Buckeyes End 46 Seasons of Futility Against Hawkeyes
By John Porentas
1966 was an interesting year.
Lyndon B. Johnson was president, mini-skirts and bell bottoms were the rage. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and A Man for All Seasons were on at the movies. Star Trek made it's television debut, The Monkees were a huge hit on TV. The Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann was the #1 best seller. The most popular pop music included "Good Vibrations" by the Beach Boys, The "Ballad of the Green Berets" by Barry Sadler and "Monday Monday" by the Mommas and the Poppas.
In sports, the Ohio State Buckeye wrestling team defeated Iowa in a dual meet on February 12.
Fourty-six wrestling seasons have passed since that date. There have been new presidents, new fashion movements, new movies, new books and new music. What there has not been, until now, is a new win for the Ohio State wrestling team in a dual meet over Iowa.
That all changed last night when an Ohio State lineup featuring seven freshmen or redshirt freshmen took the mat at St. John Arena and delivered a 21-9 dual meet win over Iowa. The score reflected Buckeye wins in seven of the 10 weight classes with freshmen or redshirt freshmen accounting for six of OSU's seven wins to the delight of an excited and raucous crowd.
Photo by Jim Davidson
"About 6,000 people showed up and it was nice to deliver," said Ohio State Head Coach Tom Ryan.
Ryan, who attended Iowa and was a Hawkeye wrestler, was elated with what he saw as a watershed win for the Buckeye wrestling program.
"We know that the men on the other side of the mat (Iowa) have a very high standard," said Ryan.
"They're committed people, they're disciplined in what they do, I know them well, and they're as good as they come. When you're up against good people they bring out the best in you, and tonight you saw the best Ohio has to offer."
The win breaks a span of futility that literally spans generations. Ryan is hoping that it will be more than that, that it will also signal a new era that will be marked by Buckeye success on a regular basis. He believes he has the right group on his roster to make that happen.
"When you have seven freshmen and two sophomores and a junior in your lineup, you see their commitment, they sense the uniqueness of the moment. They look to the left, look to the right, and they see people like themselves that are very capable of doing something great. The question is, what is the legacy this group of freshmen are going to leave here," Ryan said.
Ryan saw the big win over the Hawkeyes as a giant leap forward for a young group that has it within them to do great things and create the legacy he believes is possible for the OSU wrestling program. They just needed to find out what it takes to make it to that next level. Ryan thinks the win over the Hawkeyes was just what they needed to get that understanding.
"Tonight we grew up," he said.
"Tonight is a great step forward for us. The difference between good and great is so slight, and tonight we competed. We competed at every position and fought every second. I think that's the biggest thing.
"You can win four state titles and be a great competitor, but at this level you don't really understand how hard you've got to compete. The second you 'get it' you never go back. You realize 'That's what you were talking about, now I understand,' and I hope that after tonight they all felt what that little extra focus can do for you, that they've felt it and they want to continue to feel that feeling that they are in a fight and they aren't backing down."
For one glorious night, his young team did just that, and ended a long, long period of domination. If they can indeed bring that every night, Ohio State wrestling has a very, very exciting future.
OSU vs. Iowa Photo Gallery
OSU vs. Iowa Results
125 – No. 2 Matt McDonough (Iowa) DEC No. 15 Johnni Dijulius (OSU), 5-2
133 – No. 4 Logan Stieber (OSU) DEC No. 2 Tony Ramos (Iowa), 7-0
141 – No. 7 Hunter Stieber (OSU) DEC No. 3 Montell Marion (Iowa), 4-2
149 – No. 16 Cam Tessari (OSU) DEC Mike Kelly (Iowa), 9-4
157 – Josh Demas (OSU) DEC Derek St. John (Iowa), 7-3
165 – Derek Garcia (OSU) DEC No. 6 Mike Evans (Iowa), 6-5
174 – No. 9 Ethen Lofthouse (Iowa) DEC Joe Grandominico (OSU), 7-1
184 – No. 8 Nick Heflin (OSU) DEC Vinnie Wagner (Iowa), 7-4
197 – Andrew Campolattano (OSU) DEC Grant Gambrall (Iowa), 8-6
HWT – Blake Rasing (Iowa) DEC No. 15 Peter Capone (OSU), 6-2