Feb. 24, 2005
Columbus, Ohio – Three members of the Ohio State wrestling team head to 2004-05 postseason tournament action ranked among the Top 20 wrestlers in the nation in their respective weight classes. J.D. Bergman, a sophomore and returning All-American, leads the way with a national ranking as high as fourth at 197 pounds in two recognized polls. T.J. Enright and Kirk Nail, who both completed solid freshman seasons, also rank in the Top 20 at 133 and HWT, respectively.
The trio will lead the Buckeyes into the 2005 Big Ten Championships March 6-7 at the University of Iowa. The league meet features as many as 65 ranked wrestlers combined in the 10 weight classes, including a high of eight ranked participants at 141 and 184 pounds. At the completion of the tournament, the Top 7 place winners from each weight class receive automatic bids to the 2005 NCAA Championships March 17-19 in St. Louis, Mo.
Bergman began at No. 3 in preseason polls after his third-place finish at the 2004 NCAA’s. In the latest rankings from Feb. 21, he is ranked No. 4 by both W.I.N. Magazine and Amateur Wrestling News. The native of Oak Harbor, Ohio also is slotted at No. 6 by the NWCA/Intermat.com poll.
Bergman finished the regular season leading Ohio State in nearly all statistical categories, including wins (33), team points (115.0), takedowns (68), major decisions (9) and falls (7). Bergman’s 33 wins serve as a career-best, topping the 32 from his freshman campaign in 2003-04.
Enright, who completed his first collegiate regular season with a 29-8 record, sits at the No. 16 spot in all three of the latest polls. The Galloway, Ohio started the year in impressive fashion by becoming the first Buckeye in 19-year tenure of head coach Russ Hellickson to claim titles in each of his first two collegiate tournaments. Enright won the 2004 Oklahoma Gold Classic Nov. 13 and followed with the 133 title at the 2004 Michigan State Open a week later on Nov. 21.
Nail, from Hilliard, Ohio, had some large shoes to fill after former Buckeye Tommy Rowlands completed his OSU career last season with his second NCAA championship and fourth All-America honor at HWT. After a late and slow start to the year, Nail benefited from an eight-match win streak at midseason to complete his first campaign at 15-12. Nail faced four Top 10 wrestlers in the Big Ten schedule and lost by an average of just two points in each contest. He finished the season ranked as high as No. 17 by W.I.N. In the NWCA/Intermat.com poll, Nail falls in at No. 19, while AWN has him at No. 20.
The first session of the 2005 Big Ten Wrestling Championships is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 6. For more information on the Big Ten tournament, please visit www.bigten.org.