For a wrestler, winning a match by pinfall is the ultimate goal. In a dual meet, a pin gets the team six points. In a tournament, a pin shows complete dominance over the opposing wrestler. Even though a pin — when the wrestler’s shoulders are flat on the mat for at least two seconds — is particularly difficult to get, senior Jeremiah Tobias is on the verge of breaking the Michigan all-time falls record.
With 51 pins for his career, Tobias is five pins shy of breaking Jeff Catrabone’s record set in 1998. More than half of Tobias’s wins have come by pinfall.
“When I go out on the mat, all I think about is pinning (the other wrestler),” Tobias said. “I don’t just want to beat the guy, I want to pin him.”
This aggressive style has served Tobias well this season. He captured the 149-pound weight class title at the Michigan State Open and finished third at the Eastern Michigan Open.
“I don’t really go out onto the mat thinking about the record,” Tobias said. “But afterwards, it is always in the back of my head. I want the record, but it doesn’t affect how I wrestle.”
Despite his penchant for pinning, Tobias has been unable to crack the Michigan starting lineup. This season Tobias has been in and out of the lineup depending on the importance of the match. He has been behind redshirt freshman Eric Tannenbaum, who is currently ranked No. 7 in the 149-pound weight class by Intermat and Amateur Wrestling News.
Usually, a wrestler has plenty of time to prepare for his upcoming matches. In Tobias’s case, he may not find out whether he is going to wrestle until minutes before the match.
“Last year, I only wrestled four varsity matches, so I never really knew if I was going to wrestle,” Tobias said. “I’m just always prepared to wrestle no matter what.”
Even though many of his matches end by pinfall, Tobias says there is no explanation for why he does it so often.
“It’s just natural,” Tobias said. “I just have a feel on top for when to go for the pin. It’s all about feeling comfortable. I usually use simple moves like a wing or a half nelson and try to pound the living crap out of somebody. I did that in high school, and I do it now. And it seems to work.”
Although he has not been wrestling on a consistent basis, Tobias believes he will get the record this season.
“It would be cool to break the record at a home match here in Ann Arbor, but it doesn’t matter as long as it gets (broken),” Tobias said.
The next opportunity for Tobias to move closer to the pinfall record comes this weekend in the Lone Star Duals when Michigan faces No. 4 Nebraska, No. 23 Army and unranked Stanford in dual meet action.