NC State

NC State wrestler winning titles with more in mind

Posted April 17, 2014

At 6-1, 250 pounds Nick Gwiazdowski is a powerhouse on the wrestling mat.

And last month, the NC State sophomore powered his way to an NCAA title, beating the two-time defending heavyweight champ in the process.

“I was really really happy, a lot of different emotions. It’s been a long year, everything just hit me at once, a lot of grateful feelings,” said Gwiazdowski.

Gwiazdowski actually started his collegiate career at Binghamton but when State hired then-Binghamton coach Pat Popolizio to run the Wolfpack program, Gwiazdowski soon made it a package deal. And it’s been one that has worked out well for all involved at State.

“I knew what I had there and I didn’t want to leave him behind because he’s definitely a special athlete,” said Popolizio.

“I had a successful first year as a true freshman, I All-American’d. After doing something like that, it’s like their coaching, that stuff works for me. So if it already works why change it,” said Gwiazdowski.

“That’s the kind of kid he is. He’s very loyal and dedicated, all of those things, and I knew to build a program I needed someone like that,” said Popolizio.

Gwiazdowski is State’s sixth individual champion, and the Pack’s third heavyweight. As a sophomore he has plenty of time for loftier goals.

“It’s a great achievement, but at the same time I have to remember that I have two more years of college to compete and hopefully win some more titles,” said Gwiazdowski.

And Gwiazdowski’s senior season ends just before the 2016 Olympics, just another goal for the NCAA champ.

7 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • hspooner2000 Apr 23, 2014

    I never thought much about wrestling until I started covering as a photographer. As others have mentioned, it is not a sport that gets a lot of press, but these guys are incredible athletes. I had the pleasure of covering Nick this year, and watched him make a move on a wrestler who had 50 pounds on him. You just need to watch these guys warm up to see that at the D1 Collegiate level, they are all special. NCSU has done a great job growing their program in the past few years. I look to see them in the top 20-25 in the next few years.

  • KT called a Congressional hearin Apr 19, 2014

    View quoted thread



    And yet he could probably bend you into a pretzel and shove your head where it belongs.

  • Doc Holliday Apr 18, 2014

    View quoted thread


    Yep....you have to be in serious shape to wrestle. Goes with the territory....

  • Doc Holliday Apr 18, 2014

    Congrats to him. Future MMA'er?

  • Hammerhead Apr 18, 2014

    View quoted thread


    Wrestling isn't in everybody's wheelhouse, but I love niche sports....track and field, wrestling, can't watch the NHL but love college hockey. Anybody who's ever wrestled knows the dedication it takes to get good, you have to live and breathe the sport. What he has accomplished is pretty impressive.

  • Super Hans Apr 17, 2014

    About time this kid got some press.

  • Hammerhead Apr 17, 2014

    Go get 'em bro.

  • Premier League Soccer: Crystal Palace vs. Burnley

    Tomorrow at 12:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Bundesliga Soccer: Wolfsburg vs Bayern Munich

    Tomorrow at 12:30 pm on FOX50

  • NHL Playoffs: New York Rangers @ Ottawa

    Tomorrow at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL Playoffs: Pittsburgh @ Washington

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASCAR CUP SERIES: TOYOTA OWNERS 400

    Sunday at 2:00 pm on FOX50

  • Premier League Soccer: Swansea vs. Everton

    Saturday, May. 6 at 12:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Horse Racing: Kentucky Derby

    Saturday, May. 6 at 2:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL Draft Coverage

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NHL Hockey Playoffs

    Tomorrow at 3:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Minor League Baseball
International League
Gwinnett 3:05 PT4:05 MT5:05 CT6:05 ET11:05 GMT
Pawtucket 
Indianapolis 3:35 PT4:35 MT5:35 CT6:35 ET11:35 GMT
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 
Louisville 3:35 PT4:35 MT5:35 CT6:35 ET11:35 GMT
Rochester 
Lehigh Valley 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Toledo 
Buffalo 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Durham 
Syracuse 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Norfolk 
Charlotte 4:15 PT5:15 MT6:15 CT7:15 ET12:15 GMT
Columbus 
ATP Scoreboard
Thursday, Apr. 27
Barcelona Open (ATP)
Third Round
(3) R. Nadal6 6    
K. Anderson3 4    
(4) D. Thiem77 6    
D. Evans65 2    
(7) P. Carreno Bu3 3    
Y. Sugita6 6    
(8) A. Zverev1 4    
H. Chung6 6    
(5) D. Goffin79 3 4   
K. Khachanov67 6 6   
(1) A. Murray6 6    
(16) F. Lopez4 4    
(6) R. Bautista A2 6 4   
(10) A. Ramos-Vino6 3 6   
(17) B. Paire4 6 63   
H. Zeballos6 3 77   
 
Hungarian Open (ATP)
Second Round
(6) P. Lorenzi6 3 6   
S. Stakhovsky4 6 3   
(3) F. Fognini3 6 64   
A. Kuznetsov6 3 77   
(1) L. Pouille6 4 77   
J. Vesely3 6 64   
M. Klizan6 6    
B. Fratangelo3 2    
 
WTA Scoreboard
Thursday, Apr. 27
Istanbul Cup (WTA)
Second Round
(6) E. Mertens77 3 6   
S. Errani63 6 3   
J. Cepelova6 77    
S. Sorribes T4 63    
B. Eraydin6 6    
A. Aksu1 3    
(2) T. Babos4 65    
C. Buyukakcay6 77    
(1) E. Svitolina6 6    
A. Cadantu3 3    
 
Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (WTA)
Second Round
(8) S. Kuznetsova4 3    
L. Siegemund6 6    
E. Vesnina2 4    
C. Suarez Nav6 6    
(6) J. Konta3 5    
A. Sevastova6 7    
E. Makarova5 1    
M. Sharapova7 6    
(1) A. Kerber2 5    
K. Mladenovic6 7    
(2) K. Pliskova77 6    
C. Vandeweghe62 4