TFC News

Fil-Am college wrestlers get All-American honors

Steve Angeles | TFC News Los Angeles

Posted at Apr 29 2023 09:05 PM

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Three Filipino-American collegiate wrestlers have received the NCAA Division 1 All-American awards.

They include Purdue University's Matt Ramos, the redshirt sophomore who made waves after he pinned the three-time defending 125-pound champion Spencer Lee in the semi-finals.

The major upset victory gave Ramos, the 2022 U.S. Open champion, a second place finish at the NCAA tournament.

In the 149-pound division, Arizona State University's Kyle Parco, a two-time Pac12 champion, earned his third All-American nod after placing fourth at the NCAA tournament.

The third Filipino to receive the honor is Trey Muñoz of the Oregon State University. He is the son of former NCAA champion and UFC fighter, Mark Muñoz.

The younger Muñoz spent a year in Arizona State University before he transferred to Oregon. He said he takes pride in seeing Filipinos climb the ranks in college wrestling.

"Filipino culture is a huge part of my life," said Muñoz. "This sport is dominated by American guys and it's just cool to be part of this special group where I can bring diversity to the sport."

Muñoz got his All-American after he finished sixth place overall at the NCAA tournament. But the injuries he sustained forced him to withdraw after the semifinals.

"I’m just blessed to have the opportunity to even compete at this level," Muñoz shared. "I just haven’t had the career that I wanted to in the past."

He added: "I started super late so I’ve had this huge learning curve. Obviously, I didn’t have the finish that I would’ve liked but going into this tournament, I just felt like this kind of divine peace and confidence."

Mark Muñoz, meanwhile, shared how proud he is of his son.

"It's amazing to see just my son being able to do what he loves," Muñoz said. "He fell in love with this sport. He’s doing what he loves and he’s improving everyday and that's all a father can ask for."

With two years left in college, Trey looks to recover from his injury and bounce back stronger in 2024. Muñoz is determined to follow in his father's path to the top as he joins wrestling camps during the summer.