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Dec. 15, 2004

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State wrestling team (1-1, 0-0 Big Ten) opens the 2004-05 home schedule Saturday at St. John Arena with a pair of duals vs. Virginia Tech at noon and Missouri at 4 p.m. The Hokies and Tigers, ranked 13th in the nation, meet in the middle dual at 2 p.m.

MEET SCHEDULE
noon – Virginia Tech (7-1, 1-0 ACC) Vs. Ohio State (1-1, 0-0 Big Ten)
2 p.m. – Virgina Tech Vs. Missouri (1-0, 0-0 Big 12)
4 p.m. – Missouri vs. Ohio State

LAST WEEK: BUCKEYES SPLIT OPENING DUALS AT ALL-OHIO CHAMPIONSHIPS
Ohio State competed in its first dual action of the season Saturday at the 2004 All-Ohio Championships in Athens, Ohio. The Buckeyes opened the event with a 32-3 victory over Findlay and closed the day with a 21-9 loss against host Ohio.

In the opener, the Buckeyes took nine of 10 matches from the Oilers, including five victories via major decision. Freshman T.J. Enright, ranked No. 12, scored with a 6-2 decision before the Buckeyes rolled to five straight wins to end the match.

Zach Craiglow and Nathaniel Agustson posted major decisions at 165 and 174 to set the bout at 22-3. In the final three matches, J.D. Bergman, ranked No. 4 at 197, scored the final major with a 14-3 win over Clint Salisbury. Bergman’s win was sandwiched with decision victories by Alex Picazo and Kirk Nail for the 32-3 team win. Eric Wanner started the match with a 9-1 major at 125.

In the finale vs. Ohio, Ohio State fell behind the Bobcats, 12-3, with a 6-3 Enright decision over Frank Brown serving as the only OSU win in the first six bouts. Following another decision loss at 165, the Buckeyes trailed, 15-3, before closing the gap to 15-6 with a decision win by Augustson at 174. At 197, Bergman finished off his second win of the day with a 3-0 shutout.

BERGMAN, ENRIGHT RANKED NATIONALLY
With their quick starts to the 2004-05 season, J.D. Bergman and T.J. Enright have found themselves in the national rankings in their respective weight classes. Bergman, who started at No. 3 in preseason polls at 197, is ranked No. 4 by W.I.N. Magazine and No. 6 in the NWCA poll. Enright, unranked at the beginning of the season, is 12th in the W.I.N. rankings and 13th in NWCA.

In the Amatuer Wrestling News, Bergman is fourth and Enright 11th for Dec. 15.

YOUTHFUL BUCKEYES LEADING THE WAY
In the opening dual matches last weekend against Findlay and Ohio, the Buckeyes featured a lineup of six freshman, two sophomores and two juniors, who both are wrestling in their first seasons as Buckeyes.

For the year, Ohio State has accumulated 159.0 team points in three tournaments and two dual bouts. Of those 159 points, 78 have come from either a redshirt of true freshman, including a team-best 33.5 by T.J. Enright, a redshirt frosh at 133.

When including 149 Steve Wolery, a junior walk-on, and 174 Nathaniel Augustson, a junior transfer from Embry-Riddle, newcomers have accounted for 104.5 of the 159 points this season. Joining Enright among the team leaders, is Andrew Lowther, a freshman who has recorded three falls at 174 to tie for a team high. Freshman J Jaggers has scored seven 2-point nearfalls to tie for the team lead as well.

BERGMAN WINS AT 2004 NWCA ALL-STAR CLASSIC
J.D. Bergman competed in the 2004 National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star Classic in Edwardsville, Ill. Monday, Nov. 22. The returning All-American, who is ranked No. 3 in all individual polls, defeated Scott Barker of Oregon, the No. 7-ranked wrestler in the nation, via an 8-3 decision in the 197-pound bout.

Bergman was slated to face John Trenge of Lehigh, who is rated No. 1 at 197, but Trenge was forced to pull out of the event because of injury.

Early in the match, Bergman trailed Barker, 2-1, after the Duck scored his second escape. Later, Bergman jumped ahead with a takedown on a lateral throw and then took advantage of a missed shot by Barker and scored another takedown to extend his lead to 8-3. After a scoreless third period, Bergman claimed the win via decision.

Bergman is the ninth Buckeye to wrestle in the All-Star event. In the last four seasons, Tommy Rowlands wrestled in the event three times, sitting out once with an injury, while John Clark and Keaton Anderson competed in the 2003 event.

ENRIGHT RECORDS BUCKEYE FIRST
T.J. Enright’s consecutive tournament titles at 133 pounds to open the season account for an Ohio State first. With tournament crowns at the Oklahoma Gold Classic Nov. 13 and Michigan State Open Nov. 21, the Galloway, Ohio native has become the first freshman to win his initial two tournaments in the Russ Hellickson era, which dates back to 1986.

ENRIGHT NAMED BIG TEN WRESTLER OF THE WEEK FOR NOV. 23
T.J. Enright gained his second tournament title in the opening two weeks of the 2004 wrestling season, winning the 133-pound class at the 2004 Michigan State Open in East Lansing, Mich. With the tourney crown, Enright was named Big Ten wrestler of the week for Nov. 23.

Enright was named outstanding wrestler for the 2004 MSU Open after recording falls in three of his four victories en route to the championship. In the event final vs. Kyle Stoffer of Central Michigan, Enright recorded pin No. 3 at the 4:27 mark of the match to seal the 133 crown.

Enright, the No. 5 seed, upended top-seed and 2004 NWCA All-Star Sam Hiatt of Northern Illinois in the semifinal, 3-1. The tournament crown is the second for Enright this season after winning the Oklahoma Gold Classic last weekend. He is 8-0 on the season with three falls.

BUCKEYES AND HOKIES MEET FOR FIRST TIME IN MORE THAN 30 YEARS
Ohio State and Virginia Tech have not wrestled since the 1973 season, a 37-3 OSU win. In 10 previous meetings, Ohio State has won all 10 matches with the Hokies, dating back to 1963.

SCOUTING VIRGINIA TECH
The Hokies are in their first season as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. So far, Virginia Tech sports a 7-1 record, including a 32-0 shutout win over in-state rival and new league foe Virginia in its most recent match last Friday.

The Hokies feature a quartet of wrestlers who are ranked in the latest individual poll from W.I.N. Magazine. Mike Faust, a junior , is ranked No. 9 at HWT, while 133-pounder David Hoffman and 165-pounder Chris Stith are ranked in the Top 15. Senior Reed Carpenter moved into the rankings at 157 this week at No. 19.

Head coach Tom Brands has helped the Hokies to its 7-1 record in his first season at Virginia Tech after 11 seasons as an assistant at Iowa. Brands is a three-time former NCAA champion and a 1996 Olympic gold medalist.

SEVERAL BUCKEYES AND TIGERS INTRODUCED AT LAS VEGAS INVITE
Earlier this month, Ohio State and Missouri competed in the 2004 Las Vegas Invitational. The Tigers, who placed sixth in the event, had several wrestlers cross paths with a handful of Buckeyes.

At 133, Ohio State’s T.J. Enright defeated MU’s Tyler McCormick, ranked 20th at the time, in the Round of 16 match by a tight, 3-2 margin to advance to the quarterfinals.

In the Round of 16 at 157, Buckeye freshman Keegan Mueller scored another one-point with at 2-1 over then-No. 12 Brad Cieleski.

At HWT, No. 17-ranked Jeff Foust downed OSU’s Kirk Nail by a 4-1 decision in the wrestlebacks.

OSU AND MIZZOU ALL-TIME
The Buckeyes and Tigers have a more recent history, wrestling in a dual last season. Missouri emerged with a 34-9 win in a tri-meet at Tennessee-Chattanooga.

Overall, the Tigers lead the series by a 4-5 edge, but the Buckeyes have won three of the last four meetings after last season.

Ohio State head coach Russ Hellickson is 3-1 all-time when leading the Buckeyes against Missouri, winning matches in 1998, 1990 and 1988.

THE TAKE ON THE TIGERS
Missouri comes into the match with the Buckeyes Saturday ranked No. 13 in the country by W.I.N. Magazine and in the NWCA/USA Today Poll.

The Tigers are led by W.I.N.’s top-ranked wrestler at 174 pounds in Ben Askren, who recently won the 2004 Las Vegas Invitational Dec. 4.

Tigers also featured in W.I.N.’s latest rankings are Chris McCormick (No. 14 at 141), Tyron Woodley (No. 9 at 165), Matt Pell (No. 10 at 184) and Jeff Foust, who is No. 17 at 197. Brad Cielenski is 15th in A.W.N at 157.

Brian Smith is in his sixth season as head coach at Missouri. He helped the Tigers post their highest finishes in the Big 12 and NCAA tournament last season with a second-place finish in the league and a No. 13 standing in the nation. Smith is 56-39-1 as Missouri head coach, including the team’s 1-0 record this season after a 25-10 win vs. Purdue.

BUCKEYES – TIGERS LAST MEETING
When Ohio State and Missouri met last season at Tennessee-Chattanooga, the Tigers were ranked as high as the No. 2 team in the nation. Mizzou held up that reputation with a 34-9 win over the Buckeyes. Ohio State jumped out to an early 4-0 edge over the Tigers in the match. John Clark recorded a 23-9 major decision. Ohio State held a 7-6 lead after the 184 match, following a loss by Anthony Magistrelli at 174 and a decision win by Blake Kaplan.

Following a decision loss at 197 by J.D. Bergman, Tommy Rowlands claimed a 3-point decision to set the match at 9-9 after a one-point team deduction. The win by Rowlands would be the last by the Buckeyes as Missouri claimed victories in each of the last six matches, including falls or technical falls in all but the 149 match where No. 9-ranked Ratliff met No. 6 Jeremy Spates of Missouri. Spates emerged with a tight 11-8 decision en route to setting the final match tally at 34-9.

TIMES ANNOUNCED FOR JAN. 30 TRI-MEET VS. INDIANA AND VIRGINIA
The 2004 Ohio State home schedule features a pair of three-way dual meets this season at St. John Arena.

On Jan. 30, Ohio State plays host to its second tri-meet with Indiana and Virginia.

The Hoosiers and Cavaliers will face off in the opener at noon. Ohio State will wrestle in the final two bouts against Virginia at 2 p.m. and conference foe Indiana at 4 p.m.

All matches are scheduled to begin as soon as possible after the conclusion of the previous match. The 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. times are approximate starts.

HELLICKSON COVERS 2004 OLYMPIC WRESTLING FOR NBC
Ohio State wrestling head coach Russ Hellickson served as play-by-play announcer for NBC’s coverage of the 2004 Olympic Games Aug. 13-29 in Athens, Greece. Hellickson, who was a part of his sixth Olympic broadcast team, teamed with Jeff Blatnick for both Greco and Freestyle wrestling.

Hellickson previously covered wrestling at the 1984, ’88, ’92, ’96 and 2000 Olympic games in the role of analyst at the 1984 Los Angeles games and as play-by-play from 1988 in Seoul, Korea through 2000 in Sydney, Australia. As a wrestler, he was an Olympic silver medallist at the 1976 games in Montreal and a member of the 1980 U.S. team that boycotted Olympics in Moscow.

ROWLANDS NOT FINISHED WITH BUCKEYES YET
Tommy Rowlands, whose national crown at the HWT class in 2004 touts him as the only four-time All-American in program history and just the second Buckeye to win two NCAA titles, will remain with Ohio State in 2004 as an assistant coach.

Rowlands will assume the volunteer position and offer the expertise that allowed him to conclude his career as the most decorated wrestler in Ohio State history. Rowlands, who narrowly missed a spot on the U.S. Olympic team at 211 pounds in May, is the all-time leader at Ohio State in career wins (164), career team points (702.0) and career takedowns (705). His career record of 164-14 (.921) ranks fourth all-time in winning percentage at OSU, while his 44 wins in 2004 and 43 triumphs in 2001 rank fourth and fifth all-time in a single season.

Mitch Clark ADDED TO FULL-TIME COACHING STAFF
Following six seasons as a volunteer coach at Ohio State, Mitch Clark joins the Buckeye staff in a full-time capacity in 2004-05.

In his term as a volunteer assistant, Clark helped the Buckeyes to a pair of Top 6 finishes in the nation, including a tie for third place at the 2004 NCAA championships last March. The former two-time All-American and 1998 national champion at 177 pounds also helped his brother John Clark to his second All-American at the 2004 NCAA’s.

M. Clark capped his wrestling career at Ohio State with a 39-1 record and the national crown his senior season, which followed a national runner-up finish his junior campaign. A two-time Big Ten champion, M. Clark ranks 10th in career wins, being passed by John last season.

CLARK CONNECTION
After sending brothers John (2000-2004) and Mitch Clark (1994-98) to glory at the NCAA championships as each earned multiple All-America honors with Mitch winning the 1998 national championship, Russ Hellickson welcomes a third Clark brother, Charlie Clark.

As a senior last season, C. Clark helped Blair Academy to a New Jersey state championship after earning national high school All-American status. Clark will wrestle at 165 in 2004-05.

UP NEXT
Ohio State will break action until Dec. 29-30 for the 42nd annual Midlands Tournament in Evanston, Ill.