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Sean Nemec, AJ Agazarm win 157, 165 classes, respectively

COLUMBUS, Ohio Competing at the 2009 Kent State Open, freshman Sean Nemec and junior AJ Agazarm collected a pair of titles at the individual tournament, winning the 157 and 165 weight classes Sunday in Kent, Ohio. Six other Buckeyes earned Top 6 finishes at the tournament.

Wrestling at 157 pounds, Nemec recorded a perfect 5-0 ledger on the day. En route to the bout for first place, the rookie defeated AJ Johnson of Virginia Tech (2-0), scored a major decision against Clarion’s Justin McCrillis (17-2), posted a 4-2 win over Brantley Hooks of Bucknell and advanced to the 157 final after downing Penn State’s Tim Darling, 9-3. Nemec won the title match by a score of 8-1 over Eastern Michigan’s Aaron Sulzer. The first-year student-athlete now owns an 18-2 record.

Ohio State freshman Jared Kusar also wrestled in the 157-weight class and finished fourth. Kusar ended the tournament with a 5-2 record. He won four-consecutive matches, two by major decisions, before dropping to Sulzer of EMU, 5-1. In the consolation bracket, Kusar defeated Hooks, 3-2, and fell to Darling, 7-0, to finish the day in fourth.

Agazarm was victorious at 165 pounds, winning the title without allowing his opponents any. After a bye in the first round, the junior won a 2-0 match against Kent State’s Sli Bostelman and advanced to the championship round on a 5-0 victory over Clarion’s Steven Cressley. Agazarm tallied his first pin (2:06) of the season, making quick work of Indiana’s Cooper Samuels in the final bout of the day, improving his 2008-09 record to 6-4.

Buckeye Ross Ambrose tallied a third-place finish at 165. The freshman downed Pittsburgh’s Adam Counterman, 3-2, but fell to Hoosier Samuels in another close one-point decision, 5-4. He wrestled back to third, posting a 5-0 victory over Ashland’s Hunter Pool and a 6-1 defeat of Cressley.

The Scarlet and Gray finished 2-3 in the 125 weight division at the open. Ohio State’s Bo Touris improved to 5-2 on the season after winning four-consecutive match to reach the 125 championship match. The freshman downed Bloomsburg’s Matt Snyder, 12-8, Penn State’s Eric Caschera, 10-5, and Kent State’s Troy Opfer, 9-7, before falling, 16-6, to Edinboro’s Eric Morrill to place second.

Buckeye Pat Harrington claimed third at 125, with a 4-1 record. The rookie’s only loss came at the hands of Morrill, the division’s title winner. Harrington posted a 4-0 win in the opening round over Adam Draves of Eastern Michigan and pinned Kent State’s Steve Mitcheff in 1:21 before dropping, 10-4, to Morrill. In the consolation bracket, Harrington defeated Chris Kochinsky of Pittsburgh, 6-4, and Snyder, 4-2.

After dropping his second match, Ohio State’s Garrett Henry battled back to a third-place finish at 133 pounds. The freshman highlighted his run to a Top 3 finish by recording a pin in 3:51 over Ashland’s Ryan Marks and a major decision over Trey Hicks, 9-1. For the day, Henry was 5-1, improving to 8-5 on the season.

At 184, Buckeye Jeremy Sanders earned a fourth-place finish with a 2-2 record. Sanders, who owns a 9-6 ledger, notched a major decision over Pittsburgh’s Andy Vaughn, 12-4, after advancing on a bye. Sanders dropped the next match to the eventual champion, Mike Salopeck of Virginia, 8-1. He bounced back with a 10-6 victory against Casey Newburg of Kent State but was pinned by Vaughn in a rematch of their first bout in 2:52.

Two Ohio State student-athletes earned Top 6 placing in the heavyweight division. Freshman Johnny Hiles finished fourth while classmate Pat Walsh was sixth. Hiles started strong with 6-1 and 6-3 victories against EMU’s Matt Pettigrew and Ohio’s Justin Powell, respectively. He fell to Ryan Tomei of Pittsburgh, 3-1, before meeting his teammate Walsh in the consolation bracket. Hiles defeated Walsh, 8-4, but dropped his final match against David Wade of Eastern Michigan, 3-2, to earn fourth.

Walsh had a bye in the first rotation before falling, 6-1, against Wade. He then advanced to the Buckeye-Buckeye match with a close 5-4 victory against Edinboro’s Michael Horton. After dropping to Hiles, Walsh lost a 4-0 decision to OU’s Powell to place sixth.

Ohio State is back in dual action Sunday with a 1 p.m. matchup at Hofstra in Hempstead, N.Y.