Ohio State at No. 12 Wisconsin
2 p.m. ET Feb. 13
UW Field House
Coverage: CoverItLive (uwbadgers.com)
Probable Starters: Click HERE
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State wrestling team will travel to Madison, Wis., for a Big Ten matchup against the No. 12 Badgers at 2 p.m. ET Sunday in UW Fieldhouse.
It will be the 46th meeting between the Buckeyes (2-9; 1-5 Big Ten) and Wisconsin (9-4-1; 0-3-1) with Ohio State trailing, 27-18-1, in the all-time series.
Ohio State enters the weekend with a 2-9 overall record and 1-5 ledger in the Big Ten Conference. So far, the Buckeyes have wins over Edinboro (31-14) and Michigan State (19-16).
Senior Colt Sponseller and redshirt-freshman Nick Heflin are tied for the team lead in wins with 17 each. With 15 wins apiece, sophomore Ian Paddock and redshirt-freshman Peter Capone are second on the squad.
Buckeyes in the Rankings
Colt Sponseller and Nick Heflin are ranked in the Top 20 in the Intermat polls in their respective weight classes. As of Feb. 8, Sponseller holds down the seventh spot at 165 pounds, while Heflin is 13th at 174 pounds.
Redshirt-junior Bo Touris earned his first-career Big Ten win at Illinois Feb. 4. Touris, who hails from Cincinnati, Ohio, posted an 11-6 decision over Logan Arlis in the 125-pound matchup. Touris owned 6-4 and 8-6 leads at the conclusion of the first and second periods and in the third recorded a takedown and amassed a riding time of 2:19 to secure the victory.
A First…Part 2
Jacob Vaughan, a sophomore from Johnstown, Ohio, received his first dual start for the Buckeyes vs. Minnesota Feb. 5 at 133 pounds. Previously competing in a variety of open tournaments, Vaughan tested Gopher David Thorn throughout the match, especially in the opening period. One minute and six seconds into the bout, Vaughan scored a takedown and 2-point nearfall for a four-point lead and began the second period with a 5-4 advantage. However, Vaughan lost, 19-11.
True freshman Joe Grandominico is slated to crack the Buckeye starting lineup at 149 pounds Sunday. A native of Westerville, Ohio, who attended Olentangy High School, Grandominico currently owns a 4-6 overall record from open tournament action.
We’re Going Streaking
Senior captain Colt Sponseller is currently on a six-match win streak dating back to Jan. 8 at the National Duals. Since dropping an 8-3 decision to No. 3 Justin Kerber of No. 1 Cornell at the National Duals, Sponseller has seen his overall and Big Ten record improve to 17-3 and 5-1, respectively.
Sponseller Six-Match Win Streak
Feb. 5:DEC (5-2) vs. Cody Yohn (Minnesota)
Feb. 4:DEC (3-2) vs. Conrad Polz (Illinois)
Jan. 28:DEC (5-1) vs. Aaron Hynes (Michigan)
Jan. 22:DEC (5-3sv) vs. Aaron Janssen (Iowa)
Jan. 16:MDEC (12-2) vs. Ben Boudro (Michigan St)
Jan. 8:DEC (4-0) vs. Nick Pickerell (UNI-National Duals)
Read All About It
Redshirt-sophomore Jared Kusar recently was featured in a Columbus Dispatch article (Feb. 3), that recapped his work ethic and drive instilled at an early age thanks to the support of his parents. To read the complete story, click
A Look at Wisconsin
Wisconsin enters its match vs. Ohio State with a 9-4-1 overall record and a 0-3-1 ledger in the Big Ten, one place below (10th) the Buckeyes in the conference standings. (The Badgers will wrestle at Northwestern Friday before hosting the Buckeyes.) Despite the challenges of the league, the Badgers have six wrestlers ranked in the Top 20 of the Intermat polls. Pacing Wisconsin is a trio of Top 3 wrestlers in No. 3 Tyler Graff (133), No. 3 Travis Rutt (184) and No. 2 Trevor Brandvold (197). Graff and Rutt both own 21-1 records, while Brandvold is 5-0 on the season.
Buckeyes vs. Badgers
Although Wisconsin leads the all-time series vs. Ohio State, 27-18-1, the Buckeyes have been winners of three of the past five matchups. It has been nearly two years since both teams have squared off on the mat though. The last meeting was Feb. 22, 2009 in Madison where the Scarlet and Gray prevailed, 24-18.
Last Five Meetings
Feb. 22, 2009: W, 24-18
Dec. 10, 2007: W, 23-13
Feb. 5, 2006: L, 12-38
Feb. 4, 2005: L, 18-20
Feb. 23, 2003: W, 28-17
Weighing in with Zach Stolarsky
Redshirt-junior Zach Stolarsky has returned to providing the inside scoop about Ohio State wrestling this season with his blog, “Weighing In with Zach Stolarsky.” The heavyweight from Solon, Ohio, entered the starting lineup at Penn State Dec. 19 and his blog can be found on OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
For a Good Cause
The Buckeyes’ match vs. the Spartans Jan. 16 was Military Appreciation Day. During the afternoon, Ohio State wore camouflage singlets and during intermission one framed singlet signed by the entire 2010-11 team was raffled off to a lucky fan. In all, the raffle raised $1,850 for the Ray Mendoza Leadership Fund, which is a scholarship through The Ohio State University John Glenn School of Public Affairs. The fund serves as a base for the proposed Major Ray Mendoza Leadership Institute at the Glenn School.
Major Mendoza was a Buckeye wrestling letterwinner in 1992 and 1993. After being promoted to the rank of Major Oct. 1, 2005, Major Mendoza died of wounds sustained during Operation Steel Curtain Nov. 14, 2005 in New Ubaydi, Iraq.
Sophomore Ian Paddock and redshirt-freshman Peter Capone each recorded a 2-0 mark at the Cliff Keen/NWCA National Wrestling Duals Jan. 8 in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Paddock opened the day with a 9-7 decision over Joseph Stanzione of Cornell, before downing Northern Iowa’s Ryan Jaunch, 8-5.
Capone began the national duals shutting out the Big Red’s Maciej Jochym, 7-0, and concluded the afternoon with a 2:57 pin over Joe Johnson of UNI.
Big Ten Championships
Northwestern will host the 2011 Big Ten Championships in Evanston, Ill., March 5-6 at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Fans can purchase tickets by calling the Northwestern ticket office at 888-GO-PURPLE.
2011 Big Ten Championships Ticket Prices
Adult General Admission $36
Youth General Admission $24
Adult General Admission $15
Youth General Admission $12
Adult General Admission $15
Youth General Admission $12
Adult General Admission $18
Youth General Admission $15
The Buckeyes will conclude the 2010-11 regular season when they host No. 16 Northwestern at noon Feb. 19 on Senior Day.