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Feb. 8, 2005

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State wrestling team (7-9, 0-5 Big Ten) faces another tough weekend against ranked conference foes in No. 5/7 Michigan (11-3-1, 3-0-1 Big Ten) and No. 4/9 Minnesota (8-6, 2-2 Big Ten). The Buckeyes wrestle the Wolverines at 7 p.m. Friday in Ann Arbor, Mich. Sunday, Ohio State tangles with the Golden Gophers at 3 p.m.

OHIO STATE WRESTLING TO APPEAR ON CSTV TWICE IN NEXT TWO WEEKS
Two of Ohio State’s remaining three matches of the regular season will be broadcast on College Sports Television. The date Friday at Michigan will air on tape delay at 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12.

After its dual with Minnesota Sunday, 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 wrestling events on CSTV, please visit www.cstv.collegesports.com.

LAST WEEK: OHIO STATE FALLS TO WISCONSIN AND IOWA
The Buckeyes closed out the 2004-05 home season with a pair of loses to ranked Big Ten opponents. Friday at Worthington-Kilbourne High School, an Ohio State rally fell just short as the Buckeyes dropped a 20-18 decision to No. 12 Wisconsin.

Saturday, Ohio State returned to St. John Arena and welcomed Iowa for alumni and senior night. The Hawkeyes, ranked 10th in the nation, came away with a 30-6 victory.

A pair of Buckeyes completed the weekend with 2-0 marks. Junior Nathaniel Augustson and sophomore J.D. Bergman ignited the Ohio State comeback Friday vs. Wisconsin with wins by fall at 174 and 197, respectively. Saturday, Augustson evened his season record at 15-15 with a decision win, while Bergman tallied victory No. 31 on the year with a decision of his own.

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 12-8 record, including wins in eight of his last 10 matches. It took Indiana’s Pat DeGain, ranked fourth in the nation, four overtimes to emerge with a hard-fought 8-4 decision over Nail Jan. 30.

Against Iowa, Nail had a third-period lead on No. 9-ranked Matt Fields, but fell in a 7-3 decision.

Nail’s losses to DeGain and Fields serve as his only defeats in his last 10 matches. That string 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. Nail made his first appearance this week in the NWCA poll at No. 20.

AUGUSTSON ON A ROLL, LITERALLY
With his ability to score reversals, Ohio State junior 174 Nathaniel Augustson has impressed since the start of the Big Ten season.

Augustson, who leads Ohio State with 15 reversals, sports a 3-2 Big Ten dual record, which includes a pair of wins by fall. The first fall came at Michigan State to open conference action. The second occurred last Friday over Wisconsin’s Kelly Flaherty, ranked No. 17 in the nation. Augustson executed a reversal, rolled and got on top of Flaherty to finish off his third fall of the season.

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, is 17th in the NWCA and was slotted at No. 19 in the Feb. 1 W.I.N. poll.

JOHNSTONE SCORES SECOND UPSET IN LAST TWO WEEKS
Ohio State freshman Jason Johnstone has recorded a pair of upsets at 141 pounds in the last two weeks. Against Purdue Jan. 28, he knocked off nationally-ranked Rene Hernandez via decision at 9-5. Last Friday, Johnstone unseated Tyler Laudon, also a Top 20 wrestler from Wisconsin, 6-3.

YOUTHFUL BUCKEYES LEADING WAY
In the 16 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 442 team points. Of those 442 points, 203 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 225 of the 442 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. They followed that with 12 of the 18 points scored against Wisconsin.

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
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 (31), takedowns (62), 2 and 3-point nearfalls (10 and 23), match points (272) and team points (109.0). He also is No. 1 in the Buckeyes’ major decision (9), tech fall (2) and fall (7) categories.

With his seven falls this season, Bergman has moved into 16th place all-time at Ohio State with 18 career pins.

His 31 wins and nine major decisions top the Big Ten stat categories as well.

BUCKEYES VS. RANKED OPPONENTS
With the losses last weekend to the Badgers and Hawkeyes, Ohio State carries a 1-6 record against teams ranked in the national Top 25 into the dual vs. the No. 5 Wolverines Friday.

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

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 welcomed to Columbus No. 12 Wisconsin and No. 10 Iowa Feb. 4 and 5 before finishing the season on the road at No. 5 Michigan, No. 4 Minnesota and No. 15 Penn State.

WORD ON THE WOLVERINES
Michigan is 11-3-1 overall this season, suffering its first blemish in the Big Ten schedule last Sunday in a 17-17 tie with No. 2 Illinois. The draw with Illinois dropped their league mark to 3-0-1, sharing the conference lead with the Illini. The Wolverines have defeated Penn State, Wisconsin and Minnesota for their three Big Ten wins.

Michigan is captained by 2003 NCAA champion Ryan Bertin at 157 pounds. The three-time All-American is ranked in the Top 5 of all major polls. Last week, he downed Illinois’ Alex Tirapelle, 3-2, in a match up of Top 5 wrestlers.

Michigan also boasts several other ranked wrestlers in second-ranked Ryan Churella at 165 and his younger brother Josh, ranked fifth at 141. Greg Wagner is slated third at HWT, while 141-pounder Eric Tannenbaum is slotted at seventh.

Joe MacFarland is in his sixth season at Michigan. He led the Wolverines to a fourth-place finish at the Big Ten championships and a No. 10 standing at nationals. MacFarland helped four UM wrestlers gain All-America status, marking the seventh straight season at least three Wolverines have marched in the All-American parade.

OSU-UM ALL-TIME
Ohio State trails the all-time series with Michigan at 14-61-4. That mark includes 11 straight UM wins in the dual series. The last OSU win over Michigan came Feb. 12, 1993 in Columbus by a 19-14 score.

LAST YEAR: OHIO STATE SUFFERS 22-15 DEFEAT TO MICHIGAN AT HOME
Ohio State fell behind 19-0 before closing to with wins in four of the last five matches to set the final tally at 22-15.

HWT Tommy Rowlands recorded his sixth fall of the season at the 2:37 mark of the first period over No. 5-ranked Greg Wagner to highlight the match for the Buckeyes. Rowlands claimed a 6-1 advantage with three takedowns before scoring the fall. John Clark started Ohio State’s long climb back with a decision win over No. 4 Pat Owen of Michigan at 165. Clark nearly scored a fall over Owen in the second period before taking an 8-5 decision.

J.D. Bergman set the tone at 197 with a takedown 50 seconds in. Bergman scored an 8-2 decision with riding time to bring Ohio State to within 22-9 heading to the HWT bout.

A GLANCE AT THE GOLDEN GOPHERS
Minnesota has wrestled to an 8-6 overall record and a 2-2 mark in Big Ten action so far in 2004-05. The Golden Gophers, ranked seventh in the polls last week, have won their last two duals over Northwestern and Purdue.

Third-ranked Mack Reiter leads Minnesota at 133 pounds with 12 falls on the season. At the opposite end of the line up is HWT Cole Konrad, a returning All-American who has recorded wins in each of his last 16 matches en route to a No. 2 national ranking. Additionally, Bobbe Lowe is slotted at No. 5 at 125 pounds.

J Robinson holds the longest tenure for any Big Ten coach at 19 seasons, one ahead of Ohio State head coach Russ Hellickson and his 18 years in Columbus. In his time at Minnesota, Robinson has amassed a 269-92-3 record with the Golden Gophers, including a 94-45-2 mark against the Big Ten. He led Minnesota to back-to-back NCAA Championships in 2002-03, seven top-three national finishes, four Big Ten titles and 12 Top 3 league finishes.

BUCKEYES – GOLDEN GOPHERS SERIES
Ohio State has lost the last nine meetings with Minnesota, dropping its all-time record vs. the Golden Gophers to 12-28-2. The Buckeyes won back-to-back duals over Minnesota in 1992 and `93.

LAST MEETING: MINNESOTA 20, OHIO STATE 15 IN 2003 SEASON
Ohio State dropped a 20-15 decision to then two-time reigning national champion Minnesota at St. John Arena Feb. 2, 2003. Ohio State senior Keaton Anderson topped reigning national champion Luke Becker in the 157 match, while 165 John Clark scored a dramatic upset of No. 3 Jacob Volkmann as the Buckeyes captured wins in each of the event’s final four matches, but fell short to the reigning Big Ten champs.

The heavyweights took the mat next as Ohio State No. 2 Tommy Rowlands waged battle with Minnesota’s Garrett Lowney, ranked No. 9. Rowlands jumped out to a 4-1 edge following the first period and extended that lead to a 9-4 decision for a 3-point win.

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
Ohio State completes the regular season and Big Ten schedule at Penn State Feb. 18. The Buckeyes and Nittany Lions wrestle at 7 p.m. in Bryce-Jordan Arena.