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COLUMBUS, Ohio After defending his title at 120kg/264.5 pounds at the 2008 U.S. National Freestyle Wrestling Championships at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Tommy Rowlands, volunteer assistant coach for the Ohio State wrestling team, has moved one step closer to earning a spot on the 2008 U.S. Olympic squad. Rowlands now meets all the criteria specified by USA Wrestling to automatically qualify for the finals of the U.S. Olympic Trials June 13-15 in Las Vegas.

In addition to winning the U.S. National title, in order to advance to the Olympic Trials finals, wrestlers must have
– finished in the Top 10 at the 2005, ’06 or ’07 Senior World Championships
– been a 2005 University World Games medalist
– 2005, ’06 or ’07 Junior World medalist
– been a multiple U.S. World Team member

Rowlands finished fifth at the World Wrestling championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, in September of 2007. At the 2005 University World Games in Izmir Turkey, Rowlands won the gold medal at a lighter weight class (96 kg/211.5). With a Team USA No. 1-ranking at 120kg/264.5, Rowlands is a five-time U.S. Team member.

With a trip to the Olympic Trials final on the line, Rowlands, competing for Sunkist Kids, met Steve Mocco of the New York Athletic Club in the final. After winning the first period, 3-0, Rowlands dropped the second period by a 2-0 score. However, Rowlands answered in the deciding stanza and won 1-0. En route to the final, Rowlands dropped Patrick Cummins (NYAC), 1-0, 1-0, in the semifinal. In the first and second rounds, Rowlands bettered Dom Bradley of Sunkist Kids, 6-0, 3-0 and Scott Steele (Navy Mat Club), 6-0, 3-0.

Former Buckeye J.D. Bergman and redshirt-sophomore Reece Humphrey qualified for the Senior National bracket Saturday night after finishing in the Top 8 in the qualifying tournament. Wrestling at 96kg/211.5 pounds for the NYAC, Bergman was forced to bow out of competition because of an injury. Humphrey, representing Ohio State at 60kg/132 pounds, faced eventual champion Shawn Bunch of Gator Wrestling Club and lost, 1-0, 5-0. Humphrey then met Nick Gallick of Sunkist Kids and dropped a 3-1, 1-0 decision.   

2008 U.S. National Freestyle Wrestling Championships
April 23-26
Las Vegas Convention Center
Las Vegas, Nev.

120kg/264.5 pounds
Tommy Rowlands (Sunkist Kids) def. Dom Bradley (Sunkist Kids), 6-0, 3-0
Tommy Rowlands def. Scott Steele (Navy May Club), 3-1, 2-0
Tommy Rowlands def. Patrick Cummins (New York Athletic Club), 1-0, 1-0
Tommy Rowlands def. Steve Mocco (New York Athletic Club), 3-0, 0-2, 1-0

96kg/211.5
J.D. Bergman (New York Athletic Club) def. Mike Tamillow (Wildcat Wrestling Club), Pin, 1:20
J.D. Bergman def. William Moss (Rock Head Wrestling), Pin 5-0, 1:40
J.D. Bergman def. Nate Patrick (Sunkist Kids), 3-0, 5-1
Willie Parks (Army) def. J.D. Bergman, injury default
Nick Preston (Sunkist Kids) def. J.D. Bergman, injury default

60kg/132 pounds
Reece Humphrey (Ohio State) def. Nick Fanthorpe (Sunkist Kids), 1-0, 7-0
Reece Humphrey def. John Espinoza (Maryvale W.C.), 3-0, 5-4
Reece Humphrey def. Jason Borrelli (Cardinal Wrestling Club), Pin 1:54
Shawn Bunch (Gator Wrestling Club) def. Reece Humphrey, 1-0, 5-0
Nick Gallick (Sunkist Kids) def. Reece Humphrey, 3-0, 1-0