DES MOINES – One thing Northwestern's Jason Welch had never done in five attempts before tonight is beat Derek St. John.
And, after tonight's National Championship finals, St. John is 6-0.
The Hawkeye junior capped off a two-loss season by winning all the marbles at
157 in the 2013 Division I Wrestling Championships.
Welch, a three-time semifinalist, was wrestling in his first NCAA final. Entering
the match on a 17-match winning streak, he had just one loss prior to tonight.
After a scoreless first period, St. John started the second stanza on top. He
managed to ride Welch out the entire period, which included several restarts.
"Holding him down that last minute was tough, but that's just part of wrestling,"
said St. John. "I probably needed to work a little harder to get a takedown."
Welch tried to ride St. John in the same fashion in the third, but St. John was
awarded a point for locking hands and one for an escape. Welch got a takedown to tie
the score at two. Quickly afterwards, St. John got a point for an escape to take a 3-2 lead.
That flurry of scoring in the final period did not fluster St. John, who finished as a
runner-up last year after taking fourth two years ago.
"That's just part of the game. You've got to stay cool as a cucumber. Just keep
wrestling. Don't bail, just because you get in a little bit of trouble. But don't stay there
and get in bigger trouble."
St. John tried to explain how the win felt.
"It's awesome. This is something I've been working the last four years for. It's
Derek St. John beat #1 seed Jason Welch of Northwestern on Saturday to win his first title…