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Nov. 22, 2006

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No. 15 Ohio State
(0-1-0; 0-0-0 Big Ten)
vs.
No. 9 Cornell
(0-0-0; 0-0-0 Ivy League)
2 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 26, 2006
Newman Arena

Probable Match-ups
Ohio State vs. Cornell
125 – Will Livingston vs. Troy Nickerson
133 – T.J. Enright vs. Bridge/Frey
141 – J Jaggers vs. Keith Dickey
149 – Lance Palmer vs. Jordan Leen
157 – Jason Johnstone vs. Hovis/Post
165 – Chris Vondruska vs. Steve Anceravage
174 – Blake Maurer vs. Joey Hooker
184 – Mike Pucillo vs. Luke Hogle
197 – J.D. Bergman vs. Jerry Rinaldi
285 – Corey Morrison vs. Zach Hammond
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 15 Ohio State wrestling team will continue dual action when it travels to Ithaca, N.Y., to face No. 9 Cornell at 2 p.m. Sunday in Newman Arena.

The Buckeyes (0-1-0; 0-0-0 Big Ten) are coming off their first home dual of the season against No. 3 Missouri Nov. 16 in St. John Arena. The Scarlet and Gray is looking to even its record at 1-all after dropping a 29-9 decision to the Tigers.

CLASS OF 2007-08
Ohio State wrestling head coach Tom Ryan announced the signing of five student-athletes to the Buckeye squad for the 2007-08 season. Sean Nemec, Colton Sponseller, Bo Touris, Nikko Triggas and John Weakley will join the team next season.

“As a staff, we are honored each of these young men have chosen to pursue their academic and athletic goals at Ohio State University,” Ryan said. “Each of these young men have won at the highest level with class and hard work. Our staff is looking forward to helping them build upon their successes in every aspect of their lives.”

Nemec, who hails from Lakewood, Ohio, and attended St. Edwards High School, is considered by many the top wrestling recruit in Ohio. Entering his senior year at St. Edwards, Nemec is ranked as high as first in the nation at 152 pounds in the wrestling publication Amateur Wrestling News and second by Wrestling International Newsmagazine. Nemec is a two-time high school state champion, three-time finalist and the 2004 Cadet freestyle national champion. Nemec also is a two-time junior national freestyle All-American, finishing third at 152 pounds in 2006 and sixth at 145 pounds in 2005.

Sponseller, a student at West Holmes High School in Millersburg, Ohio, is a two-time high school state champion. Wrestling at 160 pounds, Sponseller also is the 2006 NHSCA Junior National Champion. Currently ranked as high as fourth in W.I.N. Magazine’s preseason rankings, Sponseller was a seventh-place finisher in the 2005 freestyle competition.

Touris is a native from West Chester, Ohio, and attended Lakota West High School. Wrestling at 112 pounds in 2005, Touris was an Ohio high school state division I district qualifier and finished the season with a 36-6 record. In 2006, Touris returned to 103 pounds after wrestling at that weight his freshman year, and finished third in the Ohio high school state championships, capping a 46-1 season. Touris also was the Ohio Cadet Greco Roman and Freestyle state champion in 2005. Touris, a Fargo Nationals Cadet Greco Roman National champion, also finished second at the FILA nationals in Cadet Greco Roman competition. Touris was ranked as high as fifth at 103 pounds in W.I.N Magazine and ninth at 112 pounds in W.I.N. Magazine.

Triggas hails from Moraga, Calif., where he attended Campolindo High School and wrestles at 119 pounds. Triggas was the North Coast section champion his freshman, sophomore and junior years. He is the third freshman at any weight in the history of Campolindo to become state champion and is on track to become the second wrestler at Campolindo to win four sectional championships. A three-time state qualifier, Triggas finished third his sophomore year with a 51-3 record and was state champion his junior year, compiling 51-2 mark. Triggas also was the 2005 and 2006 Cadet Greco Roman Champion and finished third in freestyle competition in 2005 with a 19-1 record.

Weakley is from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, and prepped at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy, where he wrestles at 189 pounds. Weakley is a three-time All-American, three-time conference champion, two-time district champion and two-time sectional champion. Weakley has been ranked No. 1 in all divisions and is the No. 2-ranked senior in Ohio according to ohiowrestling.net after winning PAC-7 Wrestler of the Year last season. Weakley’s freestyle and Greco Roman credentials include becoming a three-time All-American, three-time freestyle state champion, three-time Greco Roman state champion and the Greco Roman Junior National runner-up in 2006.

IN THE POLLS
Ohio State is ranked in the Top 20 in three major polls. The Buckeyes are 15th in the USA Today/InterMat/NWCA rankings, 10th in the W.I.N. standings and 16th in TheWrestlingMall.com polls.

INDIVIDUAL STANDINGS
In the USA Today/InterMat/NWCA preseason polls (Oct. 20, 2006), eight of the 10 OSU weight classes are ranked in the Top 20.

133 – No. 18 T.J. Enright/Reece Humphrey
141 – No. 6 J Jaggers
149 – No. 19 Jason Johnstone/Lance Palmer
157 – No. 14 Chris Vondruska
174 – No. 12 Blake Maurer
184 – No. 13 Mike Pucillo
197 – No. 5 J.D. Bergman

SCOUTING CORNELL
Picked as the preseason No. 1 in the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association based on voting by the EIWA head coaches, Cornell has seven wrestlers that are ranked in the Top 6 of their respective weight classes, including Troy Nickerson and Steve Anceravage, who were named to the top spot. At 125 pounds, Nickerson was picked to finish first. Last season, Nickerson earned Ivy League Wrestler of the Year and Rookie of the Year honors. He went 4-0 at the EIWA championships to capture first place and led the Big Red in wins with 36. At 165 pounds, Anceravage took second at the EIWA championships last season. He went 25-10 for the season and was the No. 11 seed at the NCAA championships. Jerry Rinaldi is in the second position at 197 pounds. Rinaldi took second place at last year’s EIWA championships. During his junior campaign, Rinaldi had a 28-3 record and finished fourth at the NCAA championships.

The Big Red recently won the Body Bar Invitational for the second-consecutive year Saturday by a slim margin of one point ahead of No. 7 Michigan. Three Cornell wrestlers won individual titles. Jordan Leen took the 149 title, Rinaldi captured the 197 class, and Zach Hammond took home the title at 285.

Head coach for Cornell is Rob Koll (North Carolina, 1989).

BUCKEYES VS. BIG RED
The Buckeyes lead the Big Red, 6-4-1, in the all-time series. The two teams last met in 2005 and Ohio State lost 27-9 in Ithaca, N.Y.

Ohio State vs. Cornell – All-Time series
2005 – Ohio State 9, Cornell 27
2004 – Ohio State 20, Cornell 21
2003 – Ohio State 28, Cornell 12
1998 – Ohio State 14, Cornell 15
1986 – Ohio State 45, Cornell 4
1981 – Ohio State 40, Cornell 4
1979 – Ohio State 43, Cornell 3
1932 – Ohio State 13, Cornell 17*
1931 – Ohio State 14, Cornell 14*
1930 – Ohio State 21, Cornell 11
1929 – Ohio State 15, Cornell 13

Ohio State record in Ithaca: 4-1
Ohio State record in Columbus: 1-0
Ohio State record at neutral site: 1-2
*Do not have home and away information for 1931 and 1932

VS. THE IVY LEAGUE
The Buckeyes own a 9-6-1 record against the Ivy League Conference. Ohio State is perfect against Brown (3-0) and Harvard (1-0), leads Cornell (6-4-1), is tied with Princeton (1-1) and trails Penn (0-1).

OHIO CONNECTIONS
Charlie Agozzino, a senior who wrestles at 157 pounds for the Big Red, hails from Cleveland Ohio, where he attended St. Edwards High School.

Agozzino prepped at the same high school as Ohio State’s and 2005 top recruit Lance Palmer and Buckeye transfer Chris Vondruska.

VS. CORNELL-2005
Ohio State and Cornell last met during the 2004-05 season in the Friedman Events Center in Ithaca, N.Y. and the Buckeyes dropped a 27-9 decision to the then-No. 11-ranked Big Red.

At 197, then-sophomore J.D. Bergman got the Buckeyes on the board with a 4-1 decision over Jerry Rinaldi by a 4-1 count. Bergman, ranked No. 4 in all major polls at the time, wrestled No. 7/11 Rinaldi to a scoreless tie through the first two periods before scoring an escape and a takedown. Bergman added a riding-time advantage for the final 4-1 count. Ohio State closed the dual with a decision win at 141 by freshman Jason Johnstone via a 4-2 score.

ON THE ROAD
Ohio State owns a 39-28-0 overall record in its opening duals on the road.

ON THIS DATE
The Buckeyes are looking to even up their record when competing on Nov. 26, as OSU is 0-1 on this date. Ohio State faced Iowa State Nov. 26, 2000 in St. John Arena and dropped a close 16-22 decision.

THE REBOUND
Although the Buckeyes fell to Missouri, 13-25, last season in Columbia, Mo., Ohio State was able to bounce back with a convincing 30-3 over Pittsburgh in its following dual. The Scarlet and Gray is looking to rebound from their loss to the Tigers Nov. 16 in St. John Arena when it faces Cornell Sunday.

THE 11TH MAN
A crowd of 2,354 was in attendance for the Buckeyes’ 2006-07 season opener and head coach Tom Ryan’s debut in St. John Arena. The crowd surpassed the second-best attendance from last season, which was 1,445. The record attendance from last year was 3,022 vs. Minnesota Jan. 27, 2006.

FRESHMAN FIRSTS
True freshman Lance Palmer and redshirt freshman Mike Pucillo earned their first career collegiate dual wins against Missouri. Palmer downed Top-20 ranked Josh Wagner, 1-0, in the 149-pound weight class. Pucillo was able to overcome Raymond Jordan, who is ranked as high as fourth in some national polls, 3-2.

PICKING UP WHERE HE LEFT OFF
Redshirt sophomore J Jaggers added another win to his record against Missouri when he defeated Amond Prater, 12-7. Jaggers has won 11 of his last 13 dual matches dating back to Jan. 14, 2006 when he downed Matt Dragon of Penn in 4:06 at the Virginia Duals.

LAST TIME OUT – NO. 3 MISSOURI
Ohio State lost to No. 3 Missouri, 29-9, Nov. 16 in St. John Arena in Tom Ryan’s debut as head coach of the Scarlet and Gray. Three Buckeyes, J Jaggers (141), Lance Palmer (149) and Mike Pucillo (184) garnered wins for Ohio State.

HEAD COACH Tom Ryan
Tom Ryan enters his inaugural season as head coach of the Ohio State wrestling team in 2006-07. Ryan, who joins OSU following 11 seasons at Hofstra, is the Buckeyes’ ninth head coach in the program’s 86-year history.

At Hofstra, Ryan led the Pride to six consecutive conference titles, which included the Colonial Athletic Association crown in 2006. Hofstra won the Eastern Collegiate Wrestling Association championship in 2001 before winning five consecutive CAA titles. During his tenure with the Pride, which began in 1995, Ryan was named conference coach of the year seven times. He also was a two-time New York State Coach of the Year.

Highlights of Ryan’s coaching career at Hofstra included recording a 47-match (46-0-1) conference unbeaten streak in dual action dating back to 1999. The mark stands as the nation’s longest conference unbeaten streak. Overall, Ryan compiled a 109-83-1 record in his first head coaching stint.

Ryan has guided 65 wrestlers to NCAA championship appearances, including eight in 2006. Eleven of his wrestlers earned All-America honors, while 10 were named Academic All-Americans. He also coached his wrestlers to 45 individual conference titles.

Prior to his head coaching role at Hofstra, Ryan was an assistant coach at Indiana from 1992-1994. Ryan was responsible for the daily training for middleweight wrestlers, weight training and recruiting.

In addition to his collegiate coaching experience, Ryan began operating Elite Wrestling Inc., in Hempstead, N.Y., in 1995. Ryan produced a wrestling school that enrolled more than 400 members and 500 summer campers. Elite Wrestling also is the title of Ryan’s recently completed second book.

LIVE WEB STREAMING
Live web streaming of Ohio State’s match ups against Indiana (Jan. 28) and Michigan State (Feb. 2) are available on ohiostatebuckeyes.com.

EXPANDED COVERAGE
The NCAA and ESPN announced in October expanded live television coverage of the 2007 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships March 15-17 in Auburn Hills, Mich.

For the first time, in the 77-year history of the Division I Wrestling Championships, the Saturday morning medal round will be televised. Scheduled for 10 a.m. EST March 17 on ESPNU, the championships medal round determines the third through eighth place finishers who are honored as All-Americans.

The 2007 championships are March 15-17 at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Mich. The University of Michigan and the Detroit Metro Sports Commission will serve as hosts.

Tickets for the 2007 championships are available by visiting http://www.detroitsports.org/wrestling/tickets/index.html.

UP NEXT
The Las Vegas Invitational and the Penn State Open is up next for the Buckeyes. Ohio State will travel to Primm, Nev., for the all day event Dec. 1-2, while some members of the squad will compete at the Penn State Open in State College, Pa., Dec. 3 for that all day tournament.