Hunter Stieber's first-ever venture into international competition Thursday ended with a familiar result: With the 2011 Monroeville graduate and Norwalk native standing atop the podium.
Wrestling for the U.S. team at the Pan American championships in Mexico City, Stieber posted three convincing wins at 70 kg (154 pounds) Thursday en route to a gold medal at the event.
Stieber, who will be a redshirt junior this winter at Ohio State, opened with a 10-0 technical fall win over Tasso Rocha of Brazil in the quarterfinals. He then topped Ecuador's Yoan Blanco in the semifinals, 9-2.
Facing Puerto Rico's Pedro Soto in the gold medal match, Stieber used a strong start to post a 4-1 victory.
A four-time state champion at Monroeville, Stieber sat out the 2013-14 season at Ohio State as a redshirt, a strategic move by head coach Tom Ryan to position the Buckeyes for a shot at the NCAA title this coming winter.
He finished third at the NCAA championships in Des Moines, Iowa as a sophomore, losing just one match all season. Hunter Stieber will be featured in a lineup with older brother and three-time NCAA champion Logan Stieber. The brothers will be joined by heralded recruits and two more four-time Ohio state champions Bo Jordan (St. Paris Graham) and Nick Tomasello (Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy).
Among a star-studded home schedule next season that will feature Iowa, Minnesota, Penn State and the Big Ten championships, Ohio State will wrestle Indiana in a Big Ten dual hosted at Norwalk High School on Jan. 23, 2015.