became the first former Section II wrestler to win an NCAA Division I title Saturday night when he knocked off two-time champ Tony Nelson of Minnesota, 4-1, in the 285-pound final.
The North Carolina State red-shirt sophomore, who won two state titles while wrestling for Joe Bena at Duanesburg, gave an escape to Nelson to start the third period, the first point of the match.
The strategy of getting Nelson on his feet paid off moments later when Gwiazdowski took Nelson down for a 2-1 lead.
Nelson took an injury timeout after the takedown, giving Gwiazdowski choice of position.
He took neutral, and locked up the national championship with a takedown at the edge of the circle, barely keeping a toe inbounds.
Gwiazdowski, eighth as a true freshman in 2012 while wrestling at Binghamton for Niskayuna state champ Pat Popolizio, transferred to N.C. State when Poplizio accepted the head coaching position at the ACC school.