Still time to register for Ohio Tournament of Champions on April 25th in Columbus, Ohio
March 26th, 2017 | Written by: Bart Freidenberg





March 27, 2017.....Just over three weeks remain to register for the largest one day amateur wrestling tournament in the world, the 25th Ohio Tournament of Champions. This year’s event will be held on April 22, at the Columbus Convention Center, located in downtown Columbus, OH. initial registration will close out on April 15, with extended registration, (subject to  a $10 late fee), closing out on the evening of April 17.

Currently, wrestlers entered represent 24 states and vent organizers are expecting anywhere from 2600-3000 wrestlers to enter. “We’re already over the 300 mark, with three weeks still to go,” said Tournament Chairman Bart Freidenberg.

“These days, people tend to wait until the last minute to register, so our numbers always go up a lot the last two weeks. Last year, we had nearly 2000 entries in the last two weeks, including more  than 800 the final two days.”

Freidenberg credits a lot of folks for the success of the event. Much of the credit for the success of the event goes to my staff and officials,” said Freidenberg. “But, obviously, we have had a lot of super tough wrestlers over the years compete in our event. Both of those things are the reason folks keep coming back.”

In fact, over the past three years, half of the NCAA Division I National Champions were former Ohio TofC place winners. In total, 75 of the 240 All Americans were also TofC place winners.

This year’s list of 22 TofC alumni, included 6 champions:

125 Pounds: Darian Cruz-Lehigh-Champion; Joey Dance (Virginia Tech)-5th Place; Jack Mueller (Virginia)-6th Place and Nathan Kraisser (Campbell)-8th Place.  133 Pounds: Nathan Tomasello (Ohio State)-3rd Place.  141 Pounds: Dean Heil (Oklahoma State)-Champion; George DiCamillo (Virginia)-2nd Place; Kevin Jack (North Carolina State)-3rd Place; Anthony Ashnault (Rutgers)-6th Place and Matthew Kolodzik (Princeton)-7th Place.   149 Pounds: Sol Chishko (Oklahoma State)-6th Place.  157 Pounds: Jayson Nolf (Penn State)-Champion.  165 Pounds: Vincenzo Joseph (Penn State)-Champion; Logan Massa (Michigan)-3rd Place and Chad Walsh (Rider)-7th Place.  174 Pounds: Mark Hall (Penn State)-Champion; Bo Jordan (Ohio State)-2nd Place; Zahid Valencia (Arizona State)-3rd Place and Myles Amine (Michigan)-4th Place.  184 Pounds: Gabe Dean (Cornell)-2nd Place and Myles Martin (Ohio State)-5th Place.  285 Pounds: Kyle Snyder (Ohio State)-Champion.

Other past champions and placers have included: Logan Stieber, Kyle Dake, David Taylor, Cade Olivas, Lance Palmer, Zeke Moisey, Joey McKenna, Cody Brewer, Nico Megaludis, Coleman Scott, Isaaac Jordan, Zach Epperly, Anthony Collica, Devin Carter, Cory Brewer, James Green, Mitchell Port, Jason Tsirtsis, Taylor Walsh, Michael McMullen, Luke Pletcher and Jon Reader, a 2011 NCAA Champion for Iowa State. Reader holds the TofC record with 10 individual titles.

Special guests for this year’s event are still being worked on, but tentatively include Frank Jasper, who portrayed Shute, in the 1985 wrestling movie, “Vision Quest” and Grayson Russell, known for his roles as Texas Ranger, in the movie “Talladega Nights” and Fregley, in the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series.

Known for their yearly mascots and innovative awards, this year’s event mascot is a Wizard, which will be featured on event apparel and the awards. But, according to Freidenberg, the event also found a way to showcase many of the past tournament mascots.

“Our main award this year is a wall clock,” Freidenberg said, “which will feature the place finish of the wrestler. But, instead of the numbers around the clock, we have used 12 of our past mascots,We had the clock on display at the Ohio State High School event and the kids loved it.

“Of course, we are keeping the wrist watch for the champions,” he added. If you ask any of the past champions, that is what they prize the most. We are also giving all the top eight place finishers a special 25th Anniversary medallion. We did a similar medallion for the Ohio High School State Tournament and we sold out of them.”

New to the TOfC this year is Region Competition. Simply explained, the United States has been divided up into approximately 40 regions. When individuals register for the event,they select the Region they reside in.The top five finishing Regions, based on their 25 top place finishers,will win cash grants, of anywhere from $500-$2500, to directly benefit wrestling in their Region. Additional information is listed on the TofC website under Tournament Information and then Club/Team/Region Competition.

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