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Feb. 21, 2004

Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State wrestling team (8-11, 4-4 Big Ten) stepped out of conference to close the 2004 dual season as it met No. 16 Northern Iowa (10-6) in Cedar Falls, Iowa Saturday evening in UNI’s West Gym. The Buckeyes, who dropped a 23-18 decision Friday night at No. 10 Iowa, suffered their 11th dual loss this season and seventh by less than seven team points as the Panthers held off a late Buckeye surge to claim a 22-18 tilt.

Ohio State used a decision win by freshman 125 Jermaine Jones (West Chester, Pa./ Henderson) to snag the early 3-0 advantage before falling in the next two matches via default at 133 and technical fall at 141 as UNI carried an 11-3 lead heading to the 149 bout between a pair of Top 15-ranked wrestlers. Ohio State No. 10 Jeff Ratliff (Marion, Ohio/Marion) scored a decision win over No. 14 Jon Garvin by a convincing 10-3 count as the Buckeyes closed to within an 11-6 deficit.

UNI moved ahead again with a major decision at 157 before the Buckeyes began their rally at 165 in another bout featuring a duo of ranked competitors. Ohio State’s John Clark (Canton, N.Y./ Canton), rated as high as No. 9 in the latest polls, scored a decision win over No. 15 Hesston Johnson as the Buckeyes again closed the gap to 15-9.

The Panthers and Buckeyes again alternated wins with UNI taking the 174 match via decision to move ahead 18-9 before Ohio State recorded a five-point technical fall triumph by No. 9 Blake Kaplan (Cincinnati, Ohio/ Sycamore) at 184. Kaplan used a dominating 16-1 effort over Eric Pedretti to pull OSU to within an 18-14 disadvantage.

The final matches of the night saw OSU and UNI again alternate wins as the Panthers claimed a decision victory at 197 as Buckeye J.D. Bergman (Oak Harbor, Ohio/Oak Harbor), ranked 14th, suffered an 11-3 major decision defeat at the hands of No. 6-ranked Sean Stender to lead the Panthers to an insurmountable 22-14 lead.

Buckeye HWT Tommy Rowlands (Hilliard, Ohio/Bishop Ready) upped his season record to 36-1 in the final bout of the night with his 14th technical fall of the season as he downed Micheal Shedeck of UNI 21-6 to set the final match tally at 22-19.

The Buckeyes now move onto to postseason action as they serve as host of the 2004 Big Ten Championships at St. John Arena in Columbus, Ohio March 6-7.

No. 16 Northern Iowa 22, No. 20 Ohio State 18
125 Jones, Jermaine Ohio State Decision Helgeson, Chris Northern Iowa 7-3
HWT Rowlands, Tommy Ohio State Tech. Fall Shedek, Michael Northern Iowa 21-6
197 Stender, Sean Northern Iowa Decision Bergman, J.D. Ohio State 11-3
184 Kaplan, Blake Ohio State Tech. Fall Pedretti, Eric Northern Iowa 16-1
174 Hauan, Eric Northern Iowa Decision Magistrelli, Anthony Ohio State 11-4
165 Clark, John Ohio State Decision Johnson, Hesston Northern Iowa 9-7
157 Bitetto, Chris Northern Iowa M Decision Rhodes, Ryan Ohio State 20-8
149 Ratliff, Jeff Ohio State Decision Garvin, Jon Northern Iowa 10-3
141 Long, Dylan Northern Iowa Tech. Fall Dotson, Theo Ohio State 17-2
133 Garcia, Pat Northern Iowa Default Leng, Jesse Ohio State 0-0