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Feb. 27, 2006

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2006 BIG TEN WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
March 4-5, 2006
Assembly Hall
Bloomington, Ind.

Ssturday
Session I – 11 a.m.
Through Quarterfinals & Consolation 1st Rd.

Session II – 6 p.m.
Through Championship Semifinals & Consolation Quarterfinals

Sunday
Session III – Noon
Consolation Semifinals
Seveth-Place Matches
Fifth & Third-Place Matches
Championship Matches

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State wrestling team (5-13; 0-8 Big Ten) begins postseason action when it travels to Bloomington, Ind., for the 2006 Big Ten Conference Wrestling Championships.

Held in Assembly Hall on the campus of Indiana University, the conference championships are in its 93rd year. OSU has been crowned league champions on two occasions (1923 and 1951) and has boasted 32 individual champions.

Ohio State Big Ten Starters
125 – Nathan Costello (3-11; 2-8 duals)
133 – No. 20 Reece Humphrey (24-11; 8-7 duals)
141 – T.J. Enright (15-12; 9-9 duals)
149 – No. 10 J Jaggers (25-6; 15-3 duals)
157 – Steve Sommer (20-14; 8-8 duals)
165 – Nathaniel Augustson (16-16; 9-9 duals)
174 – No. 20 Blake Maurer (15-8; 6-2 duals)
184 – No. 20 Alex Picazo (21-15; 8-9 duals)
197 – James Aston (0-4; 0-4 duals)
285 – Kirk Nail (14-8; 9-6 duals)
Rankings from USA Today/NWCA/InterMat BROADCAST
College Sports Television (CSTV) will broadcast the 2006 Big Ten Conference Wrestling Championships March 4-5 at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., on tape delay at noon March 6.

LIVE UPDATES
Results of each session will be available online at iuhoosiers.com and bigten.org.

HOW TO GET THERE
Tickets to the Big Ten championships can be purchased by calling 1-866-IUSPORTS. All-session tickets for adults are $30 and all-session tickets for students are $15. Individual session prices range from $10-$20 for adults (session I-II: $10; session III: $20) and $5-$10 for students (session I-II: $5; session III: $10). Tickets for children two and under are $1. There is reserved seating by school.

Fans can purchase programs for $2 and bracket sheets can be purchased for $1.

BUCKEYE PRE-SEEDS
Big Ten conference officials announced the preliminary seeding for the 2006 Big Ten Wrestling Championships Monday. The official Big Ten championships bracket will be determined Friday.

Six Buckeye wrestlers are Top 8 seeds, with redshirt freshman J Jaggers leading OSU with a No. 4 seed at 149 pounds. At 174 pounds, fellow redshirt freshman Blake Maurer earned a No. 5 seed. A trio of Buckeyes in Steve Sommer, Alex Picazo and Kirk Nail received the No. 7 seed at their respective weight classes of 157 and 184 pounds and heavyweight. True freshman Reece Humphrey rounds out the field with a No. 8 seed at 133 pounds.

Big Ten head wrestling coaches determined the pre-seeds after reviewing regular-season results of each wrestler. Jaggers finished the regular season with a 25-6 record, No. 1 on the team. Humphrey had the second-most wins on the squad with 24 and had 11 losses. Picazo and Sommer also compiled 20-plus win seasons with a 21-15 and 20-14 mark, respectively. Maurer collected 15 wins and eight losses and Nail’s record stood at 14-8.

Unseeded Buckeyes joining the lineup at the conference championships include Nathan Costello at 125, T.J. Enright at 141, Nathaniel Augustson at 165 and James Aston at 197 pounds.

2006 BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
Session I of the Big Ten championships commences at 11 a.m. Saturday. The first session runs through the quarterfinals, as well as the first round of the consolation brackets. Session II begins later that evening at 6 p.m. with semifinals and consolation quarterfinals action.

The consolation semifinal bouts, seventh, fifth and third-place matches and the championships rounds will occur Sunday beginning at noon.

The Top 7 individuals from each weight class plus two at-large athletes (wildcards) advance to the 2006 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in Oklahoma City, representing their respective programs. For further championship information, please log on to iuhoosiers.com.

CONFERENCE ACCOLADES
At the conclusion of the championships, conference honors will be awarded as voted on by the head coaches.

The sportsmanship winners, freshman of the year, wrestler of the year, coach of the year and outstanding wrestler of the championships, as well as the team championship honor accolades, will be presented.

A HISTORY LESSON
Ohio State has had 32 individual Big Ten champions dating back to 1921. Parry Martter, who lettered for the Buckeyes in 1921-23 was the Buckeyes’ first two-time conference champion, winning in 1921 at 158 pounds and 1922 at 145 pounds.

Since Martter’s two Big Ten championships, eight other Buckeyes have won two league titles, including Kevin Randleman (1991-93), who is Ohio State’s only three-time conference champion.

Tommy Rowlands was the last OSU wrestler to win multiple Big Ten titles. He first won in 2002 at heavyweight, before winning again in 2004.

Ohio State has two team titles to its credit. The Buckeyes’ first title came in 1923 when they went 8-0 under head coach Al Haft. The Scarlet and Gray’s second title was won in 1951. Casey Fredericks was at the helm of the Buckeyes and guided them to a 8-0-1 mark. The team went on to finish tied for sixth at the NCAA championships.

BEEN THERE BEFORE
Buckeye assistant coach Mitch Clark and volunteer assistant coach Jim Humphrey were Big Ten individual champions for Ohio State. Clark was a two-time champion in 1997 and 1998 at 177 pounds and Humphrey captured the title at 134 pounds in 1972.

As a student-athlete, head coach Russ Hellickson was a two-time runner-up at Wisconsin at 190 pounds and heavyweight in 1969 and 1970.

BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS – 2005
Three members of the wrestling team earned bids to the NCAA championships in St. Louis with placing marks at the 2005 Big Ten Championships in Iowa City, Iowa. Sophomore J.D. Bergman lost in overtime in the title match at 197 pounds to finish second, while freshmen T.J. Enright and Kirk Nail placed sixth and eighth, respectively.

In the team standings, Ohio State placed 11th with 26.5 points. Illinois won the team title with a total of 130. The Illini were followed closely by Minnesota with 123.5 points and Michigan with 118 points.

GOING HOME
Buckeyes Reece Humphrey and Blake Maurer will return to their home state of Indiana when they compete in the Big Ten championships.

Humphrey hails from Indianapolis, Ind., and attended Lawrence North High School. Maurer is a native of Evansville, Ind., and went to Mater Dei High School.

BIG TEN CHAMPS. UNDER HELLICKSON
Under head coach Russ Hellickson, Ohio State has placed as high as third in the conference championships on four different occasions.

Hellickson guided the Buckeyes to a third-place finish in just his second year at OSU in 1988. Hellickson and Ohio State also placed third during three consecutive years between 1991-93.

BUCKEYE CHAMPION
Earlier in the season, J Jaggers captured the 149-pound championship at the Michigan State Open Nov. 13.

Jaggers was the No. 2 seed in the event and went on to beat No. 1 seed Darren McKnight of Michigan State, 6-3, for his first MSU Open title.

NO PRESSURE
True freshmen Reece Humphrey and James Aston made their way into the postseason lineup to debut in their first conference championships.

Redshirt freshmen J Jaggers and Blake Maurer also will appear in the league championships for the first time in their OSU career.

DUALING IT OUT
J Jaggers and T.J. Enright made 18 consecutive dual meet starts at 141and 149 pounds, respectively, during the regular season. Nathaniel Augustson also saw action in all 18 of the Buckeyes’ dual meets in 2005-06 at 165 and 174 pounds.

Alex Picazo competed in 17 of 18 matches at 184, while seeing action at 197 pounds in one meet.

THE MAN ON THE MATS During the 2005-06 season, J Jaggers outperformed his opponents in nine statistical categories.

Jaggers tallied 12 more takedowns (38-26) and notched 11 more escapes (37-26) than his adversaries and also recorded two more reverses (13-11). In 2-point nearfalls, Jaggers had four compared to three compiled by his competitors and the Northfield, Ohio, native scored 12 3-point nearfalls while his opponents had zero. Jaggers earned 12 riding time points compared to three scored by his competitors. The match points ratio stood at 257-177 and technical falls recorded were 4-0. Finally, Jaggers had a 4-0 advantage on his adversaries in falls.

MR. RELIABLE
Before sitting out the Michigan dual, Blake Maurer won six of seven duals at 174 pounds dating back to the matchup vs. Virginia Jan. 22.

Maurer’s lone loss during the stretch was against No. 2 Jake Herbert of Northwestern.

OH SO CLOSE
J Jaggers’ nine-match winning streak was one victory shy of J.D. Bergman’s longest OSU winning streak of 10 from last year. In 2004-05, Bergman reeled off 10-consecutive wins at 197 pounds between Dec. 5, 2004 and Dec. 29, 2005. His win streak began at the Las Vegas Invitational and ended at the Midlands tournament, where he placed second to No. 1 seed Jon Trenge of Lehigh.

Jaggers’ nine-match win streak: Opponent(School) Decision Matt Dragon (Penn) fall 4:06 (Va. Duals) Chris Ramos (UNC) dec. 7-5 (Va. Duals) Isaac Knable (IU) mdec. 12-2 Drew DiPasquale (Va.) dec. 8-5 (Va. Tech) forfeit Tyler Safratowich (Minn.) dec. 7-6 Troy Tirapelle (Ill.) dec. 9-7 Marty Gould (NW) dec. 6-0 Tyler Turner (Wis.) dec. 5-3

PUTTING IN THE OVERTIME
T.J. Enright competed in his third extra period bout in five matches at 141 pounds Feb. 5 against Wisconsin’s Ed Gutnik. Enright is 1-2 in the extra periods, defeating Virginia Tech’s David Hoffman, 5-3, Jan. 22, but losing to No. 16 Manuel Rivera of Minnesota, 4-2, Jan. 27 and falling to Gutnik after 7:39 minutes of action.

As a team, the Buckeyes are 4-5 in overtime bouts.

2005-06 Overtime Matches
133 – No. 20 Hernandez (Indiana) svdec. R.Humphrey, 8-7
141 – Ed Gutnik (Wisconsin) svfall T.J. Enright, 7:39
141 – No.16 Manuel Rivera (Minn.) svdec. T.J. Enright, 4-2
141 – T.J. Enright svdec. David Hoffman (Va. Tech), 5-3
149 – Eric Tannenbaum svdec. J Jaggers (Michigan), 6-4
165 – Charlie Clark svdec. Justin Nestor (Pittsburgh), 2-0
174 – Blake Maurer svdec. No. 10 Dretsch (Minn), 6-4
197 – Mitch Kuhlman (Minnesota) svdec. James Aston, 6-4
HWT – No. 11 Kirk Nail svdec. Matt Weight (Illinois), 4-2

BUCKEYES IN THE RANKINGS
In the latest USA Today/NWCA/InterMat rankings released Feb. 21, J Jaggers is No. 10 at 149 pounds and Reece Humphrey, Blake Maurer and Alex Picazo hold down the No. 20 spots at 133, 174 and 184, respectively.

Jaggers, Maurer and Kirk Nail also are ranked in the W.I.N. polls. Jaggers is 12th, Maurer is 14th and Nail is 20th. In the Amateur Wrestling News standings, Jaggers holds down the No. 9 spot and Maurer remains 14th. Picazo owns the No. 20 spot and Nail rounds out OSU ranked wrestlers with a No. 15th ranking.

THE BEST MUST FACE THE BEST
During the 2005-06 dual season, Ohio State faced 20 wrestlers ranked in the Top 10 of the Amateur Wrestling News Polls, including five who are No. 1. At 125, Ohio State’s Nathan Costello encountered Joe Dubuque of Indiana Jan. 20. Steve Sommer matched-up against Alex Tirapelle of Illinois Jan. 29 at 157 pounds. Charlie Clark faced Ben Askren of Missouri at 174 Dec. 11. At 184 pounds, Alex Picazo battled Eric Bradley of Penn State Feb. 17. Kirk Nail squared off against Cole Konrad of Minnesota Jan. 27.

FULL HOUSE
Ohio State recorded its second-highest wrestling attendance at St. John Arena against Minnesota Jan. 27, as 3,022 fans watched the Buckeyes and the No. 1 team in the nation.

BIG TEN LEDGER
Ohio State owns a 235-329-19 all-time Big Ten record. The Buckeyes have winning marks against Indiana (44-38-2), Northwestern (38-28) and Purdue (45-23-7).

2005-06 SENIOR CLASS
Seniors Nathaniel Augustson, Brent Billet, Nathan Costello and Steve Sommer soon will conclude their Ohio State wrestling careers.

A fifth-year senior who transferred to Ohio State in 2003-04, Augustson earned a spot in the starting line-up at 165 and 174 pounds in 2004-05. During that year, Augustson proved to be a valuable asset to the squad, leading the team in reversals and finishing third in takedowns and team points. Following his first full season with the Buckeyes, Augustson was voted Most Dedicated by his teammates. This season, Augustson has been a constant force for the Buckeyes, competing in every OSU tournament and open, as well as all 17 Ohio State dual meets. Augustson is a native of Rio Rancho, N.M., and attended Rio Rancho high school.

Another fifth-year senior, Billet is a reserve at 184 pounds for the Buckeyes. While serving an integral role during OSU practices, Billet became a two-time “Buckeye Power Lifting Award” winner. Academically, Billet set an example of excellence in the classroom, becoming a two-time OSU Scholar-Athlete Award winner. Billet hails from Carlisle, Pa., and prepped at Cumberland Valley high school.

Costello saw immediate action for the Buckeyes at 125 pounds during his freshman season and continued to have a starting role in the OSU line-up during his remaining years. Last season, Costello recorded career highs in nearly all statistical categories. Although plagued by injuries in 2005-06, Costello was a familiar face on the varsity squad at the beginning of the season. Costello attended Maple Heights high school in Maple Heights, Ohio.

Sommer was a junior college transfer in 2003-04, before being catapulted into the Buckeye line-up two seasons later. This year, Sommer has seen action in 16 of 17 duals in both the 165 and 174-pound weight classes and has accumulated wins in both divisions. Sommer is from West Carrollton, Ohio, and attended Dayton Carroll high school.

A LOOK BACK
Ohio State encountered a strenuous schedule during the 2005-06 season, facing nine ranked teams, seven of which are ranked in the Big Ten.

Following an appearance at the Michigan State Open Nov. 12-13, where J Jaggers was the 149-pound champion, the Buckeyes went on to compete at the Las Vegas Invitational Dec. 2-3 and finished 20th. The Buckeyes then dropped their first dual of the season, 25-13, against then-No. 13 Missouri. After a fifth-place standing in the Southern Scuffle, Ohio State’s dual schedule was in full swing. OSU opened its home slate with a 30-3 win over Pittsburgh, but lost two matches on the road vs. Kent State (25-13) and Cleveland State (25-18).

In the Virginia Duals, the Buckeyes went 2-2, defeating The Citadel, 38-10, and West Virginia, 17-15, but suffering defeats to then-No. 25 Penn and North Carolina.

The Buckeyes’ Big Ten schedule opened at then-No. 15 Indiana, where OSU fell, 31-7. Taking a hiatus from conference action, OSU reeled off two wins against Virginia and Virginia Tech, 28-10 and 38-10, respectively.

Ohio State was unable to garner wins the rest of the season, as they dropped seven league contests against six Top 25 teams.

IN THE WIN COLUMN
Russ Hellickson garnered his 270th win as the Buckeye head coach at the Virginia Duals. Hellickson scored a 2-0 record on day one of the competition, beating The Citadel and West Virginia to earn win 269 and 270.

UP NEXT
The University of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma City All Sports Association will host the 2005 NCAA Championships March 16-18 in Oklahoma City in Downtown Arena.