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Dec. 19, 2001

%^$COLUMBUS, Ohio- The Big Ten Conference today announced it has named Tommy Rowlands (So., Hilliard, Ohio/Bishop Ready), a member of the No. 7 Ohio State wrestling team, as its wrestler of the week for the week ending Dec. 16. The honor is the first for the 2001 Big Ten Freshman of the Year.%^$

%^$”This is a great honor to receive, especially early in the season when everybody in the conference is getting off to strong starts,” Rowlands said. “I am very happy to be honored as one of the top wrestlers in such a prestigious and competitive conference as the Big Ten.”%^$

%^$Rowlands, currently ranked No. 2 in the national polls at heavyweight, has compiled a 9-1 overall record and is a perfect 6-0 in duals. In competition at the Clarion Duals Dec. 16, Rowlands pinned Clarion’s John Testa, ranked No. 13, at 2:45 to help OSU to a 45-0 victory over the Golden Eagles. Rowlands also scored technical falls over Ohio’s Jeremiah Beltran, 26-10 (7:00), and No. 11 Lock Haven’s Bret Kleckner, 27-12 (7:00) in the Buckeyes’ 32-4 defeat of the Bobcats and 28-11 win over the Bald Eagles, respectively. For his short career at OSU, Rowlands is 52-5 overall and 28-0 in duals.%^$

%^$”Tommy has been very dominant early this year,” Russ Hellickson, OSU head coach, said. “He totally dominated the three guys he faced last weekend at Clarion and that was against three very good wrestlers. It is great for him to start the year with some recognition.”%^$

%^$Next up for OSU, following the holiday break, is the Midlands Tournament, Dec. 29-30 in Evanston, Ill., on the campus of Northwestern University. The Buckeyes’ first home dual of the year is Jan. 5 at the Buckeye Duals. The action starts at noon at St. John Arena when OSU takes on Buffalo.