A monumental weekend for Rutgers University and their wrestling program ended with both, Anthony Ashnault and Nick Suriano leaving Pittsburgh with National Titles.
Nick Suriano, the 133-pound junior, who transferred to Rutgers sophomore year from rivals Penn State, historically won Rutgers’ first ever wrestling national championship. A double overtime thriller against Oklahoma State star Daton Fix ended in a 4-2 victory for Suriano. After some controversial calls and close plays, Nick Suriano won the match with a final takedown. The crowd erupted as Suriano roared in their direction.
After the match Suriano spoke heavily about overcoming adversity and obstacles. After a severe ankle sprain at Penn State and a twisted knee this season, the odds were against the Paramus native. Hard-work, commitment, and tenacity have kept Suriano on his feet. While holding his national title Suriano said, “There’s so much tragedy out there that people go through, and it almost put an end to my journey. It was tough for me. And I said nope, I’m coming out on top.” Suriano’s “never say never” attitude is a lesson for the younger wrestlers out there to take note of.
The only thing that could’ve made Rutgers fans happier than a national title, is two national titles! After Suriano won the 133-pound bracket, Anthony Ashnault dominated his final fight in the 149-bracket and won Rutgers second national title of the night. The sixth-year senior had won everything in his career other than a national championship.
The duo pushed each other day in and out and had thanked their friends, family, and coaching staff. The fight and heart showed between the both of them was enough to give the Rutgers faithful hope for the next couple of years. The Scarlet Knights will hope to look even stronger next season.
The weekend will go down as a historic one in Rutgers history, and will commence with both wrestlers ringing the bell of Old Queens.