Northern Colorado’s Andrew Alirez wins national title at 141 pounds

One of the most decorated prep wrestlers in Colorado history can now call himself a national champion.

Northern Colorado’s Andrew Alirez won the NCAA Division I national title at 141 pounds on Saturday night, beating Iowa’s Real Woods in a 6-4 decision inside the BOK Center.

Alirez, who went 153-1 in winning four state titles at Greeley Central, became the first Northern Colorado wrestler to win a national title since 1962. And he capped a perfect season by doing so: 28-0 .

“When it came time to meet the moment, I was as prepared as anyone,” Alirez said on Saturday night’s ESPN show.

Alirez scored the win in bold fashion, netting what amounted to a six-point move in the second period by hooking Woods’ leg and flipping him onto his back on the mat.

“That’s what was there. That’s all I had in a way and it was now or never. Alirez said.

“…The guy who goes out there and gets it is the guy who’s going to win, (so) I let him fly.” I said earlier, ‘I’m ready to die over there, you’re gonna have to come get him, I’m gonna give him everything I got.’ I don’t even do stuff like that (winning move), but I throw it on the biggest stage.

Alirez chose to stay in his hometown for college when several out-of-state programs wooed him. The fact that he was able to turn this into the school’s first national title in 61 years made the victory even sweeter, as Alirez repeatedly shouted Greeley on national television after his victory.

“I believed in the program,” he told ESPN. “I’ve been around this program since eighth grade. I saw the levels we skipped and the progress we continued to make, and I believed it. I knew coach Troy (Nickerson) could get me there. I knew the staff would take me there. I put all my faith in it. I did everything I could for this moment and now I got it.

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