senior Tony Ramos. He bumped up and notched a come-from-behind victory — in overtime — at college wrestling’s All-Star Classic on Saturday at George Mason University.
“Competition is competition. A challenge is a challenge. … Whoever steps across the line from me, whether they weigh 200 pounds, 150 pounds, a hundred pounds, I don’t care,” Moreno said after his takedown in the extra period gave him a 5-3 win over Devin Carter of Virginia Tech in the 141-pound class.
Ramos, ranked No. 1 in preseason in the 133-pound division by Amateur Wrestling News, needed a single-leg takedown with about 25 seconds left to tie the match at 3-3 at the end of regulation. He got his winning takedown in overtime on a re-shot. Carter is ranked No. 3 at 141.
Ramos was third at the NCAA finals in 2012 and runner-up in 2013. He’ll be at 133 this season, but he wanted a tough match Saturday so he chose to wrestle Carter.
“My goal right now is to win a national title,” Ramos said after doing sprints and push-ups under the stands after his win.
At 165, No. 3 Michael Moreno of Iowa State drew No. 1-ranked senior David Taylor of Penn State. Taylor won 13-2.
If there was a silver lining for Moreno, it was that he nearly rode out the typically high-scoring Taylor in the two-minute final period. Taylor was an NCAA champ in 2012 and a runner-up in both 2011 and 2013. Taylor’s career record is 100-3.
“If you’re going to go out and get beat 13-2, you better come up with a consolation, then I guess that should be it,” Moreno said of his near ride-out.
“I shouldn’t have given up that reversal at the end (five seconds left). I turned him the wrong way. … But we learn, and I think ultimately I just didn’t feel like it was time to go. … I just don’t think I was ready.”
Moreno will wrestle at 165 this season. Never mind the presence of Taylor. Moreno’s not contemplating a switch in weights.
“Why? I want to be the best, so you’ve got to beat the best,” he said.
The event was held by the National Wrestling Coaches Association. The exhibitions will not count in the competitors’ season records.