Jason Tsirtsis wins national championship!

Fifth-seeded Jason Tsirtsis and 11th-seeded Joshua Kindig wrestled to a virtual and litteral draw after three periods.

Every lunge and attack Kindig made was met with the incredible balance from Tsirtsis to stay on his feet. Every quick move to escape Tsirtsis was met with an equally quick move to keep him right where he was and gain some riding time.

Finally, the desperation of sudden death gave forced Tsirtsis’ hand, and the gamble paid off. Tsirtsis lunged and got a hold of Kindig’s ankle. This would be the second time Tsirtsis would keep control of the match by holding on desperately to that vital balance point. This time, Tsirtis had a firm handle on him and pushed and pushed and pushed. Kindig fell to the ground, desperately trying to keep himself off the mat. Eventually, Tsirtsis twisted and wriggled his way to some leverage and Kindig went down to his rear end.

Tsirtsis had secured his third straight sudden victory win. This one for a national championship in a 3-1 victory. This was Northwestern’s first national championship in six years when Dustin Fox won the title. The win also eliminated Oklahoma State from national championship contention as a team, ensuring the wrestling national championship would be won by a Big Ten team. Penn State won the national championship after winning the following match.

Tsirtsis though had a lot to celebrate in winning a national championship as a freshman. He really had a dream season winning the Big Ten title first and then making his way through the NCAA Wrestling Tournament. This is a national championship earned quite literally with his blood and sweat.

  • cece

    Congrats Jason! this is the kind of commitment and dramatic success that NU needs and must support.

  • SportsInfo

    It’s been 5 years since NU had an NCAA wrestling champion, Jake Herbert won in 2009 after taking 2008 to train for the Olympics.

  • Chasmo

    With the No. 1 rated recruiting class in the nation arriving in Evanston this fall, Cat wrestling should be able to improve on its ninth place 2014 NCAA finish in the years to come. This seems to be a program on the rise, even if it is competing in what is by far the best wrestling conference in the nation.
    Go Cats!

  • binky

    Thanks Philip for covering the team and Jason on LTP! How about a shout out for Mike McMullan at 285 with a third place finish and doing it the hard way by coming back through the wrestle-back bracket. And some love for Pierce Harger at with a 8th at 165. Interesting the illini fell behind with more wrestlers at the championship in team scoring, goes to show having a couple of champs does crazy things to team scores. Go Cats.

    • Philip Rossman-Reich

      Wrestling is definitely not my strongest sport. I always enjoy watching it when I do though. These guys are incredible athletes.