Third-seeded sophomore Alex Dieringer of Oklahoma State made a major impression by scoring a 13-4 major decision over Minnesota’s No. 9 seed Dylan Ness in the 157-pound title match at the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City Saturday night.
After winning the title, the Port Washington, Wis. native said he plans to move up a weight next season, competing at 165 pounds.
The outcome of the Dieringer-Ness bout had implications far beyond the states of Oklahoma and Minnesota. At the time of the 157 match, the team title was still up in the air (though Oklahoma State was mathematically out of the running for the team championship). Dieringer's win propelled Penn State into first place over Minnesota, sealing the Nittany Lions' fourth straight NCAA team title.
Dieringer is one of four Cowboys to make it to the finals… and one of two to leave Oklahoma City with titles. The other Oklahoma State champ at the 2014 NCAAs was defending 174-pound titlewinner Chris Perry. Josh Kindig and Tyler Caldwell lost their title bids at 149 and 165, respectively.
How Dieringer (32-1) got to the finals: Rd. 1: tech fall unseeded Austin Sommer (Drexel), 19-1, 5:00; Rd. 2: pinned No. 14 Joseph LaVallee (Missouri), 1:39; Qtrfinals: dec. No. 6 Nestor Taffur (Boston University), 18-11; Semifinals: dec. No. 7 Brian Realbuto (Cornell), 7-4.
How Ness (23-6) got to the finals: Rd. 1: pinned unseeded Spartak Chino (Ohio), 3:56; Rd. 2: pinned No. 8 R.J. Pena (Oregon State), 5:45; Qtrfinals: pinned No. 1 James Green (Nebraska), 3:36; Semifinals: dec. No. 4 Ian Miller (Kent State), 6-4.
- 1st Period: Dieringer scores a takedown in first minute, making the score 2-0 for the Cowboy. Later in the first stanza, Dieringer got a 3-point nearfall. Score: 5-0 Dieringer.
- 2nd Period: Dieringer chooses down, scores an escape… then later earns a takedown, to make the score 8-0. Ness puts a point on the board with an escape. Score at the end of the period: 8-1 Dieringer.
- 3rd Period: Ness takes bottom; Dieringer cuts him loose, making the score 8-2. Dieringer continues the scoring onslaught. With two minutes’ riding time, the final score was a 13-4 major decision victory for the Cowboy, winning his first title as a sophomore.
Quotes from the champ:
- How winning the title feels: “Winning on that big stage, there’s nothing better. I’ve been working so hard in the room, doing extra workouts, all that. So to know it’s paid off, it’s a great feeling.”
- Finals analysis… and when he knew he had the title “locked up”: “Once I got that near-fall, I was up 5-0 I think, I know that I had it locked up, because I knew how to wrestle smart when it comes to a guy like that. I’ve wrestled him many times before. And hi shots aren’t easy to stop. He shoots low ankles. That’s what he tries; sometimes (he tries) doubles, but he just plain crashes right to them. So I knew he was coming.”
- Goal to become a three-time champ? “I’m going to take it one at a time, starting when I get back. It’s been a long year. I’m a big 57-pounder. It’s been hard on my body. I’m going to get big, real big, and I’m going 65 next year, so I’m excited.”
2014 NCAA All-Americans – 157 pounds
- Alex Dieringer (Oklahoma State)
- Dylan Ness (Minnesota)
- James Green (Nebraska)
- Ian Miller (Kent State)
- Derek St. John (Iowa)
- Brian Realbuto (Cornell)
- Isaac Jordan (Wisconsin)
- Anthony Perrotti (Rutgers)
Take a look back: For all College Wrestling Examiner articles on the 2014 NCAAs, click here... and check out Mat Bracketology, College Wrestling Examiner's weight-by-weight analysis of seeded wrestlers, by clicking on the Mat Bracketology link.
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