Ohio State at No. 8 Iowa
4 p.m. ET Jan. 22
Iowa City, Iowa
Coverage: Big Ten Network (Live)
Probable Starters: Click HERE
COLUMBUS, Ohio – For the second-consecutive year, the Ohio State wrestling team will travel to Iowa City where it will face the No. 8 Hawkeyes in a Big Ten matchup at 4 p.m. ET Saturday in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The match between the Buckeyes (2-5; 1-1 Big Ten) and Hawkeyes (8-0-1; 1-0 Big Ten) will be televised live on the Big Ten Network.
Bouncing Back – Buckeyes 19, Spartans 16
Ohio State earned a 19-16 victory last Sunday vs. Michigan State at West Holmes High School in Millersburg, Ohio. In a matchup that was a homecoming for Buckeye 165-pounder Colt Sponseller, the dual between the Buckeyes and Spartans also was significant in terms of determining how the Scarlet and Gray would rebound from a less than stellar start to the season and they answered head coach Tom Ryan’s challenge.
Those in attendance in the sold out gymnasium loudly cheered on the Buckeyes and of course Sponseller, who attended West Holmes from 2004-07. During his high school career, Sponseller, who hails from Glenmont, Ohio, was a three-time Ohio High School state champion as a four-time qualifier. Clearly the feature bout following intermission, Sponseller jumped out to a 7-0 lead before Ben Boudro got on the board with an escape. However, Sponseller, one of four team captains, answered with two more takedowns and a riding time of 3:09 for the 12-2 major decision.
After the Spartans took an early 4-0 advantage following the 125-pound bout, sophomore Ian Paddock put the Buckeyes ahead, 6-4, after he pinned Levi Stace in 44 seconds. Paddock, a Warsaw, N.Y., native, was up 2-0 on a takedown before pinning Stace.
A late escape in the third period by freshman Randy Languis vs. Joel Trombly at 141 pounds proved to be the difference maker for the young Buckeye. Up 5-2 entering the third period, Languis, a Central Ohio product out of Dublin Scioto, relinquished an escape and takedown to Trombly. All even at five each, Languis scored an escape with 18 seconds left for the 6-5 win.
Back-to-back Spartan decisions at 149 and 157 pounds propelled Michigan State to a 10-9 lead, but the major decision by Sponseller at 165 pounds pushed Ohio State back into the lead, 13-10.
The Buckeyes and Spartans traded wins in the four remaining matches. First, Ohio State redshirt-freshman Nick Heflin held off Curran Jacobs, 3-2, in overtime. After Jacobs deferred in the second period, Heflin, a Massillon, Ohio, native chose bottom and scored an escape. However, Jacobs recorded an escape of his own at the beginning of the third to force extra time. With no scoring in the one-minute sudden victory, Jacobs chose bottom in the first 30-second tiebreaker and escaped Heflin’s clutches for the 2-1 lead. In the following 30-second tiebreaker, Heflin notched a reversal with just three seconds left on the clock.
At 184 pounds, redshirt-sophomore C.J. Magrum dropped a close 3-1 decision in sudden victory to Ian Hinton. A native of Oak Harbor, Ohio, Magrum and Hinton were tied at 1-all before Hinton scored a takedown in extra time.
Classmate, Peter Capone gave the Buckeyes their final win of the afternoon at 197 pounds. In a reversal of fortunes, the Buckeye from Johnson City, N.Y., earned his own 3-1 sudden victory decision over No. 19 Tyler Dickenson when he scored a takedown with 11 seconds left in the period to put Ohio State up 19-13.
Buckeye heavyweight Zach Stolarsky (Solon, Ohio) wrapped up the afternoon vs. Mike McClure, who is 16th in the nation. After a scoreless first period, McClure scored an escape and takedown in the second and third periods, respectively, to close out the match.
For a Good Cause
The Buckeyes’ match vs. the Spartans was Military Appreciation Day. During the afternoon, Ohio State wore camouflage singlets and during intermission one framed singlet signed by the entire 2010-11 team was raffled off to a lucky fan. In all, the raffle raised $1,850 for the Ray Mendoza Leadership Fund, which is a scholarship through The Ohio State University John Glenn School of Public Affairs. The fund serves as a base for the proposed Major Ray Mendoza Leadership Institute at the Glenn School.
Major Mendoza was a Buckeye wrestling letterwinner in 1992 and 1993. After being promoted to the rank of Major Oct. 1, 2005, Major Mendoza died of wounds sustained during Operation Steel Curtain Nov. 14, 2005 in New Ubaydi, Iraq.
Buckeyes in Action
In addition to Ohio State’s match vs. Michigan State last Sunday, six Buckeyes were in action at the Purple Raider Open in Alliance, Ohio. At 133 pounds, Drew Stone finished third, while Jacob Vaughan was a sixth-place finisher.
Josh Demas wrestled in the 157-pound bracket and was the runner-up, losing to Michigan’s Jake Salazar, 3-2, in the championship bout. Also wrestling at 157 pounds was Jared Kusar, who placed fourth.
Ray Gordon notched a sixth-place finish at 197 pounds. Joe Bruewer competed in the 149-pound bracket, but did not place.
Pacing the Buckeyes
Sophomore Ian Paddock (133) and redshirt-freshmen Nick Heflin (174) and Peter Capone (197) are tied for the team lead in wins with 15 each. So far, Paddock has compiled a 15-4 record, while Heflin is 15-3 and Capone is 15-10. Heflin is first on the team in win percentage (.833), while senior Colt Sponseller (165) is second with a .813 (13-3) win percentage.
Buckeyes in the Rankings
Three Buckeyes in Ian Paddock (133), Colt Sponseller (165) and Nick Heflin (174) are ranked in the Top 20 in the Intermat and Amateur Wrestling News polls. Paddock is 16th and 15th, respectively, while Sponseller holds down the Nos. 8 and 9 spots. Heflin is ranked No. 12 and No. 13 in each poll.
Buckeyes vs. Hawkeyes
Ohio State trails Iowa, 36-2, in the all-time series. The Buckeyes’ two victories were in 1929 and 1966, 13-12 and 14-11 decisions, respectively.
Last 5 Meetings
2-20-2004: L, 18-23
2-5-2005: L, 6-30
2-16-2007: L, 12-25
1-18-2008: L, 10-24
2-19-2010: L, 3-32
A Look at the Hawkeyes
Iowa enters its match vs. the Buckeyes with an 8-0-1 record. In their last dual, the Hawkeyes tied Oklahoma State, 15-15. Earlier in the season, Iowa defeated in-state rival Iowa State, 22-13, to improve to 5-0 on the season.
The meeting with the Buckeyes is just the Hawkeyes’ second Big Ten Conference match of the season. In December, Iowa downed Michigan State, 29-10, in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
In all, Iowa has eight ranked* wrestlers who could potentially crack the starting lineup Saturday. At 125 pounds, Matt McDonough is No. 2. Tyler Clark is 10th at 133 pounds, while Mark Ballweg is 16th at 141 pounds. Derek St. John (157) is in the Top 15 and 165-pounder Aaron Janssen is 16th. Ethen Lofthouse (174), Grant Gambrall (184) and Luke Lofthouse (197) are ranked Nos. 14, 17, and 15, respectively.
*Rankings based on Intermat
The Matchup – 2010
The No. 4/3 Ohio State wrestling team lost, 32-3, to No. 1 Iowa Feb. 19, 2010 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa. The Buckeyes wrapped up the regular season 18-2 overall and 7-1 in the Big Ten.
With the match starting at 133 pounds, freshman Ian Paddock experienced collegiate wrestling in Carver-Hawkeye Arena for the first time. Paddock nearly pulled off an upset over third-ranked Daniel Dennis as he dropped a close 3-2 decision.
No. 2 Reece Humphrey re-entered the starting lineup at 141 pounds and drew the Buckeyes even at 3-3 following his 9-5 decision over No. 4 Montell Marion.
The premier match of the evening that featured No. 1 vs. No. 2 was up next at 149 pounds. Unfortunately the outcome was not in the Buckeyes’ favor as second-ranked Lance Palmer lost, 3-1, to No. 1 Brent Metcalf.
A 5-2 loss at 157 pounds by sophomore Sean Nemec to Aaron Janssen followed and Iowa increased its lead to 9-3.
At 165 pounds junior Colt Sponseller lost a heartbreaking 1-0 decision to Ryan Morningstar, the No. 4 wrestler in the nation. After Morningstar compiled two minutes of riding time in the second period, the Buckeye from Glenmont, Ohio, nearly pulled off the same tactic in the third period, eliminating Morningstar’s riding time advantage. However, a last second escape by the Hawkeye gave him the only point of the match.
Senior Dave Rella suffered a 9-0 setback to second-ranked Jay Borschel at 174 pounds and Iowa took a 16-3 lead in the team scoring.
No. 7 Mike Pucillo matched up against No. 11 Phil Keddy and lost a tight 3-2 match at 184 pounds.
At 197 pounds, redshirt-freshman C.J. Magrum lost, 6-1, to Luke Lofthouse before senior Corey Morrison and 10th-ranked Dan Erekson took to the mat. A native of Shaker Heights, Ohio, Morrison was pinned with seven seconds left in the first period. Wrapping up the evening at 125 pounds was Nikko Triggas and No. 3 Matt McDonough. Triggas lost, 9-1.
The Buckeyes will host No. 11 Michigan at 7 p.m. Jan. 28 in St. John Arena. The match will air on BigTenNetwork.com and will serve as Alumni Night.