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Ohio State holds second with 88 points

ST. LOUIS, Mo. Junior Lance Palmer was the only Buckeye in action Saturday morning, wrestling in the 149-pound consolation bracket at the 2009 NCAA Wrestling Championships at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo. After advancing to the third-place match, Palmer fell in the consolation final to finish the championships in fourth. It is his second fourth-place finish at the national event after placing in the same spot as a freshman in 2007. Last season he placed eighth.

Ohio State currently holds second with 88 points, trailing Iowa with 97.5. Iowa State is third with 79.5 and Nebraska is fourth with 74.5 points.

In his first consolation match of the morning, Palmer, a fourth seed, outlasted Purdue’s sixth-seeded Jake Patacsil to win an 8-7 decision. The Lakewood, Ohio, native held an 8-3 advantage after the first period but his Big Ten foe closed the gap in the second, making it 8-5 heading into the final stanza. Palmer, already a three-time All-American, held on for the win to advance to the 149- pound third-place final.

The battle for third brought up another league scuffle as Palmer met No. 5-seed Kyle Ruschell of Wisconsin. Ruschell knocked off No. 7 Bryce Saddoris of Navy en route to the final consolation match. Palmer scored early with a first-period takedown and two-point nearfall for a 4-0 lead. However, the Badger produced a late counter, scoring a reversal and two-point nearfall in the third, to win 5-4. After the Ohio State protested Palmer’s back points, arguing it should have been a three-point nearfall but the call on the mat was upheld.

Three Ohio State grapplers, in Reece Humphrey (133), J Jaggers (141) and Mike Pucillo (184) remain in contention for an NCAA title at their respective weight classes. The trio will wrestle in the finals Saturday evening which starts at 6:30 p.m. ET.

This is the second-consecutive season under Ohio State head coach Tom Ryan that three Buckeyes have qualified to the NCAA title bout.