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Jan. 26, 2005

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State wrestling team (6-5, 0-1 Big Ten) looks to notch its first conference win in 2005 with home dates against Purdue and Indiana this weekend. The Buckeyes also toss in a non-league dual vs. Virginia.

Friday, Ohio State and Purdue wrestle at 7 p.m. On Sunday, the Buckeyes play host to a tri-dual with the Hoosiers and Cavaliers. Indiana and Virginia get the day underway at noon. Ohio State takes on UVA at 2 p.m. and IU at 4 p.m.

FOLLOW OHIO STATE ON THE WEB WITH LIVE UPDATES AND BROADCAST
Fans can follow Ohio State wrestling action this weekend vs. Purdue, Indiana and Virginia at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com.

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.

Sunday, fans can watch the duals live at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com. Visit the schedule link on the wrestling page and click “watch” listed by the Indiana/Virginia date for instructions.

LAST WEEK: BUCKEYES DROP BIG TEN OPENER AT MICHIGAN STATE
J.D. Bergman and Kirk Nail each extended their current personal win streaks, but it was not enough for Ohio State to overcome an early 18-0 deficit in a 27-16 loss at Michigan State.

Freshman Keegan Mueller got the Buckeyes in the win column at 157 pounds before junior Nathaniel Augustson recorded his second fall of the season at 174 to set the match score at 24-9.

Bergman and Nail helped the Buckeyes win two of the last three matches of the dual. Bergman upped his current win streak to eight matches with his eighth major decision of the season at 197. Nail ended the dual with his sixth straight win at HWT with a 2-1 decision.

NAIL HAMMERS WAY INTO RANKINGS
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 10-6 record, including six straight wins. That mark has helped Nail break into the Top 20 at HWT in the W.I.N. Magazine rankings. After an initial No. 17 slotting last week, Nail moved up a notch to No. 16 this week after his win at Michigan State.

BERGMAN, ENRIGHT RANKED NATIONALLY
J.D. Bergman and T.J. Enright continue to the 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, is 16th in NWCA, but has fallen out of the W.I.N. and AWN polls.

All rankings are from the latest polls released Jan. 25.

YOUTHFUL BUCKEYES LEADING WAY
In the 11 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 364 team points in four tournaments and 11 dual bouts. Of those 364 points, 169 have come from either a redshirt or true freshman, including 60.5 by T.J. Enright, which ranks second on the team.

In the four matches of the Buckeye Duals, OSU freshman accounted for 44 of the team’s 95 points on the day.

When including 149 Steve Wolery, a junior walk-on, and 174 Nathaniel Augustson, a junior transfer from Embry-Riddle, newcomers have accounted for 193 of the 364 points in 2004-05.

OSU ASSISTANT ROWLANDS TO WRESTLE IN EUROPE FOR TEAM USA
Tommy Rowlands, a volunteer assistant for Ohio State this season after completing a decorated career as a Buckeye, will wrestle in Europe for Team USA this winter.

The U.S. men’s freestyle team will wrestle at two winter tour events in 2005 with the possibility of a third event being added. The first winter tour event will be the Ivan Yarygin Memorial International held in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, Jan. 30.

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.

BERGMAN TOPS BUCKEYES IN MAJORITY OF STAT COLUMNS
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 (27), takedowns (52), 2 and 3-point nearfalls (10 and 21), match points (240) and team points (92.0). He also is No. 1 in the Buckeyes’ major decision (8), tech fall (2) and fall (6) categories.

With his six falls this season, Bergman has moved into 17th place all-time at Ohio State with 18 career pins.

OHIO STATE RECORDS FIRST DUAL WIN VS. A RANKED TEAM AT PITT
With the 20-17 win at Pittsburgh Jan. 14, the Buckeyes notched their first win over a ranked team this season. The Buckeyes have wrestled three ranked squads in 2004-05 and have recorded a 1-3 mark so far.

The losses have come at the hands of No. 13 Missouri, No. 11 Cornell at No. 18 Michigan State. 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. Last Friday, Ohio State suffered a 27-16 defeat at Michigan State.

BUCKEYES FACE TOUGH ROAD IN BIG TEN SLATE
Ohio State commenced its league schedule last week 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” are a home date 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 BOILERMAKERS
Purdue is 6-7 in dual bouts this year, including a 27-10 loss in its last outing to Northwestern Sunday to drop to 0-1 in league action.

The Boilermakers are led by 184-pounder Ben Wissel, who is ranked in the Top 15. At 149, Doug Withstandley leads the team with 18 wins.

Jesse Reyes is in his 12th season as head coach at Purdue. He has led the Boilermakers to a Top 14 finish in each of the last two seasons and has seen four Purdue wrestlers attain All-America status in that span.

BUCKEYES – BOILERS ALL-TIME
Ohio State owns a 45-21-7 record all-time vs. Purdue. The Buckeyes and Boilermakers have split four-point decisions in the last two meetings with the road team claiming each win. Last season, Ohio State emerged with a 22-18 triumph in West Lafayette, Ind. In 2003, Purdue came into St. John Arena and wrestled to a 21-17 victory.

In the Russ Helliskson era, Ohio State is 4-2-3 vs. Purdue at home and 12-2-3 overall.

LAST YEAR: BUCKEYES UPEND PURDUE
Ohio State upended No. 19 Purdue by a 22-18 count Jan. 30 in West Lafayette, Ind. The Buckeyes gained a decisive early advantage with wins in the first three bouts.

OSU freshman J.D. Bergman ignited the string of victories with his eighth fall of the season, timed at the 4:27 mark over Purdue’s Nathan Moore. No. 2-ranked HWT Tommy Rowlands followed Bergman’s fall with a 10-8 decision over No. 11 Isreal Blevins to up the Buckeye advantage to 9-0. Rowlands used a reversal and two takedowns in the final two periods to gain the win.

Down 15-0, the Boilermakers tallied their first win of the dual as No. 16 Rene Hernandez edged Ohio State senior Jesse Leng with a late takedown for a 3-2 triumph at 133. Purdue sliced the Buckeye lead to 15-9 after a Doug Withstandley pin over OSU at 141 Theo Dotson.

Senior Jeff Ratliff helped OSU rebound at 149. He defeated Purdue’s Dan Jankowski via a 10-5 decision to up Ohio State’s lead to 18-9. Following a loss at 157, fellow senior John Clark scored Ohio State’s final victory of the match with a major decision over Bryce Markley at 165. Clark recorded two takedowns in the third period and added a one-minute advantage in riding time to claim the 12-4 major and put Ohio State up 10 points at 22-12.

Purdue won the final two bouts at 174 and 184 to set the final score at 22-18 in favor of the Buckeyes.

UVA FYI
The Cavaliers are 3-6 on the season and 0-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference after dropping a 25-12 decision to North Carolina Friday in Chapel Hill. N.C.

Virginia boast 10 wrestlers who have recorded double-digit victories in 2004-05. Heading that list are a trio of wrestlers who have 19 wins on the season. Senior Paul Bjorlo is 19-10 at 157, while freshmen Rocco Caponi (174) and Andrew DiPasquale (149) are 19-6 and 19-11, respectively. Bjorlo is ranked in the Top 20 at 157.

Lenny Bernstein is in his 12th season at the UVA helm. Virginia has six All-Americans and 24 ACC champions in the Bernstein era.

OSU – UVA MEET FOR JUST THIRD TIME
Ohio State and Virginia share a brief history in intercollegiate wrestling, meeting just twice. The Buckeyes have recorded wins in both duals, the last coming by a 25-15 score in 1985. The series opened in 1973.

Ohio State and Virginia have never wrestled in the Russ Hellickson era.

INDIANA INK
Indiana visits St. John Arena as a nationally-ranked squad in 2004-05. The Hoosiers, ranked 19th in the country, have won 12 of 13 duals this season. The only blemish on the IU slate is a 25-9 setback to No. 5 Nebraska Jan. 15 at the Virginia Duals.

Last week, Indiana opened the 2005 Big Ten campaign with a 22-14 win over 20th-ranked Northwestern in Bloomington, Ind.

The Hoosiers feature six ranked wrestlers. At 125, Joe Dubuque is 15-1 on the season and rated between No. 6-8 in the nation. On the opposite end of the IU lineup is HWT Pat DeGain, who is ranked No. 4 with a 22-4 overall mark. Mike Simpson (141), Brent Becker (157), Brady Richardson (174) and Andy Rios (184) also are listed in the national Top 20.

Duane Goldman is in his 13th season at Indiana. In his tenure, 51 Hoosiers have qualified for nationals. Last year, Goldman helped a pair of IU wrestlers earn All-America honors, including Dubuque.

OSU-IU SERIES INFO
The Buckeyes hold a 44-36-2 advantage in the all-time series with the Hoosiers. Ohio State has won the last eight meetings, including a 29-17 win in Columbus last season on Jan. 3. The first meeting between OSU and IU was in 1922.

LAST YEAR: OSU DOWNS HOOSIERS 29-17 AT BUCKEYE DUALS
Ohio State opened the first session of the Buckeyes Duals with an impressive 29-17 victory over Big Ten rival Indiana in a non-conference match up. The Buckeyes jumped ahead to an early 13-4 advantage after a decision by freshman 157 James King in the opening match and a major decision and a fall by seniors 165 John Clark and 184 Blake Kaplan.

Following a decision loss at 197 by J.D. Bergman, senior Tommy Rowlands scored the second fall of the match at HWT to put the Buckeyes up 19-8.

Two more Ohio State seniors combined to set the final 29-17 tally as Jesse Leng recorded his first technical fall of the season with a 20-4 win over Pat Barth, while 149 Jeff Ratliff added a technical fall via a 17-1 score over Cameron Sakon.

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.

Enright was named outstanding wrestler for the 2004 MSU Open after recording falls in three of his four victories en route to the championship. In the event final vs. Kyle Stoffer of Central Michigan, Enright recorded pin No. 3 at the 4:27 mark of the match to seal the 133 crown.

Enright, the No. 5 seed, upended top-seed and 2004 NWCA All-Star Sam Hiatt of Northern Illinois in the semifinal, 3-1.

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
The Buckeyes remain at home vs. Wisconsin and Iowa next week. Friday, OSU and UW wrestle at Worthington-Kilbourne High School. Saturday, Iowa visits St. John Arena. Both matches start at 7:30 p.m.