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May 9, 2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Tommy Rowlands, who capped the most decorated career in Ohio State wrestling with his second NCAA heavyweight title in March, continued his preparation for a run at the Athens Olympic games as a competitor in the 2004 Pan American Championships May 6-7 in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Rowlands, who will wrestle in the 2004 United States Olympic Team Trials May 21-23 in Indianapolis, advanced to the finals of the 211-pound weight class and emerged with a silver medal Friday evening.

Rowlands (Hilliard, Ohio/ Bishop Ready), participating with the Dave Schultz wrestling club, tallied a pair of technical falls in the first two bouts of the event. First, he bested Renato Cunha of Brazil by a 10-0 score at the 2:30 mark in the quarterfinals before topping Luis Viveres of Venezuela by a 13-3 count at 4:21 in the semis to reach the final against Yoel Romero of Cuba. The gold medal match saw Rowlands and Romero battle to a 1-point decision as Romero claimed first prize via a 3-2 decision. Rowlands second-place finish helped the U.S. squad take runner-up in the team competition behind Cuba.

Next, Rowlands and teammate J.D. Bergman (Fr., Oak Harbor, Ohio/ Oak Harbor) will compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Rowlands and Bergman also will take part in recognition by the Ohio Senate for Ohio State’s performance at the 2004 NCAA Championships as the pair of U.S. trial members will be joined by seniors John Clark (Canton, N.Y./ Canton), Blake Kaplan (Cincinnati, Ohio/ Sycamore) and Jeff Ratliff (Marion, Ohio/ Harding), and the OSU coaching staff to be honored in a ceremony at the Columbus Statehouse Tuesday at 1:30.

2004 Pan American Championships Results 211 pounds Quarterfinals – Rowlands (U.S./ Schultz WC) Tech. Fall Cunha (Brazil), 10-0 at 2:30 Semifinals – Rowlands (U.S./ Schultz WC) Tech. Fall Viveres (Venezuela), 13-3 at 4:21 Gold Medal Match – Romero (Cuba) Dec. Rowlands (U.S./ Schultz WC), 3-2