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Dec. 31, 2004

Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State wrestling team (1-3, 0-0 Big Ten) concluded action at the 2004 Midlands Championships Thursday at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Ill. Ohio State sophomore J.D. Bergman placed second at 197 pounds to help the Buckeyes to a No. 12 finish in the final team standings with 41.0 team points. Illinois won the team title with 130.5 points, ahead of Iowa (119.0) and Iowa State (110.5).

Bergman, the No. 2-seed at 197, gained a spot in the finals vs. No. 1-seed Jon Trenge of Lehigh Thursday afternoon with a 5-1 decision win over No. 6-seed Tyrone Byrd of Illinois in the semifinals. In the final, Bergman and Trenge, both NWCA All-Star selections this season, wrestled to a 6-4 final score in favor of Trenge. Trenge, the 2002 NCAA champion at 197, claimed his second career Midlands title with the win over Bergman.

Sophomore Alex Picazo also placed at Midlands, finishing eighth at 184 pounds. After being pinned in his first-round bout, Picazo, from Grandview, Ohio, rolled to four straight victories in the wrestleback rounds, including a 7-2 decision win over T.J. Morrison of Rider Thursday afternoon. Later, Picazo saw his win streak halted by Mike Tamillow of host Northwestern by a tight 1-0 decision to send Picazo to the seventh-place match, where he suffered a 12-4 defeat via major decision at the hands of Joe Williams, the fifth seed from Michigan State.

Three other Buckeyes wrestled in the second day of competition Thursday, but lost their matches to drop from tournament contention. At 133 pounds, freshman T.J. Enright completed his Midlands tournament after accepting a medical forfeit in his wrestleback match Thursday. Another freshman, Keegan Mueller also took a defeat in the consolations at 157, suffering a 10-0 major decision to Brandon Becker of Indiana. Finally at HWT, Kirk Nail, also a freshman, fell from the tournament with a 7-4 loss to No. 11 Paul Weibel of Lehigh.

Ohio State assistant coach Mitch Clark, wrestling as an open competitor also was eliminated Thursday with a loss in the consolations via disqualification at 197 pounds. Clark won Midlands in 1998, the same season he won the NCAA championship at 197.

Complete results of the 2004 Midlands Championships can be accessed at www.nusports.com.