Tony Ramos and Alyssa Lampe among champs crowned at World Team Trials
Tony Ramos made his first World Team on Saturday night in Madison, Wis. Tony Rotundo photo.
MADISON, Wis. – What an amazing past few months it has been for Tony Ramos.
In late March, the dynamic wrestler broke through to win his first NCAA title as an Iowa Hawkeye senior.
On Saturday, Ramos turned in an incredible display of grit and moxie to make his first U.S. World Team in freestyle wrestling.
Ramos swept two straight bouts from Olympian Sam Hazewinkel to win the U.S. World Team Trials title at 57 kg/125.5 lbs. on Saturday night at the Alliant Energy Center.
A driven and confident Ramos won the Challenge Tournament on Saturday afternoon before downing Hazewinkel 4-0 and 5-4 to prevail in the best-of-3 finals a few hours later.
“It’s not about style. It’s about scoring points," Ramos said. "I am best on my feet and that is what this is. It’s not about the rules. You find a way to win.”
Ramos did not make up his mind about wrestling until after the U.S. Open in April, an event he did not attend.
“I thought I was going to take the year off," Ramos said. "During the Open, my fiancée and I were sitting down and watching it. I thought about doing it. But as soon as she said, ‘you gotta do this,’ I said let’s do it. I thank her a lot. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do yet. Terry, Tom and I sat down. I didn’t know if I wanted to make the drop. But I am a competitor. And if you see people winning that you know you can beat, that drives you even harder.”
Champions at the World Team Trials advance to September’s World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Wisconsin native Alyssa Lampe won a hard-fought, three-match series over past World Team member Victoria Anthony in the women’s finals at 48 kg/105.5 lbs. Lampe, a bronze medalist in the last two World Championships, made her fourth World Team.
“It was awesome. The last time I wrestled here was 2006. It was great to be in my hometown. I heard people cheering for me. That was great,” she said.
Lampe won the first and third bouts to prevail over a strong opponent in Anthony. She won 5-0 in the deciding match.
“I always have thought if I could take 48 kg domestically, I had a good chance of winning a World medal. You have Clarissa Chun. You have Vickie Anthony, who took fifth in the World last year at 51 kg. It is definitely a great weight class this year,” Lampe said.
Olympic gold medalist Jake Varner made his third World Team after sweeping Dustin Kilgore in the freestyle finals at 97 kg/213 lbs. Varner is back looking strong after taking most of 2013 off from competition. He won a bronze medal at the 2011 Worlds.
“I am a lot better. I try to get better every time I step on into the wrestling room. Whether it is one percent, a half percent, that is the plan. Hopefully by now, I am a lot better than I was in 2012. I try to improve in all areas that I can,” he said.
Olympian Tervel Dlagnev made his fourth World Team with a strong performance in sweeping Zach Rey in the heavyweight finals in freestyle. Dlagnev won both bouts 5-0.
Dlagnev has placed third, fifth and fifth in three previous appearances at the Worlds. He was fifth in the 2012 Olympic Games.
Alli Ragan made her second straight World Team by sweeping Olympian Kelsey Campbell in the women’s finals at 58 kg/127.5 lbs. Ragan powered her way to a quick 10-0 technical fall in the second bout.
Veronica Carlson earned her second straight trip to Worlds by taking two straight from Julia Salata in the women’s finals at 69 kg/152 lbs. The powerful Carlson took charge early in both matches.
The second and final day of the Trials is set for Sunday in Madison. Olympic gold medalist and two-time World champion Jordan Burroughs is among the wrestlers scheduled to compete on Sunday.
Wrestling is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Sunday in Madison.
U.S. World Team Trials
May 31, Madison, Wis.
57 kg/125.5 lbs.
Tony Ramos (Iowa City, Iowa/Hawkeye WC) def. Sam Hazewinkel (Norman, Okla./Sunkist Kids), 2 matches to 0
Ramos dec. Hazewinkel, 4-0
Ramos dec. Hazewinkel, 5-4
97 kg/213 lbs.
Jake Varner (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC) def. Dustin Kilgore (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids/OTC), 2 matches to 0
Varner dec. Kilgore, 7-2
Varner dec. Kilgore, 5-2
125 kg/275.5 lbs.
Tervel Dlagnev (Columbus, Ohio/Sunkist Kids) def. Zach Rey (Bethlehem, Pa./Lehigh Valley AC), 2 matches to 0
Dlagnev dec. Rey, 5-0
Dlagnev dec. Rey, 5-0
48 kg/105.5 lbs.
Alyssa Lampe (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) def. Victoria Anthony (Huntington Beach, Calif. (Sunkist Kids), 2 matches to 1
Lampe dec. Anthony, 10-6
Anthony pinned Lampe, 3:54
Lampe dec. Anthony, 5-0
58 kg/127.5 lbs.
Alli Ragan (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) def. Kelsey Campbell (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids), 2 matches to 0
Ragan dec. Campbell, 4-2
Ragan tech. fall over Campbell, 10-0
69 kg/152 lbs.
Veronica Carlson (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) def. Julia Salata, Canton, Mich. (New York AC/King Univ.), 2 matches to 0
Carlson dec. Salata, 9-2
Carlson dec. Salata, 4-0