Each year, 330 wrestlers compete for a National Championship. Since 1929, when national championships were officially first handed out, only three had won four individual titles.
That number rose to four on Saturday when Ohio State redshirt-senior Logan Stieber accomplished the feat for himself. But even after inking his name in the history books, Stieber’s time on the mat isn’t over.
The celebration won’t last long as the Monroeville, Ohio, native sets his sights on the World Team and, ultimately, the 2016 Olympics.
“I’ll be able to take a week and a half off, and let my body rest and start lifting again and I’ll get three weeks of hard freestyle training in and be ready for the U.S. Open,” Stieber said.
His title puts him alongside Cael Sanderson (Iowa State, 1999-2002), Kyle Dake (Cornell, 2010-13) and Pat Smith (Oklahoma State, 1990-1992, 1994) in the elite group of wrestlers to win four NCAA titles. Stieber accumulated a 119-3 record as a Buckeye, and he became the first OSU wrestler to tally four Big Ten individual crowns as well.
Logan’s father, Jeff, said he was happy to see his son’s hard work pay off in his last tournament at OSU.
“I’m extremely proud and happy for him,” he said. “To see all the hard work he’s put in pay off is amazing. Winning a team title was one of Logan’s biggest goals and he was able to get his fourth along with it. You couldn’t ask for a better ending.”
The four-time Ohio state champion at Monroeville High School finished the year 29-0, marking his second undefeated season, and leading OSU to its first team title in school history. He won the NCAA Most Dominant Wrestler and the NWCA Most Outstanding Wrestler awards along the way.
As much individual success as Stieber has had, he continued to give credit to those around him and said he wants to do everything in his power to help them achieve their goals.
“It means so much,” Stieber said of the team title. “It’s just hard to put into words. It’s something we’ve wanted so bad. Our coaches, they’ve been sick. They’re so anxious, so nervous, they want to win so bad. Everyone wants to win so bad. I’m happy to be a part of this team.”
His coach, Tom Ryan, said he wanted to see Stieber leave the program the right way and that he has put this team in the right direction.
“To think that this little kid from a small farm town in Monroeville, Ohio, did what he did, is pretty awesome, pretty amazing,” Ryan said. “I’m so happy for him and his family, and they believed early on in the process of us getting to the point we are. And now he can pass the torch to the other guys.”
Stieber said people think he’s putting on a front when asked about the pressure that surrounds him, but he continues to block out all nervousness and is never affected.
“This has been so much fun,” Stieber said. ”I haven’t been nervous at all. I was nervous for Kyle Snyder, I was nervous for Nathan Tomasello. In my match, if I have an inch of nervousness, I push it out right away. And this is fun. It’s like wrestling in the practice room. I really, really enjoy it. And it’s a little bit of relief to be done and be able to, I guess, celebrate with my family and friends.”
After enjoying his individual success and that of the people around him, the four time All-American will go down as the most decorated wrestler to yet don the scarlet and gray.