The main event of Saturday's NWCA All-Star Classic between defending national champions Kendric Maple of Oklahoma and Logan Stieber of Ohio State was the most taked-about matchup of wrestling's opening weekend, and it lived up to the hype. It took three full periods, an overtime, and two 30-second tiebreakers, but Stieber was able to pull out a victory, edging Maple by a final score of 6-4.
Stieber started the opening period strong, earning the first takedown of the match and a 2-0 advantage. Eventually, Maple worked his way back to his feet, gaining an escape and bringing the score to 2-1 as the first period ended. Maple began the second period on bottom, but was able to earn another escape and even the score at 2-2. A quick takedown by Maple followed, along with an escape from the bottom by Stieber, bringing the score to 4-3 Maple at the end of the second period. Stieber began the third and final period on the bottom where he quickly earned an escape to tie the match. A series of scrambles followed with neither wrestler able to earn a takedown. The first overtime period followed the same script, with both wrestlers attacking, but neither being able to finish. With the score still tied 4-4 at the end of the first overtime period, the match went to a tiebreaker (two 30-second periods where the wrestlers alternate starting on top and bottom). Stieber began the first tiebreaker on bottom and with just seconds remaining in the period was able to earn a reversal and two points. The final tiebreaker was all Stieber as the Monroeville, OH, native smothered Maple, riding out the period and earning a 6-4 victory.
While the victory won't show on Stieber's record (The Classic is an exhibition event), it goes along way toward establishing the redshirt Junior as the best pound-for-pound wrestler in the country. The 141-pound Stieber now holds victories over the nation's #1-ranked 131-pound wrestler, Tony Ramos, and the #1 ranked 149-pound wrestler, Maple.
The rest of the Ohio State wrestling team begins its season today at the Clarion Open. Follow @VestDJ on Twitter for updates throughout the day.