TULSA, Okla. – Matt Ramos pulled off one of the greatest upsets in NCAA Wrestling history to book his spot in the championship finals and Parker Filius won his way into All-America status in an all-time night for the Purdue Wrestling program at the 2023 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.
Facing three-time reigning NCAA champion No. 1 Spencer Lee of Iowa, the sophomore No. 4 seed Ramos came in as one of the biggest underdogs of the semifinal round. Going in he believed in himself and the work he had put in to get there.
“He’s a really good wrestler and I respect him, but I think I can hang with him,” Ramos said in an interview before the match. “I work really hard. I tell myself before every match that I’m the best wrestler in the world. There’s no one that can hang with me. I feel like I can do it. I’ve been training for this since I stepped into the Purdue Wresting room.”
And hang with him he did. The Lockport native shot out of the gates hot, bagging a takedown and a two more on the near-fall to go up 4-1 on the Iowa legend. A four-point turn for Lee in the second gave him a 5-4 advantage before he got a takedown of his own with just under a minute left in the match.
For many others, that would’ve been the end but not for Matt Ramos. As he had done twice before in this tournament, he turned the tide in his favor late. Ramos dropped Lee on to his back and held him there for 30 seconds before finally finishing off the pin (6:59) to take the historic win.
“It’s a dream for me, but the job’s not done yet,” Ramos said after the win. “I trust my ability and sometimes you just have to let it fly. I knew I needed to get some points there at the end, so I went for it. I trust in the belief I have in myself and my why. I want to be a national champion and I believe I can be.”
RAMOS PINS LEE!! RAMOS PINS LEE!!🤯@Matt_Ramos2 introduces himself to the world! pic.twitter.com/MYqHnqTTo5
— Purdue Wrestling (@PurdueWrestling) March 18, 2023
He is the first NCAA finalist for the Boilermakers since Chris Fleeger took second place from the five seed in 2006 and only the 13th wrestler in program history to make a final. He will face No. 2 Pat Glory of Princeton to try and become the fifth individual champion in Purdue history. The last Boilermaker to take first place was Charles Jones in 1992 at 167 pounds in Oklahoma City.
The monumental night for the Boilermakers continued shortly after as sixth-year senior Parker Filius became the program’s 61st All-American with a pin (6:05) of his own over Iowa State’s Casey Swiderski in the blood-rounds.
PARKER FILIUS IS AN ALL-AMERICAN
The sixth-year senior saved his best wrestling for last and earns his first podium finish in his final season!! #BoilerUp🚂 | #AlwaysAggressive pic.twitter.com/nJAgW8nO0D
— Purdue Wrestling (@PurdueWrestling) March 18, 2023
The No. 12 seed Filius sits tied as the lowest seeded Boilermaker ever to become a national placewinner along with Jason Silverstein who took eighth as the No. 12 in 1999. They are two of the four double-digit seeds in Purdue history to wrestle their way to the podium.
Filius and Ramos are the first pair of teammates to earn All-America status in the same year since 2006. Back then it was Fleeger and Ben Wissel who also did it in a tournament held in Oklahoma City.
A narrow 3-1 loss to No. 11 Clay Carlson of South Dakota State puts Filius into the seventh place match against Ohio State’s Dylan D’Emilio, whom Filius has beaten twice already this season. That contest will take place in session five which is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. CT. Ramos’ finals match will be held in the final session and will start at 6 p.m. CT Saturday night.
NCAA Wrestling Championships
18th Place – 27.0 pts.
125: #4 Matt Ramos (R-Sophomore)
Champ Round 1: #29 Nico Provo (Stanford) – W, D 3-2
Champ Round 2: #20 Jarrett Trombley (N.C. State) – W, TB2 5-4
Champ Quarters: #28 Killian Cardinale (West Virginia) – W, D 8-7
Champ Semis: #1 Spencer Lee (Iowa) – W, Fall 6:59
Champ Final: #2 Pat Glory (Princeton)
141: #12 Parker Filius (Graduate Student)
Champ Round 1: #21 Cleveland Belton (Oregon State) – W, D 8-3
Champ Round 2: #5 Ryan Jack (N.C. State) – W, D 7-6
Champ Quarters: #4 Brock Hardy (Nebraska) – L, D 7-0
Cons. Round 4: #24 Casey Swiderski (Iowa State) – W, Fall 6:05
Cons. Round 5: #11 Clay Carlson (South Dakota State) – L, D 3-1
Seventh Place: Dylan D’Emilio (Ohio State)
157: #12 Kendall Coleman (R-Senior)
Champ Round 1: #21 Andrew Clark (Rutgers) – W, D 9-4
Champ Round 2: #5 Josh Humphreys (Lehigh) – L, D 3-0
Cons. Round 2: #11 Chase Saldate (Michigan State) – L, D 6-4
285: #30 Hayden Copass (R-Freshman)
Champ Round 1: #3 Greg Kerkvliet (Penn State) – L, Fall (0:34)
Cons. Pigtail: #33 Travis Stefanik (Princeton) – W, SV 3-1
Cosn. Round 1: #19 Jonah Nissenbaum (Duke) – L, D 6-0
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