March 26, 2014
RALEIGH, N.C. - A little less than one week ago, redshirt-sophomore Nick Gwiazdowski became the sixth NC State wrestler to win a national championships. The Pack's heavyweight sat down with GoPack.com to talk about his title win.
2014 National Champion at 285 pounds as a red-shirt sophomore.
Two-time All-American (placed 8th as true freshman at Binghamton in 2012). Transferred to NC State when Binghamton head coach Pat Popolizio came to NC State in spring of 2012, and redshirted last season.
Entered the 2014 NCAA Championships as the second seed. After 1st and 2nd round wins, defeated the 7th seed, 3rd seed and top seed (all Big Ten wrestlers).
In the championship bout, defeated two-time defending national champion Tony Nelson of Minnesota. Had the only two takedowns in the bout, including the winner with less than 30 seconds left. Won 4-2. Avenged a 1-0 loss to Nelson at the Southern Scuffle in January.
At the 2013 U.S. World Team Trials was third in the challenge tournament, one spot shy of the USA World Team. Defeated Nelson twice, 9-0 and also 6-4.
To finish the 2013-14 campaign, he won his last 20 matches and 11 of his final 15 wins were all against ranked opponents. The 2014 ACC Champion, Gwiazdowski went a perfect 20-0 in duals this year.
In the NCAA standings, Gwiazdowski was eighth nationally with his 11 pics vs. Division I opponents in a total time of 32:06. He was also the sixth-most dominate wrestler in the NCAA, the top heavyweight, when taking into account his bonus-point victories.
Overall, NC State placed 19th at the 2014 NCAA Championships, its first top-25 finish since 2009. The Pack was the second-highest finisher among ACC teams, only 2014 ACC champion Virginia Tech (eighth) finished higher then NC State. As a team, NC State made the biggest two-year jump nationally, as the Pack moved up 44 spots with its 19th place showing this year, after placing 63rd last season.
Gwiazdowkski Among ACC Greats
- First ACC wrestler to win a national championship since NC State's Darrion Caldwell in 2009.
- NC State boasts the last two national champions for the ACC, the last time the ACC had a wrestler win a national title that wasn't from NC State was 1995 (UNC).
- Gwiazdowski brings the ACC its 16th individual national championship in wrestling.
NC State Championship Tradition
- Gwiazdowski is the sixth Pack wrestler to win a national championship, the first since 2009.
- Of the six national championships, three have been by heavyweights (Tab Thacker in 1984 and Sylvester Terkay in 1993).
- 18 NC State wrestlers have earned All-America honors 28 times.
Gwiazdowski in the NC State Record Books
- Finished the season 42-2.
- Set a new school record for single-season victories (Sylvester Terkay, 1993 - 41).
- Set a new school record for single-season victories by a sophomore (Darrion Caldwell, 2008 - 36).
- 20-match winning streak to finish the season is the 6th longest in a single season in school history.
- 16 pins is the fifth-most in a single season at NC State.
NC State Bulletin: Wolfpack Wrestler Wins National Title
Press & Sun Bulletin: Former Binghamton Wrestler, Coach Celebrate National Title at NC State
Pack Pride: The Champ is Here
Raleigh News & Observer: Gwiazdowski Grew into NCAA Champion at NC State
The Wolfpacker: Heavyweight Gwiazdowski is NC State's Sixth National Champion