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Jan. 24, 2001

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COLUMBUS, Ohio–The Ohio State wrestling team’s current streak stands at 11-consecutive wins as it prepares to battle with two nationally-ranked opponents, No. 17 Penn State and No. 20 Indiana. OSU will battle PSU at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Brice Jordan Center in State College, Pa. and then play host to IU at 2 p.m. Sunday at St. John Arena.

Into The Record Books
When Nick Preston (Jr., Columbus, Ohio/DeSales) scored a fall at 0:16 in his match with Binghamton’s Steve Lane Jan. 14, it was the third-fastest pin at OSU since the 1976-77 season.

Preston’s time, recorded during competition at the Wendy’s Classic at Ashland, Ohio, falls in behind Kevin Randleman’s pin of Illinois’ Keith Bollman at 0:08 in 1992 and Don Moxley’s pin at 0:15 over Dave Green of Rider in 1985. Randleman and Moxley recorded their falls in the 177 and heavyweight divisions, respectively.

Top Combatants
OSU’s Tommy Rowlands (Fr., Columbus, Ohio/Bishop Ready), the No. 1 heavyweight in the nation, will face No. 4 Ryan Kehler of West Virginia in the NWCA All-Star Classic meet Jan. 29.

The meet, which pits the two highest-ranked wrestlers in each weight class against each other, will be held at Lancaster, Pa., on the campus of Franklin and Marshall College.

Rowlands is one of the seven No. 1 wrestlers to compete in the competition that will feature five bouts between the No. 1 and 2 wrestlers in the collegiate ranks.

Tougher Competition
Of the remaining seven duals the Buckeyes will wrestle, six of their opponents currently are ranked in the Top 25 in the nation-No. 3 Iowa, No. 5 Illinois, No. 7 Michigan, No. 10 Michigan State, No. 17 Penn State and No. 20 Indiana.

You’re Invited to a Celebration
Prior to the start of the OSU-Northwestern dual at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4, members of the 1950-51 Big Ten Championship team will be honored in a ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of OSU’s first and only conference championship. The matches that will immediately follow will be televised on Fox Sports-Chicago and aired Feb. 9.

In The Rankings
In the latest polls, the Buckeyes have been ranked No. 9 by W.I.N., No. 15 by Intermat and No. 13 by NWCA/TheMat.com, all improvements from a week ago.

Fab Freshman
Four of the five members of the recruiting class from 1998-99, which was ranked the No. 1 class in the nation by Amateur Wrestling News and No. 4 by Intermat, have fared very well for the Buckeyes this season. The class was made up of Rowlands, Jeff Ratliff (Fr., Marion, Ohio/Marion Harding), Ryan Hieber (Fr., Galion, Ohio/Galion), John Clark (Fr., Canton, N.Y./Canton) and Jesse Leng (So., Hinckley, Ohio/Highland).

Rowlands (HWT), Ratliff (133), Clark (165) and Hieber (174) have combined for a 79-32 record and are 39-13 in duals. Rowlands and Ratliff are ranked No. 1 and No. 19/20 in the nation, respectively,.

Big Ten Championships
The 2001 Big Ten Championships will be held at Welsh-Ryan Arena on the Campus of Northwestern at Evanston, Ill., March 3-4. Ticket order forms are available at the ticket office in St. John Arena. For more information on the tournament, visit the Northwestern University web site, nusports.com.

Scouting Penn State
After breaking into the Top 25 for the first time this season, third-year coach Troy Sunderland and his squad will bring a 5-5 record and No. 17 national ranking after competing in the NWCA National Team Duals. PSU finished the duals with a 2-3 record after losing to No. 7 Nebraska (21-13) in the opening round and No. 8 Oklahoma (33-3) and No. 9 Lehigh (28-6) in the consolation bracket. Prior to the national duals, PSU upset Lehigh, 18-17, to give Sunderland his first win over a Top 10 team in his three-year tenure.

The Nittany Lions are led on the mat by No. 13 Jeff Knupp at 184 and No. 15 Nate Parker at 141.

Nittany Lions vs. Buckeyes
OSU and PSU have met 13 times prior to this year with the Nittany Lions holding a 10-3 advantage. PSU won the teams’ last meeting, a 19-16 decision on Feb. 11, 2000 in Columbus.

Scouting Indiana
The Hoosiers, under the direction of coach Duane Goldman, are off to a 6-1 overall start with a 1-1 record in the Big Ten. IU also has fared well in other events as it has taken third place finishes in the team standings at the Virginia Duals and at the Reno Tournament of Champions.

The Hoosiers are led by returning All-American and current No. 5 at 184, Viktor Sveda. Sveda enters the dual after being named the most outstanding wrestler of the Virginia Duals. During the competition, Sveda won all five of his matches by fall.

Hoosiers vs. Buckeyes
The Buckeyes have met the Hoosiers 78 times, the most of any other OSU opponent (Michigan is second with 75 meetings), and holds the series lead with a 40-36-2 record. OSU has won four-consecutive meetings with IU, including a 24-15 victory last year in Bloomington, Ind.

Noting the Starters
Kore Sharpley (Sr., Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights): Sharpley went 1-1 and scored a major decision in the victory over UNC.

Jeff Ratliff: Ratliff went 1-1 at the opening weight class and scored a win by fall to start the North Carolina dual.

Robert Sessley (Jr., Columbus, Ohio/Beechcroft): Sessley finished the weekend with a 2-0 mark and remained second on the team in wins (24).

Keaton Anderson: (So., Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington) Anderson did not compete over the weekend.

Josh Janson (Jr., Loveland, Ohio/Cincinnati Moeller): Janson won both his matches and earned six points for the team.

John Clark: Clark went 2-0 including a major decision and his first Big Ten win.

Ryan Hieber: Stands 18-11 overall after a 1-1 weekend.

Anton Talamantes (So., Ft. Wayne, Ind./Bishop Dwenger): Talamantes finished the weekend 2-0 and defeated a higher ranked wrestler, No. 15 Nick Richmond of UNC.

Nick Preston: Preston now stands 21-4 after a 2-0 weekend with one major decision.

Tommy Rowlands: Rowlands scored a technical fall and a major decision in a 2-0 weekend.

Next Time Out
OSU will return to action when it plays host to No. 8 Michigan State and Northwestern Friday and Sunday at 7 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.