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No. 3 Ohio State hosting the Buckeye Duals
Sunday, Nov. 16
St. John Arena
Columbus, Ohio

Participating Schools and Schedule of Events
Cleveland State
University of The Cumberlands
Notre Dame College
Ohio State

1 p.m. (2 Mats)
No. 3 Ohio State vs. Notre Dame College
University of The Cumberlands vs. Cleveland State

3 p.m. (2 Mats)
No. 3 Ohio State vs. Cleveland State
University of The Cumberlands vs. Notre Dame College

COLUMBUS, Ohio For the first time since 2005, the No. 3 Ohio State wrestling team will host the Buckeye Duals Sunday in St. John Arena. Action will begin at 1 p.m. on two mats followed by two more matches at 3 p.m. The Buckeyes will take on Notre Dame College in their first match before facing Cleveland State in the second match-up.

SO MUCH MORE
In addition to Ohio State’s matches, Cleveland State will wrestle the University of The Cumberlands at 1 p.m. At about 3 p.m., the University of The Cumberlands will return to action against Notre Dame College.
 
CHECK IT OUT LIVE
A live video stream of the Buckeye Duals will be available on Buckeye Vision. Click on the Buckeye Vision link on OhioStateBuckeyes.com for details on how to order annual or monthly subscriptions to the service.

REECE HUMPHREY NAMED CONFERENCE WRESTLER OF THE WEEK
Reece Humphrey, a 133-pound junior from Indianapolis, Ind., was named the Big Ten Conference co-Wrestler of the Week Nov. 4 following his championship performance at the Buffalo Open Nov. 2.

Humphrey won four matches at the event as the No. 1 seed by pinning two of his opponents and winning by a technical fall and decision. He began the day with a pin of Kevin Green of Niagara in 5:50 and then followed that performance with a 25-10 technical fall over Michael Baxter of Mercyhurst College. Humphrey then faced teammate and fifth-seed Garrett Henry in the semifinals and made quick work of the rookie from Solon, Ohio, pinning Henry in 3:28 en route to the final. In the championship bout, Humphrey decisioned Kevin Smith of host Buffalo, 9-5, for the title. 

It is the first-career weekly laurel for the product of Lawrence North High School and the first for the Buckeyes since J Jaggers earned the honor Jan. 30, 2008.

NOT YOUR TYPICAL WRESTLER
Sophomore Nikko Triggas sat down with OhioStateBuckeyes.com for a live chat Wednesday. Triggas answered fans questions ranging from the typical wrestling inquiries to the not-so-typical. Below are excerpts of Triggas’ chat. To read more, log on to OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

What’s your plan for this season? Do you feel you’ve improved over the summer?
“My plan for the season is to get to the podium which means Top 8 finishes are necessary. I need to work on my feet with down blocking and sprawling. I feel I have improved this summer wrestling freestyle and Greco because it has changed the way I wrestle.”

Do you have any pre-match rituals? What will the Buckeye Duals be like this weekend?
“My pre-match rituals are not typical of a wrestler. I mostly like to get focused and into the match. I like to get my head away from wrestling to settle myself. I do this by singing and I love my oldies. I feel like this helps me explode in my first period because my energy is saved up and I am relaxed. I should get two matches in at the Buckeye Duals this weekend. They both should be good matches.”

A LITTLE HISTORY LESSON
The Buckeye Duals are making their return  Sunday after a three-year absence and a five-year run from 2001-05. Prior to this year, the Buckeye Duals traditionally opened Ohio State’s new calendar year as it would take place in early January.

The Scarlet and Gray boast an impressive record of 16-1-1 as hosts of the Buckeye Duals. Their lone loss came at the hands of Lehigh, 22-17, in 2004. The Buckeyes also tied Chattanooga, 20-20, in 2003.

A frequent participant of the Buckeye Duals was Drexel. The Dragons competed in 2001, 2003 and 2005. Sunday will be the third time Cleveland State will compete in the Buckeye Duals. The Vikings also traveled to Columbus in 2001 and 2005.

Nice Start to the Year
 Ohio State began its season at two open tournaments. The Buckeyes made the trip to Buffalo, N.Y., for the Buffalo Open Nov. 2 and had a phenomenal meet, crowning six champions. A week later, Ohio State made its way south for the Wolfpack Open in Raleigh, N.C., Nov. 8 and completed the tournament with four title winners.
 Junior Reece Humphrey (133), senior Jason Johnstone (157), sophomore Colt Sponseller (165) and freshman Cody Gardner (197) were double winners as they won their respective weight classes at both opens. In Buffalo, Dave Rella (174) and Corey Morrison (HWT) also won titles of their own.

UPDATE ON THE STANDINGS
 In the latest USA Today/InterMat/NWCA rankings (Nov. 11), Ohio State improved one spot to No. 3.
 With freshman 197-pounder Cody Gardner and junior heavyweight Corey Morrison cracking the Top 20 in their respective weight classes, Ohio State boasts a ranked grappler in each weight division. Junior Reece Humphrey (133), senior Jason Johnstone (157) and junior Dave Rella (174) all moved up one spot in the InterMat standings.
 
Weight Wrestler W.I.N. InterMat
125 Nikko Triggas 13th 14th
133 Reece Humphrey 9th 8th
141 J Jaggers 1st 1st
149  Lance Palmer 8th 5th
157 Jason Johnstone 13th 13th
165 Colt Sponseller 13th 16th
174 Dave Rella 18th 18th
184 Mike Pucillo  1st 1st

ALL-AMERICAN STYLE 
 The Buckeyes return three All-Americans from last season. J Jaggers (141) and Mike Pucillo (184), 2008 NCAA Champions, and Lance Palmer (149) are back for another season in 2008-09.
 Overall, Ohio State boasts six NCAA qualifiers from a season ago. In addition to Jaggers, Pucillo and Palmer, Nikko Triggas is back at 125 pounds, as is 133-pounder Reece Humphrey and Jason Johnstone (157).

ONE MORE
 The University of The Cumberlands has been added to the list of schools scheduled to participate in the Buckeye Duals Sunday in St. John Arena. In all, four schools – Ohio State, Cleveland State, Notre Dame College and the University of The Cumberlands – will wrestle in the event that will get underway at 1 p.m.

FAMILIAR FACES
 With the addition of the University of The Cumberlands to the Buckeye Duals, junior transfer A.J. Agazarm will likely run into some familiar faces. Prior to enrolling at Ohio State, Agazarm wrestled for the Patriots at 133 and 141 pounds from 2005-07.   
 
IT’S A CLASSIC
 For the first time in 27 years, Ohio State will host the NWCA All-Star Classic presented by the United States Marines Corps at 7 p.m. Nov. 24 in St. John Arena. Tickets are $10. Group rates are not available. 
 “We’ve taken the All-Star Classic around the country, but it’s hard to believe it’s been 27 years since the event has been in Columbus,” Mike Moyer, NWCA executive director, said. “We’ve been to Dallas and Oregon the last two years to try to kick start and preserve wrestling and this coming year, we’re going to an area where wrestling isn’t just thriving, it’s creating an electric atmosphere around campus.”
 Ohio State’s J Jaggers will participate in the All-Star Classic, becoming the first Buckeye to take part in the event since J.D. Bergman competed in 2005. The event traditionally features the Top 2 wrestlers from each weight class vying for the status as the top wrestler in the nation.

Recent Ohio State All-Star Classic Results
(Past Five Buckeye Appearances)
2005
197 J.D. Bergman dec. Scott Barker (Oregon), 8-3

2004
HWT Tommy Rowlands dec. Pat Cummins
(Penn State), 3-1 (ot)

2003
157 Keaton Anderson dec. Scott Owen
(Northern Illinois), 5-2 (ot)
165 Troy Letter (Lehigh) dec. John Clark, 19-14

2002
HWT Tommy Rowlands dec. John Lockhart 
(Illinois), 5-2

2001
HWT Tommy Rowlands dec. Josh Pearce
(Edinboro), 5-3

NEW TO THE STAFF
 Former Buckeyes J.D. Bergman and Alex Picazo joined the wrestling support staff this past summer. Bergman (2004-08) is the team’s assistant marketing director and Picazo (2004-08) is the director of operations and strength and conditioning coach.

Don’t Miss Out!
 Throughout the season, there will be several giveaways and events for fans to take part in at home matches.

43rd Annual NWCA All-Star Classic Presented by the United States Marine Corps
7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 24
The 43rd Annual NWCA All-Star Classic Presented by the United States Marine Corps features the top wrestlers in the nation in each weight class in one of the most prestigious collegiate wrestling events in the country. Tickets are $10.

Kent State
5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 4
Meet the Buckeyes in a postgame autograph session with select wrestlers

Indiana
7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30
Free rally towels to the first 1,000 fans courtesy of Nationwide
Meet the Buckeyes in a postgame autograph session with select wrestlers

Minnesota
11 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 1
Check out the Buckeyes as they take on conference rival Minnesota in Value City Arena in the Jerome Schottenstein Center on The Ohio State University campus. Fans are encouraged to wear white and “White Out” the Gophers.

Purdue
5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8
Meet the Buckeyes in a postgame autograph session with select wrestlers

Illinois
2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 15
Meet the Buckeyes in a postgame autograph session with select wrestlers

 Tickets to Ohio State home matches are $8 for adults and $5 for youth. Students with a valid BuckID are admitted free. An advanced purchased of 10 or more tickets is $4. To purchase tickets, call TicketMaster at 614-431-3600 or log on to OhioStateBuckeyes.com. 

TOUGH ROAD AHEAD
 Nine of the Buckeyes’ opponents, not counting ranked challengers in the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals in January, are ranked in the USA Today/NWCA/InterMat Top 25 poll. Ohio State will face No. 15 Edinboro on the road Dec. 14 before hosting No. 25 (tie) Kent State Jan. 14.
 The Buckeyes then will enter a tough Big Ten Conference stretch in which seven of their eight league opponents are ranked. Ohio State will battle No. 16 Indiana (Jan. 30), No. 12 Minnesota (Feb. 1) and No. 9 Illinois (Feb. 15) in Columbus. The match vs. the Gophers will take place in Value City Arena at the Jerome Schottenstein Center. The Scarlet and Gray will travel to No. 7 Penn State (Feb. 6), No. 10 Michigan (Feb. 13), No. 11 Northwestern (Feb. 20) and No. 12 (tie) Wisconsin (Feb. 22).

BATTLING BUCKEYES
 Junior Reece Humphrey and sophomore Nikko Triggas, who are eighth and 14th at 133 and 125 pounds, respectively, in the InterMat polls,  had impressive summers in international competition. Triggas, a native of Moraga, Calif., swept the Greco-Roman and freestyle events at the Pan American championships and Humphrey, who hails from Indianapolis, Ind., won the silver medal at the University World championships.

Services to the Community
 The Buckeyes take part in various community service initiatives throughout the season. Once a month, Ohio State visits patients at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The team also participates in the 2nd & 7 Foundation reading program that strives to “Tackle Illiteracy” in Central Ohio.

UP NEXT
 Ohio State will welcome some of the best wrestlers in the nation as host of the 43rd Annual NWCA All-Star Classic Presented by the United States Marine Corps at 7 p.m. Nov. 24. ESPNU will televise the All-Star Classic, including the two exhibition matches between Ohio State’s Reece Humphrey vs. Jimmy Kennedy (Illinois) at 133 pounds and the Buckeyes’ Colt Sponseller vs. Moza Fay (Northern Iowa) at 165 pounds.