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Feb. 18, 2003

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Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State wrestling team (10-7, 2-4), ranked 9th and 10th in the major wrestling polls, looks to snap a three-match losing streak as it completes the 2003 regular season with a trip to Northwestern Friday night at 8 p.m. (EST) and No. 24 Wisconsin Sunday at 2 p.m. (EST).

LAST WEEK’S ACTION
The Buckeyes dropped a pair of close dual meets last week to Top 10 opponents Illinois and Michigan.

Ohio State hosted the Illini Thursday night at St. John Arena as the dual went to the deciding and final match at 149 between OSU’s Josh Daugherty and Tony Pedrosa of Illinois. The two grappled to a 4-4 stalemate at the end of regulation as the match headed to overtime, where Pedrosa scored a 2-point reversal to claim the upset for the Illini.

The Buckeyes attempted to bounce back Sunday at Ann Arbor, but quickly fell into an 11-0 deficit following the 125 and 133 matches.

Ohio State started a rally late in the day after decision wins in each of the 174 and 184, but could close to within only nine as the Wolverines knocked off the Buckeyes by a final tally of 26-17.

HELLICKSON SEEKS 250th CAREER WIN AT OHIO STATE
With the victory at Penn State Feb. 6, Ohio State 17th-year head coach Russ Hellickson is just one win shy of 250 in his Ohio State coaching career. Should Hellickson, who is the only coach in OSU wrestling history to reach the 150-win plateau, lead the Buckeyes to victory over Illinois Thursday he will join Minnesota’s J Robinson as the only active Big Ten coaches to reach the milestone at their respective schools.

No. 1 Keaton Anderson looks to extend win streak to 19

OSU senior 157 Keaton Anderson extended his current win streak to 18 matches last week with a 3-2 decision over Illinois’ Alex Tirapelle and a 7-3 tally over No. 9 Ryan Bertin of Michigan.

On Feb. 2, then-No. 2 Anderson and No. 1 Luke Becker of Minnesota scrapped to a 0-0 tie after the first period before Anderson set the 1,515 in attendance into an eruption with an emphatic 2-point takedown midway through the second period. Anderson carried a 3-1 advantage into the third stanza and extended the lead with two strong takedowns as he had Becker on the verge of a pin fall on two separate occasions for a 10-3 edge and claim the top spot in the country.

ROWLANDS SETS ALL-TIME MARK
With the 3-point decision versus Purdue Feb. 9, Tommy Rowlands has now claimed the top spot in career team points in Ohio State program history. Rowlands eclipsed Ohio State assistant coach Mitch Clark’s career mark of 448.5 and now stands at 459.5. His 165.0 team points in 2002 tied Clark for second all-time in season points scored. Rowlands’ 162.0 team points in the 2000-01 campaign place him fourth in that category as well.

The Buckeye HWT surpassed another OSU assistant in Ken Ramsey on the all-time charts as he scored has scored 23 takedowns in his last three matches to surpass Ramsey for second in all-time takedowns with 463.

SCOUTING NORTHWESTERN
The Wildcats started the 2002-03 season winning five of their first six matches, but have since fallen on hard times and dropped each of their last 10 duals. NU sports a 5-11 dual record coming into the match with OSU, which includes an 0-8 mark in Big Ten action.

Senior Jason Erwinski leads the Wildcats with an 11-4 dual mark this season, including four straight wins since moving to the 165-pound class from 174.

Head coach Tim Csyewski is in the midst of year number 13 at the Wildcat helm. He has posted a career mark of 92-131-3.

Ohio State versus Northwestern
The Buckeyes lead the all-time series with Northwestern 36-27, including a 33-3 dual victory in Columbus last season.

BRIEFING THE BADGERS
The No. 24-ranked Badgers will play host to the Buckeyes Sunday at UW Field House. Wisconsin enters this weekend’s competition with one win in seven conference contests and an overall mark of 9-6.

The Badger line up features a brother tandem at 125 and 133, in Tony (125) and Kevin Black (133). Each is ranked among the Top 10 in their respective divisions as they have combined for a 35-8 record on the 2003 season.

At the Badger helm is 10-year head coach Barry Davis, who has compiled a career mark of 85-78-6 and led five Badgers to Big Ten individual championships.

BUCKEYES AND BADGERS
Ohio State claimed the 2002 bout between the Badgers and Buckeyes with a tight 21-18 decision. In all, UW leads the series 25-16-1, with the first meeting taking place in 1925.

OSU ALL-STARS: ANDERSON & CLARK
Senior 157 and top-ranked Keaton Anderson and junior 165 and third-ranked John Clark represented Ohio State at the 2003 NWCA All-Star Classic Monday. Ohio State head coach Russ Hellickson contributed as a coach at the elite competition held at the University of Delaware.

Anderson faced Northern Illinois’ Scott Owen, ranked third in the latest national polls. Anderson and Owen grappled to a 2-2 stalemate at the end of regulation and headed to sudden victory overtime where Owen chose the down position and Anderson took advantage by locking Owen into a cradle and a three-point near-fall for the 5-2 victory.

Clark sought out to avenge one of his three losses in 2003 to No. 4-ranked Troy Letters of Lehigh, who bested Clark 8-3 in the third place match at the Midlands earlier this season. Clark fell short in an eventful and high-scoring 19-14 decision in favor of Letters. The bout began with Letters taking an 11-3 edge following the first period, but Clark recovered to pull within 16-10. In the third period both Clark and Letters traded takedowns, while Clark scored two escapes to Letters’ one, but ultimately fell short at 19-14.

THE HEART OF THE ORDER
The middle of the OSU lineup boasts a pair of Top 5 wrestlers who have excelled in dual meets this season in No. 1 Keaton Anderson and No. 4 John Clark at the 157 and 165 slots. Each has thrived in the dual setting as they have combined for a spectacular 27-3 combined mark in 2003, with Anderson at 13-0 and Clark at 14-3.

Ohio State’s advantage does not stop at 165, however, as No. 6 Blake Kaplan has built a solid 18-3 overall record in 2003 and is currently 4-1 in dual meets since returning from injury.

Rowlands has claimed 12 of his last 14 dual bouts, as he contribute’s to the foursome’s impressive 51-7 combined dual record.

ROWLANDS REACHES CENTURY MARK
Tommy Rowlands recorded his 100th career win when he pinned Matt Seaburg of Chattanooga at the 1:10 mark of the HWT match on Jan. 4. Rowlands is the third Buckeye to tally 100 career wins in the last three seasons and joins assistant coaches and former Buckeyes Ken Ramsey (121 wins) and Mitch Clark (119 wins) on the distinguished list.

UP NEXT
Ohio State will continue its three-match road swing with a bout Friday night versus Northwestern at 7 p.m., while OSU concludes regular season action Sunday at Wisconsin at 2 p.m.