CULVER CITY, Calif. – North Dakota State University 157-pounder Clay Ream was selected The Open Mat.com’s College Wrestler of the Week on Jan. 16, after going 3-0 and defeating three nationally-ranked wrestlers at the 37th annual Virginia Duals on Jan. 13-14 in Hampton, Va.
With a 4.0 GPA in biochemistry and molecular biology, Clay Ream (North Dakota State) has a bright future off the mat. On the mat, the junior from Wentzville, Missouri, is a two-time NCAA qualifier looking to go back to nationals in 2017 and challenge for a podium finish. However, entering the Virginia Duals, Ream owned no wins over currently ranked opponents and had dropped matches to Fred Green (Boise State), Evan Wick (Wisconsin), and #15 John Van Brill (Rutgers).
This left Ream outside the top-20, but he won’t be staying there. First, he helped the Bison upset Virginia by beating ninth-ranked Andrew Atkinson, 5-4. This got North Dakota State into the championship bracket. Though they would drop their final two duals to finish fourth, Ream had another fantastic day on Saturday, knocking off number eight Sal Mastriani (Virginia Tech), 12-8, and then earning his third win over a ranked wrestler in as many matches by controlling #14 Josh Shields (Arizona State), who was also having a nice weekend to that point.
Ream and North Dakota State (10-3, 2-1 #Big12WR) now head west to face Cal Poly and Bakersfield before they spend February battling their old Western Wrestling Conference foes, all of whom are now in the Big 12.
Ream improved to 16-3 overall and 11-1 in duals this season with five pins and three major decisions. He won the Elite 90 Award for the highest G.P.A. at the 2016 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.