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Feb. 2, 2005

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State wrestling team (7-7, 0-3 Big Ten) completes its home schedule this weekend with a “home-away-from-home” dual against No. 12 Wisconsin (7-3-2, 0-3-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Worthington-Kilbourne High School and a home finale vs. No. 10 Iowa (6-4, 2-1 Big Ten) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in St. John Arena.

The date vs. Iowa will serve as Alumni Day. Ohio State will recognize all former wrestlers in attendance at intermission.

FOLLOW OHIO STATE ON THE WEB WITH LIVE UPDATES AND BROADCAST
Fans can follow Ohio State wrestling action this weekend vs. Iowa at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com. Updates will not be available for the Wisconsin meet at Worthington-Kilbourne.

Fans can access live updates for each match on the wrestling page at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com. Bout-by-bout results and play-by-play will be available at the conclusion of every two weight classes.

Saturday, fans can watch the dual vs. the Hawkeyes live at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com. Visit the schedule link on the wrestling page and click “watch” listed by the Iowa date for instructions.

TICKET INFO FOR DUAL VS. WISCONSIN AT WORTHINGTON-KILBOURNE H.S.
Tickets for the dual vs. Wisconsin at Worthington-Kilbourne High School may be purchased at the door Friday. Online sales and sales by phone will not be available for this date. Admission prices are $5 for adults and $3 for students/youth. Children 6 & under are free.

Tickets for Iowa are available for purchase at www.hangonsloopy.com or at 1-800-GoBucks. Fans also may purchase tickets at St. John Arena upon entry to the event.

LAST WEEK: OSU DOWNS VIRGINIA, DROPS DUALS TO INDIANA AND PURDUE
Ohio State wrestled in three dual matches last weekend at St. John Arena. The Buckeyes dropped a 21-12 decision to Big Ten rival Purdue Friday before splitting a pair of meets vs. Virginia and Indiana Sunday. Ohio State dominated the Cavaliers, emerging with a 36-6 win, but fell to 0-3 in the league with a 24-9 loss to No. 17 Indiana.

Ohio State’s freshmen made an impact on both days as 133 T.J. Enright, 141 Jason Johnstone, 157 Keegan Mueller and HWT Kirk Nail all won matches against the Boilermakers. Enright completed his weekend with a perfect 3-0 mark, while Johnstone’s win came against a nationally-ranked opponent in Purdue’s Rene Hernandez.

A nationally-ranked wrestler handed Nail his only loss of the weekend, but it took Indiana senior Pat DeGain, ranked No. 4, four overtimes to defeat Nail in an 8-4 decision.

Junior Steve Wolery and Sophomore J.D. Bergman, ranked No. 4 at 197, each finished 2-1 on the weekend with Bergman scoring his team-leading ninth major decision.

NAIL HAMMERS WAY INTO RANKINGS, PUSHES DeGAIN TO OT
Ohio State freshman Kirk Nail had some rather large shoes to fill at HWT this season after the Buckeyes watched two-time national champ and four-time All-American Tommy Rowlands complete his career in 2004.

Following a 3-3 start to his collegiate career this season, Nail has improved to a 11-7 record, including an seven-match win streak, which was snapped by the No. 4-ranked HWT in the nation in Indiana’s Pat DeGain Sunday. It took DeGain four overtimes to emerge with a hard-fought 8-4 decision over Nail.

Nail has gone 8-2 in his last 10 matches, a mark that has helped him break into the Top 20 in the W.I.N. Magazine rankings. After an initial No. 17 slotting Jan. 18, Nail moved up a notch to No. 16 Jan. 24, but had dropped back to No. 17 in the latest release.

BERGMAN, ENRIGHT RANKED NATIONALLY
J.D. Bergman and T.J. Enright continue to be ranked among the top wrestlers in the nation this week. Bergman, who began at No. 3 in preseason polls at 197, is ranked No. 4 by W.I.N. Magazine, NWCA/USA TODAY and Amateur Wrestling News. Enright, unranked at the onset of the season, was 16th in NWCA on Jan. 26 and was slotted at No. 19 in the Feb. 1 W.I.N. poll.

FRESHMEN SCORE FOUR WINS VS. PURDUE
Ohio State received four wins from its freshman class in the 21-12 loss to Purdue Friday. Kirk Nail notched the first winner with a 5-3 decision at HWT . Redshirt frosh T.J. Enright followed at 133 with a 3-1 decision. At 141, Jason Johnstone upset nationally-ranked Rene Hernandez via another decision at 9-5. Lastly, Keegan Mueller recorded his first Big Ten dual win with a 5-0 shutout decision at 157.

YOUTHFUL BUCKEYES LEADING WAY
In the 14 dual matches this season, the Buckeyes have featured a lineup with as many as seven freshman, two sophomores and three juniors. Additionally, two of the three juniors are wrestling in their first seasons as Buckeyes.

For the year, Ohio State has accumulated 418 team points,. Of those 418 points, 197 have come from either a redshirt or true freshman, including 70.5 by T.J. Enright, which ranks second on the team.

When including 149 Steve Wolery, a junior walk-on, and 174 Nathaniel Augustson, a junior transfer from Embry-Riddle, newcomers have accounted for 210 of the 418 points in 2004-05.

Most recently, those wrestling in their first seasons with Ohio State accounted for 41 of the Buckeyes’ 57 points scored against Purdue, Virginia and Indiana.

OSU ASSISTANT ROWLANDS WINS SILVER MEDAL FOR TEAM USA IN RUSSIA
Tommy Rowlands, a two-time national champion and four-time All-American for Ohio State, competed for Team USA at the Ivan Yarygin Memorial Tournament in Krasnoyarsk, Russia Sunday. Rowlands came away with the silver medal at 211.5 pounds, losing in the final to 2004 U.S. Olympian Daniel Cormier.

Rowlands, a volunteer assistant for Ohio State who competes for the Dave Schultz Wrestling Club, won his first three matches before his loss to Cormier. He opened with a victory over Aleksey Mastepanov of Belarus and followed with a win over Kazvbek Kudzaev of Russia in the quarterfinals. In the semifinal, Rowlands topped Roman Kudryevtsev of Russia.

In all, Team USA claimed five medals Sunday at the Yarygin.

Rowlands earned his spot on the U.S. squad with a fourth-place finish at 211 pounds at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials last May in Indianapolis. He will join Team USA for its next event in Cuba in February.

BERGMAN TOPS BUCKEYES IN MAJORITY OF STAT COLUMNS, LEADS BIG TEN IN WINS AND MAJORS
Sophomore J.D. Bergman not only serves as a team-leader after his third-place finish at the 2004 NCAA Tournament, but also heads the Buckeyes in nearly every statistical category in 2005.

Bergman leads Ohio State in wins (29), takedowns (58), 2 and 3-point nearfalls (10 and 22), match points (260) and team points (99.0). He also is No. 1 in the Buckeyes’ major decision (9), tech fall (2) and fall (6) categories.

Bergman’s 29 wins this season ranks No. 1 in the Big Ten. His nine major decision also heads the league list.

BUCKEYES VS. RANKED OPPONENTS
Ohio State carries a 1-4 record against teams ranked in the national Top 25 into this weekend vs. the No. 12 Badgers and No. 10 Hawkeyes.

The Buckeyes’ 20-17 win at Pittsburgh Jan. 14 serves as the lone win this season in the fives tries against ranked opponents.

The losses have come at the hands of No. 13 Missouri, at No. 11 Cornell, at No. 18 Michigan State and vs. Indiana. The Tigers downed Ohio State, 33-6, Dec. 18 in Columbus. The Big Red scored a 27-9 victory over the Buckeyes last Sunday in Ithaca, N.Y. To open Big Ten action, Ohio State suffered a 27-16 defeat at Michigan State. Most recently, Indiana downed the Buckeyes 24-9 Jan. 30 in St. John Arena.

BUCKEYES FACE TOUGH ROAD IN BIG TEN SLATE
Ohio State commenced its league schedule at No. 18 Michigan State. The Spartans served as the first of eight upcoming matches against nationally-ranked squads in Big Ten action.

Ohio State’s only “breaks” were home dates with Purdue Jan. 28 and a non-league dual at St. John Arena against Virginia Jan. 30.

After the Spartans, Ohio State welcomes to Columbus No. 14 Wisconsin and No. 9 Iowa Feb. 4 and 5 before finishing the season on the road at No. 4 Michigan, No. 8 Minnesota and No. 15 Penn State.

SCOUTING THE BADGERS
The Badgers are 7-3-2 on the year. Last week, Wisconsin fell to the seventh-ranked Michigan, 23-16, at the UW Field House.Sunday, Wisconsin tied No. 18 Michigan State, 16-16, giving the Badgers their second draw of the season.

Tom Clum, the 2004 Big Ten champion at 125, boasts a record of 17-3 at 133 this season, while going 10-2 in dual action. Tyler Turner, at157, also sports a 10-2 record in dual action and has marked a 18-5 overall record. At 174, Ryan Flaherty leads the team with 19 wins and 12 falls.

Barry Davis is in his 12th year as head coach of Wisconsin’s wrestling program. Davis boasts a 109-88-8 career record. He has coached six individuals to nine Big Ten titles, including the

Clum, who claimed the 125-pound championship at the 2004 Big Ten Championships. Last season, Davis finished with his best overall record as a coach, going 17-6.

BUCKEYES – BADGERS ALL-TIME
Ohio State trails Wisconsin in the all-time series at 17-25-1. However, the Buckeyes have claimed the last two meetings, including a 28-17 win Madison in 2003. The teams did not meet last year.

In the Russ Helliskson era, Ohio State is 3-2 vs. Wisconsin at home and 7-6 overall.

LAST MEETING: BUCKEYES CLOSE 2003 SEASON WITH WIN AT WISCONSIN
The No. 7-ranked Ohio State wrestling team scored a 28-17 win at No. 24 Wisconsin in Madison, Wis.

Ohio State put together consecutive technical fall and major decision wins in the 165 and 174 matches as the Buckeyes pushed the lead to 15-0.

John Clark concluded his regular season with a 16-0 technical fall over Wisconsin’s Kelly Flaherty. In the 174 match, Blake Kaplan tallied a 13-4 major decision over Ryan Flaherty to claim his 20th win of 2003.

With the score set at 18-3, Ohio State recorded its second 6-point win of the day as HWT Tommy Rowlands scored his team-leading 10th fall of the season.

Wisconsin climbed back into the match with a fall at 125 and a technical fall at 133 by Tom Clum to set the dual at 24-13.

IOWA FYI
Iowa dropped a pair of league duals last week at Illinois and Northwestern, falling to 6-4 overall and 1-2 in the Big Ten.

Iowa’s strength lies in its middle weight classes, where the Hawkeyes boast nationally-ranked wrestlers from 141 to 165. Ty Eustice (149) and Mark Perry (165) lead the way as No. 4-ranked wrestlers in their respective classes. Eustice is 17-3 this season, while Perry sports a 16-2 mark.

Paul Bradley, a 184-pounder, and Matt Fields, a HWT, also are ranked in the Top 10. Bradley is rated as high as third and Fields as high as seventh.

Jim Zalesky is in his eighth season as head coach at the University of Iowa. He has a school and career record of 112-26 (.812). Zaleski was named National Coach of the Year in 1998 and 1999 and Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2004 and 2000. He has led the Hawkeyes to three NCAA crowns (1998-00) and three Big Ten titles (1998, 2000, 2004). Individually, he has coached 10 NCAA Champions, 20 Big Ten Champions and 36 all-Americans at Iowa.

BUCKEYES – HAWKEYES ALL-TIME
The Hawkeyes hold a decided edge in the dual series with Ohio State, winning 30 of 32 meetings, including the last 28.

Last season, Ohio State nearly snapped that streak, but fell 22-18 in Iowa City on the result of an overtime decision in the final match of the dual.

The last Buckeye win came in 1966, a 14-11 triumph in Columbus, which counts as Ohio State’s only win in 13 meetings vs. the Hawkeyes at home.

LAST YEAR: OSU NEARLY PULLS OFF UPSET AT IOWA
Ohio State dropped a tight 22-18 decision against No. 10 Iowa at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Buckeyes headed into the final match of the evening at 149 pounds with a shot to win the dual as two Top 10 wrestlers battled into overtime.

No. 8 Ty Eustice of Iowa emerged with an overtime victory over No. 10 Jeff Ratliff to seal the Hawkeye victory. The pair traded escapes in regulation as the match headed to overtime knotted at 1-1. With 34 seconds left in the first overtime period, Eustice posted a takedown to claim the 3-1 sudden victory.

The Buckeyes overcame an early 12-5 deficit behind consecutive wins by No. 14 J.D. Bergman, who tallied a fall versus No. 11 Ryan Fulsaas, and senior Tommy Rowlands, who scored a major decision against Hawkeye Ryan Fuller HWT.

The lead changed hands for the final time as the Hawkeyes pocketed five points via a 22-6 technical fall at 141 pounds before the Hawkeyes sealed the team victory at 149.

ENRIGHT RECORDS BUCKEYE FIRST
T.J. Enright’s consecutive tournament titles at 133 pounds to open the season account for an Ohio State first. With tournament crowns at the Oklahoma Gold Classic Nov. 13 and Michigan State Open Nov. 21, the Galloway, Ohio native has become the first freshman to win his initial two tournaments in the Russ Hellickson era, which dates back to 1986.

ENRIGHT NAMED BIG TEN WRESTLER OF THE WEEK FOR NOV. 23
T.J. Enright gained his second tournament title in the opening two weeks of the 2004 wrestling season, winning the 133-pound class at the 2004 Michigan State Open in East Lansing, Mich. With the tourney crown, Enright was named Big Ten wrestler of the week for Nov. 23.

HELLICKSON COVERS 2004 OLYMPIC WRESTLING FOR NBC
Ohio State wrestling head coach Russ Hellickson served as play-by-play announcer for NBC’s coverage of the 2004 Olympic Games Aug. 13-29 in Athens, Greece. Hellickson, who was a part of his sixth Olympic broadcast team, teamed with Jeff Blatnick for both Greco and Freestyle wrestling.

Hellickson previously covered wrestling at the 1984, ’88, ’92, ’96 and 2000 Olympic games in the role of analyst at the 1984 Los Angeles games and as play-by-play from 1988 in Seoul, Korea through 2000 in Sydney, Australia. As a wrestler, he was an Olympic silver medallist at the 1976 games in Montreal and a member of the 1980 U.S. team that boycotted Olympics in Moscow.

UP NEXT
Ohio State returns to the road for a set of Big Ten duals at Michigan at 7 p.m. Feb. 11 and at Minnesota at 3 p.m. Feb. 13.