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COLUMBUS, Ohio – After posting a 36-6 victory over Notre Dame College last Sunday to open the 2007-08 season, the No. 8 Ohio State wrestling team is preparing for the Chattanooga Duals Saturday at Maclellan Gym in Chattanooga, Tenn.

In addition to Ohio State and Chattanooga, Anderson and No. 15 (NAIA) Cumberland Universities are scheduled to compete.

Projected OSU Lineup at Chattanooga Duals
125
Nikko Triggas (1-0)
133 Reece Humphrey (1-0)
141 J Jaggers (1-0)
149 Lance Palmer (1-0)
157 Jason Johnstone (0-1)
165 Robel Campbell (0-1)
174 Alex Picazo (1-0)
184 Mike Pucillo (1-0)
197 Zack Weinrich (1-0)/Nickolai Timbs (0-0)
HWT J.D. Bergman (1-0)

IT’S GOOD TO GET THE FIRST ONE
 Ohio State now owns a 49-31-2 (.610) record in season openers following its win against Notre Dame College last Sunday. The Buckeyes had a streak of nine consecutive season opening wins from 1923-1931. The 1923 squad went on to win the Big Ten championship after recording a perfect season with an 8-0 ledger.

MAKING A POINT
 The Buckeyes’ 36 points scored vs. Notre Dame College was the most points the team put up since defeating The Citadel, 38-10, at the Virginia Duals in 2005. The Scarlet and Gray tallied 30 or more points two more times during that campaign win vs. Pittsburgh, 30-3 and win at Virginia Tech, 38-10.

EXPECTING NOTHING LESS
 Head coach Tom Ryan received a strong outing from the squad’s four All-Americans vs. Notre Dame College. The quartet posted three pins and a technical fall to help propel the Buckeyes to a 36-6 victory. At 141 pounds, J Jaggers pinned Brett Freeman in 2:03. Lance Palmer followed that performance with an 18-1 technical fall over No. 6 (NAIA) Nate Spencer in the 149 weight class. Mike Pucillo dropped Cory Braden in 2:36 at 184 pounds, while J.D. Bergman pinned No. 6 (NAIA) Nick Terifaj in 1:27.

All four Buckeyes are ranked in the Top 10 of the USA Today/NWCA/InterMat Preseason Division I coaches poll. Jaggers is sixth and Palmer is third. Pucillo and Bergman are fourth in their respective weight classes.

JUST THE USUAL
After spending the previous three seasons of his career wrestling at 197 pounds, senior J.D. Bergman moved up to heavyweight in 2007-08 and did not miss a beat, downing sixth-ranked (NAIA) Nick Terifaj in 1:27. Bergman’s pin was one of three falls recorded by the Buckeyes, but his time was the quickest. It is the 33rd pin of his career and moves him in a tie for fourth all-time in the OSU records books in career falls. The two-time All-American now is just three wins shy of reaching 100 victories (97-33) at Ohio State.

A STEP UP
True-freshman Nikko Triggas won his first match on the collegiate level in Ohio State’s 36-6 win over Notre Dame College. Triggas posted a 5-2 win against Tyler Savage at 125 pounds. Last year, as a true freshman, Lance Palmer earned his first collegiate victory in the Buckeyes’ season opener vs. Missouri’s Josh Wagner.
Sophomore Zack Weinrich recorded his first collegiate dual win against Notre Dame College. Weinrich posted a 14-3 major decision over Matt Kuti. Weinrich accepted a redshirt last season after competing in the Michigan State Open.

WELCOME BACK 
Senior Alex Picazo returned to the OSU lineup vs. Notre Dame College after missing most of the 2006-07 season because of injury. Picazo, a local product out of Grandview Heights, Ohio, posted a 9-2 victory at 174 pounds over Paul Kordich.

“QUOTE, UNQUOTE” NOTRE DAME COLLEGE 
“Our four All-Americans dominated like we expected them to,” Tom Ryan, head coach, said. “But I give credit to Frank Romano for approaching our program and asking us to compete. Notre Dame College will win some titles in the NAIA if they keep grabbing some of the top wrestlers in the state of Ohio.”   
 “This was a good event,” Ryan said. “The crowd was great and it is proof why Northeast Ohio has some of the greatest wrestling in the country. As a team, it is a great start, but we still have plenty to work on.”

A LOOK AT ANDERSON
Anderson began its season at the Virginia Duals Nov. 3 and posted a 1-2 mark in the all day event. After dropping decisions to VMI (16-13) and host Virginia (45-3), the Trojans earned a 25-22 win against Wagner.

Luis Audelo was perfect on the day (3-0) at 197 pounds. Nick Moreira (125) and Nick DiCarlo (149) were 2-1 for the Trojans.

Anderson is led by Dock Kelly, who is in his seventh season as head coach.

SCOUTING No. 15 CUMBERLAND
Cumberland had four wrestlers place in the Top 10 of the Lindenwood Open Oct. 27. The 15th-ranked Bulldogs (NAIA) faced wrestlers from three Top 10 NAIA teams in No. 2 Lindenwood, No. 8 McKendree and No. 10 Oklahoma City.

At 184 pounds, Jordan Powers, who was unseeded in the tournament, finished second. En route to his runner-up finish, Powers upset No. 1 seed and NAIA All-American Tanner Wolk from McKendree via a fall in 2:41. Powers then went on to edge No. 4 seed and All-American Mitchell Eichenauer from Oklahoma City, 4-3. Corey Bleaken also posted a second-place showing at 157 pounds. Bleaken lost in the final to former NAIA champion Mark Dickman. Freshman Joshua Chappa was fifth at 125 pounds and junior Eddie Sanchez was sixth at 149 pounds.

In his fifth season as the Bulldog head coach is Jarad Swint.

A GLANCE AT THE HOSTS
No. 21 Chattanooga will get its season underway when it hosts the Chattanooga Duals Saturday. The Mocs held their annual Blue-Gold wrestle offs Nov. 1 and six upperclassmen and three underclassmen are slated for starting positions in the varsity lineup in 2007-08.

Chris Bono is in his second season as head coach of Chattanooga.

HEAD COACH TOM RYAN
The Buckeyes are under the direction of Tom Ryan, who is entering his second year as head coach of the Scarlet and Gray. In his inaugural season, Ryan directed Ohio State to an 8-7 overall record and 4-4 ledger in the Big Ten. He then guided the Buckeyes to a 10th-place finish at the NCAA championships this past spring after coaching four wrestlers to All-America laurels. 

FRESH FACES
Fifteen freshmen were added to the wrestling team in 2007-08. This class was ranked the No. 1 incoming class in the nation by many wrestling publications, such as intermatwrestle.com and Amateur Wrestling News. The rookie class also earned a No. 2 standing in Wrestling International Newsmagazine (W.I.N.).

IN THE RANKINGS
Ohio State is ranked in the Top 10 in the three major collegiate preseason wrestling polls. The Buckeyes earned a No. 8 ranking in the USA Today/NWCA/InterMat Preseason Division I coaches poll. The Scarlet and Gray also is eighth in the Wrestling International Newsmagazine (W.I.N.) standings and fifth in the Amateur Wrestling News polls. The W.I.N. and Amateur Wrestling News team standings are based on tournament strength.  

IN THE RANKINGS PART II
Five Buckeyes earned Top 15 preseason rankings in the three major collegiate wrestling polls.
USA Today/NWCA/InterMat (Oct. 23)
133 – No. 6 T.J. Enright
141– No. 6 J Jaggers
149 – No. 3 Lance Palmer
184 – No. 4 Mike Pucillo
HWT – No. 4 J.D. Bergman

Amateur Wrestling News
133 – No. 7 T.J. Enright
141– No. 7 J Jaggers
149 – No. 3 Lance Palmer
184 – No. 4 Mike Pucillo
HWT – No. 8 J.D. Bergman

W.I.N. (Oct. 3)
133 – No. 12 T.J. Enright
141– No. 6 J Jaggers
149 – No. 4 Lance Palmer
184 – No. 4 Mike Pucillo
HWT – No. 5 J.D. Bergman

THE RETURN OF THE ALL-AMERICANS
Ohio State returns four All-Americans from a season ago for the 2007-08 campaign. A pair of sophomores in Lance Palmer (149) and Mike Pucillo (184) garnered their first-career All-America honors as freshmen. Junior J Jaggers (141) also earned his first-career All-America accolade in 2007, while senior J.D. Bergman became a two-time All-American at 197 pounds.
 
DON’T I KNOW YOU?
Matt Koz, a senior for Chattanooga who wrestles at 197 pounds, is a graduate of St. Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio. Buckeyes Sean Nemec (157) and Lance Palmer (149) also are products of the wrestling powerhouse in Northeast Ohio.

Koz previously attended Minnesota before transferring to Chattanooga in January 2006.  

2007-08 SCHEDULE
Ohio State has an exciting home schedule that features many of the best collegiate wrestling teams in the nation. The Buckeyes open their home slate in St. John Arena against Rutgers Nov. 26 before opening their Big Ten Conference schedule against No. 12 Wisconsin Dec. 10. Ohio State will meet No. 4 Iowa and No. 11 Penn State in back-to-back meets Jan. 18 and Jan. 25. No. 5 Michigan will come to Columbus Feb. 10 and then the Buckeyes will wrap up their regular-season home schedule out of conference vs. No. 16 Edinboro.

In addition to traveling to Cleveland, Ohio, to face Notre Dame College, Ohio State is on the road for much of the early part of its schedule. Following their trip to northeast Ohio, the Buckeyes will travel south to Chattanooga, Tenn., where they will participate in the Chattanooga Duals Saturday. The Scarlet and Gray will partake in the annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational Nov. 30-Dec. 1 to wrap up the month of November.

From Dec. 16-Jan. 13, Ohio State will make its rounds to the Ohio Duals (Dec. 16) in Athens, Ohio, Kent State (Jan. 4) and the National Duals (Jan. 12-13) in Cedar Falls, Iowa, before returning to St. John Arena for two conference duals. The Buckeyes then return to the road for three-consecutive meets at No. 15 Indiana (Feb. 1), Purdue (Feb. 3) and Michigan State (Feb. 8). The regular season concludes at No. 1 Minnesota Feb. 24.

The Golden Gophers will serve as host of the 2008 Big Ten Championships, March 8-9 in Minneapolis, Minn. The NCAA championships are March 20-22 in St. Louis, Mo.
 
2006-07 RECAP
Ohio State completed the 2006-07 season with an 8-7 overall record and a 4-4 ledger in the Big Ten under first-year head coach Tom Ryan. After finishing ninth in the Big Ten championships, the Buckeyes garnered a 10th-place finish at the NCAA championships. The Top 10 finish served as the Scarlet and Gray’s best national finish since tying for third in 2004.

Ryan coached four wrestlers to All-America status in J Jaggers, Lance Palmer, Mike Pucillo and J.D. Bergman. The four All-Americans are a program best for a first-year wrestling coach at Ohio State.

UP NEXT
The Buckeyes open their home schedule at 7 p.m. Nov. 26 vs. Rutgers in St. John Arena. Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for students.

Contact: Danielle Warner – warner.238@osu.edu