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Feb. 15, 2005

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State wrestling team (7-11, 0-7 Big Ten) faces its ninth ranked opponent in its last 11 dual meets in the regular season finale Friday at No. 14/17 Penn State (10-9, 3-4 Big Ten). The match is slated for a 7:30 p.m. start in State College, Pa.

The dual originally was scheduled for 7 p.m., but was changed to accommodate a live telecast by Fox Sports/ Pittsburgh. College Sports Television also will broadcast the dual via tape delay.

OHIO STATE APPEARS ON CSTV FOR SECOND TIME IN TWO WEEKS
Two of Ohio State’s final three matches of the regular season will be broadcast on College Sports Television. The date last Friday at Michigan aired on tape delay at 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12 and five more times through Feb. 19.

Ohio State concludes the regular season at Penn State Friday, Feb. 18. CSTV will broadcast the match on tape delay as well at 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 20.

Both duals with the Wolverines and Nittany Lions are scheduled to air several times on CSTV. For a complete listing of Ohio State athletics events on CSTV, please visit www.cstv.collegesports.com.

TUNE IN FOR OHIO STATE AT PENN STATE
Fans also can listen to the dual Friday at Penn State by visiting www.gopsupsorts.com and navigating to the wrestling home page.

LAST WEEK: OSU DOWNED BY RANKED FOES MICHIGAN AND MINNESOTA
The Buckeyes faced another tough weekend slate with road bouts at No. 5 Michigan and No. 7 Minnesota. Friday, Ohio State suffered a 32-6 defeat in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Buckeyes recorded a pair of wins in the dual. Freshman T.J. Enright scored victory No. 27 at 133, while Alex Picazo notched his first Big Ten triumph at 184.

Sunday, Enright again led the Buckeyes with an upset over the No. 3-ranked wrestler in the country. Enright scored a decisive takedown 20 seconds in to overtime for a 5-3 sudden victory over UM’s Mack Rieter, who had not lost since Dec. 29.

Overall, the Buckeyes won five matches against the Golden Gophers, including a second win on the weekend by Picazo and a decision by No. 4-ranked J.D. Bergman at 197 pounds.

TOUGH AS NAILS AGAINST TOP-RANKED OPPONENTS
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 this season, Nail has improved to a 14-12 record. Six of his losses have come against wrestlers ranked in the national Top 10 by Amateur Wrestling News. Nail has dropped his last three bouts by a combined six points against No. 9 Matt Fields of Iowa, No. 3 Greg Wagner of Michigan and second-ranked Cole Konrad of Minnesota. Earlier in the Big Ten season, Nail challenged No. 5 Pat DeGain to four overtimes before DeGain emerged with a decision win.

In the non-league schedule, Nail wrestled No. 10 Bill Stouffer of Central Michigan to a narrow 3-2 loss. At the Buckeye Duals, Nail fell in a 2-1 match to No. 8 Tomas Rodriguez of Kent State.

Nail also has dropped three matches to Top 20 wrestlers in Ty Watterson of Oregon State, Mike Faust of Virginia Tech and Paul Weibel of Lehigh.

BERGMAN, ENRIGHT, NAIL 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, is 16th in the W.I.N. and AWN polls.

Nail, who broke into the Top 20 in mid-January, falls in at No. 20 in AWN and is 17th in W.I.N.

Rankings for AWN and W.I.N. are from Feb. 15. Rankings from NWCA are from Feb. 8

YOUTHFUL BUCKEYES LEADING WAY
In the 18 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 463 team points. Of those 463 points, 237 have come from either a redshirt or true freshman, including 76.5 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 237 of the 442 points in 2004-05.

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 (32), takedowns (66), 2 and 3-point nearfalls (10 and 23), match points (285) and team points (112.0). He also is No. 1 in the Buckeyes’ major decision (9), tech fall (2) and fall (7) categories.

With his seven falls in 2004, Bergman has moved into 16th all-time at OSU with 18 career pins.

His 32 wins and nine major decisions top the Big Ten stat categories as well.

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.

BUCKEYES SCHEDULE LOADED AGAINST RANKED TEAMS
In its last 10 duals, Ohio State has faced eight ranked squads. Earlier in the season, the Buckeyes wrestled then-No. 12-rated Missouri.

Overall, the Buckeyes are 1-8 against ranked opponents this season, with the win coming at No. 25 Pittsburgh in a 20-17 dual on Jan. 14.

The Buckeyes face their final ranked opponent Friday in No. 18 Penn State, which will end a string of six straight matches against ranked squads.

NITTANY LION NEWS
Penn State enters the dual Friday against the Buckeyes with a 10-9 overall dual record, including a 3-4 mark in the Big Ten.

Last week, Penn State rallied for a 24-13 victory at No. 17 Northwestern one night after falling at No. 3 Illinois, 26-6.

The Nittany Lions are led by defending Big Ten champion Eric Bradley, who is ranked fifth at 184 pounds and carries a 22-3 overall record, including a 6-1 mark in the Big Ten. Phil Davis, DeWitt Driscoll and Brian Heller also rank in the Top 20 by AWN. Davis is 30-5 on the year at 197, while Driscoll and Heller each have reached the 20-win mark as well.

Former Nittany Lion Troy Sunderland is in his sixth season as head coach at Penn State. Last season, Sunderland helped Bradley and departed HWT Pat Cummins reach the NCAA finals. He also helped the Nittany Lions to a 14-5 dual record one season after leading PSU to a No. 6 final standing at the 2003 NCAA’s.

STATE VS. STATE: OSU-PSU SERIES
Ohio State trails the all-time series with Penn State, 6-11. The teams have split the last two meetings. In 2004, Penn State claimed a 20-14 dual in Columbus after dropping an 18-18 decision on criteria to the Buckeyes in 2003. The Buckeyes have won three of the last four meetings with the Nittany Lions, including a 24-9 decision in State College in 2001.

In the Russ Hellickson, era Ohio State is 6-8 vs. PSU.

LAST YEAR: OHIO STATE DROPS TIGHT DUAL TO PENN STATE AT HOME
Ohio State dropped a 20-14 dual to sixth-ranked Penn State in front of 1,275 fans at St. John Arena. The Buckeyes owned two four-point leads early on, but PSU claimed the dual with wins in four of the final five matches from HWT to 149.

The headline bout of the day featured top-ranked HWT Tommy Rowlands vs. No. 2 Pat Cummins of PSU. Cummins got on the board first with a takedown, which would serve as the only two-point score of the match. Cummins held off takedown attempts by Rowlands in both the second and third periods as Rowlands failed to gain control of Cummins right leg on both occasions. The match was set at 2-1 in Cummins’ favor heading in to the second period, where the Nittany Lion edged out to a 3-1 lead with an escape.

Rowlands started the third stanza with an escape of his own and had control of Cummins’ left leg in the waning moments of the final period before a stalemate was called with four seconds left in the bout. Cummins held on for a 3-2 decision to hand Rowlands his first loss in 29 matches this season and pull PSU to within 11-10 in the dual.

John Clark, 14th-ranked at 165, put the Buckeyes on the board early on. Clark scored a 12-3 major decision with riding time to knot the dual match at 4-4.

Sophomore Anthony Magistrelli carried the momentum into the match at 174 pounds as he raced to a 18-9 major decision.

With the Buckeyes up 8-4, senior Blake Kaplan faced ninth-ranked Eric Bradley at 184 pounds. The two ranked wrestlers battled through a scoreless first period before Kaplan recorded an escape in the second period to gain a slight 1-0 edge. Kaplan gained a 4-2 advantage in the third period with a nearfall and an escape, but Bradley rallied late with a takedown and a nearfall to claim a 6-4 decision and pull PSU to within one match point at 8-7.

The 197-pound match saw another pair of ranked wrestlers as No. 19 J.D. Bergman met 17th -ranked Joel Edwards. Bergman claimed a 13-9 decision, which set the match at 11-7 heading into the marquee match of the day between Rowlands and Cummins.

The deciding bout featured two Top 10 wrestlers in No. 8 Jeff Ratliff of OSU and No. 10 Matt Storniolo. Ratliff fell behind 4-0 early as Storniolo scored two takedowns in period one. The Nittany Lion held a 6-3 lead heading into the final period, where he held off Ratliff for an 8-3 decision after a riding time advantage to seal the Penn State win at 20-14.

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 became 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.

UP NEXT
The Buckeyes take week off in preparation for the 2005 Big Ten Wrestling Championships at the University of Iowa March 6-7.