COLUMBUS, Ohio – Championship performances by Ian Paddock (133), Colt Sponseller (157) and Nick Heflin (174) kicked off the No. 12 Ohio State wrestling team’s 2010-11 season as it competed at the UB Open Sunday at Alumni Arena in Buffalo, N.Y.
A native New Yorker from Warsaw, Paddock was the No. 2 seed and after winning three matches met No. 1-seed Kevin Smith of host Buffalo in the final. The Buckeye sophomore secured a 6-0 shutout in the title bout to open the season on a strong note. In his previous three matches, Paddock won by a combined 29-4 margin. Earning a bye in the first round, Paddock recorded a convincing 17-2 win over Bloomsburg’s Jeremiah Biddle before being taken to overtime by Matthew Hasbrouck of Edinboro. Paddock was able to escape with a 2-0 win en route to the semifinals. A 10-4 decision over Hasbrouck’s Fighting Scot teammate Mitchell Port ensued to secure Paddock’s place in the final.
Like Paddock, Sponseller earned his title over a UB wrestler in Mark Lewandwoski. A senior from Glenmont, Ohio, Sponseller posted a 4-1 decision as the No. 1 seed in the championship match to begin the season 4-0. After a bye in the opening round, Sponseller recorded a pin and technical fall, respectively, to advance to the semifinals. Sponseller first dropped Zack Noernberg (4:37) of Notre Dame College before tallying 19 points (19-4) against Kent State’s Drew Howard. Facing fifth-seed Marshal Giovannini, Jr., of American International University next, Sponseller tallied a 7-1 decision.
Heflin, a redshirt-freshman who calls Massillon, Ohio, home, witnessed consecutive opponents in the semifinals and final withdraw because of injury. Despite not wrestling his final two matches, Heflin did see action initially, first pinning Mark Smilek (Notre Dame College) in 1:42 and beating seventh-seed Ron Majerus (Buffalo), 3-0.
The third-seed, redshirt-freshman Peter Capone (Johnson City, N.Y.) finished third at 184 pounds. Losing his second-round bout, Capone rebounded nicely in wrestlebacks, winning four consecutive matches. For the third-place title, Capone downed Chris Daniels of Gannon, 12-0.
Buckeye teammates Dominic Jontony and C.J. Magrum matched up in the semifinals at 197 pounds with Magrum prevailing on a forfeit. However, in the final, Magrum suffered a 4-0 setback to finish second.
Wrapping up the evening, redshirt-junior Zach Stolarsky finished fourth in the heavyweight division.
The home schedule will begin at 10 a.m. Nov. 21 in St. John Arena when Ohio State hosts the Buckeye Duals. The Scarlet and Gray will host No. 14 Pittsburgh and No. 15 Nebraska. The Panthers and Cornhuskers will begin the day with a 10 a.m. match. Ohio State then will wrestle Pittsburgh at 11:30 a.m. before concluding the event against Nebraska at 1:30 p.m.
For fans who cannot make it to the Buckeye Duals, live scoring updates will be available at the NWCA Stat Tracker link on www.nwcaonline.com.