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COLUMBUS, Ohio The Ohio State wrestling team will make its second stop of the open tournament season in Raleigh, N.C., for the N.C. State Open Saturday. The Buckeyes are coming off a successful run at the Buffalo Open last weekend and will look to continue gaining on their momentum as they prepare for the Buckeye Duals in 11 days.

N.C. State Open 
10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 8
Reynolds Coliseum
Raleigh, N.C.

Ohio State
125 Pat Harrington
125 Nikko Triggas
125 Bo Touris
125 Pat Zamaria
133 Reece Humphrey
133 Owen Schaefer
141 J Jaggers
149 –  Lance Palmer
157 Jason Johnstone
157 Sean Nemec
165 Ross Ambrose
165 Colt Sponseller
174 T.C. Pendleton
174 Dave Rella
174 Jeremy Sanders
184 – Mike Pucillo
197 Jason Cook
197 Cody Gardner
HWT Corey Morrison
HWT Zach Stolarsky

Unattached
125 Garrett Henry
133 Brian Kelly
149 Jared Kusar
157 Daniel Foley
165 Max Sall
174 C.J. Magrum
197 Dominic Jontony
197 John Weakley
HWT Dalton Britt
HWT Johnny Hiles
HWT Pat Walsh

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 Tuesday following his championship performance at the Buffalo Open last Sunday.

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.

FAST START
The Buckeyes made the four-and-a-half hour trek to Buffalo, N.Y., for the Buffalo Open last Sunday and came away with six champions. Ohio State claimed titles at 133, 157, 165, 174, 197 and 285 pounds.

133 
Junior Reece Humphrey, who was named Big Ten co-Wrestler of the Week for his efforts at the Buffalo Open, opened the championship performance for Ohio State when he won the 133-pound division. Humphrey pinned two of his opponents and scored a technical fall and decision en route to the title.

No. 1-seed Reece Humphrey: 1st Place
Round 1: Pinned Kevin Green (Niagara), 5:50
Round 2: Technical Fall over Michael Baxter (Mercyhurst College), 25-10
Semifinals: Pinned No. 5 Garrett Henry (Ohio State), 3:28
Final: Decisioned No. 2 Kevin Smith (Buffalo), 9-5

157 
Jason Johnstone began his title run at 157 pounds with a fall before winning by a technical fall in the second round. A pair of decisions in the quarterfinals and semifinals followed before he faced No. 3-seed Darryl Cocozzo in the title match, where he came out on top, 7-4.
 
No. 1-seed Jason Johnstone: 1st Place
Round 1: Pinned Mike Gresh (Niagara), 5:47
Round 2: Major Decisioned Jordan Shields (Mercyhurst College), 13-1
Quarterfinals: Decisioned John-Martin Cannon (Buffalo), 11-5
Semifinals: Decisioned James Flemming (West Mifflin), 9-6
Final: Decisioned No. 3 Darryl Cocozzo (Unattached), 7-4
     
165 
After beginning his freshman season on a 15-match win streak in 2007-08, sophomore Colt Sponseller is off to a fast start again this season when he claimed the 165-pound division. Sponseller was granted a bye in the first round before posting consecutive technical falls. He then would match up against the Nos. 4 and 2 seeds of the tournament and outscored them by a combined total of 28-13.

No. 1-seed Colt Sponseller: 1st Place
Round 1: BYE
Round 2: Technical Fall over Matt Coleman (Edinboro), 25-10
Quarterfinals: Technical Fall over Cory Lempka (Buffalo), 25-10
Semifinals: Major Decisioned No. 4 Justin James (Niagara), 20-9
Final: Decisioned No. 2 Josh Shields (Mercyhurst College), 8-4

174 
Spending the past two seasons at Penn State, Akron native Dave Rella returned to the Buckeye state and in his first competition in the Scarlet and Gray won the 174-pound title. Rella had to beat rookie teammate C.J. Magrum to claim the top spot and did so after posting a fall, two major decisions and a decision.

No. 1 Dave Rella: 1st Place
Round 1: Pinned Pat Leahy (Mercyhurst College), 1:02
Round 2: Decisioned Nate Schiedel (Binghamton), 7-1
Quarterfinals: Major Decisioned Alex Dalrymple (Lock Haven), 16-5
Semifinals: Won by default vs. No. 4 Tony Petrella (Gannon)
Final: Decisioned No. 6 C.J. Magrum (Ohio State), 4-1

197 
Cody Gardner was the lone freshman for the Buckeyes to win a title as he secured the 197-pound division thanks to victories over the Nos. 1, 2 and 5 seeds as the fourth seed.

No. 4 Cody Gardner: 1st Place
Round 1: Decisioned Alex Smith (Jamestown), 11-4
Round 2: Decisioned Carl Korpi (Binghamton), 8-2
Quarterfinals: Decisioned No. 5 Jacob Tazzi (Gannon), 7-2
Semifinals: Decisioned No. 1 Lamar Brown (Rutgers), 3-2
Final: Decisioned No. 2 Jamie Luckett (Clarion), 6-3

285 
Returning to action in 2008-09 after redshirting last season, junior Corey Morrison made the most of his debut this season as he took the heavyweight title. With two shutouts and a fall to his credit, Morrison cruised to the final where he held on for a 5-4 victory over the No. 2 seed.

No. 1 Corey Morrison: 1st Place
Round 1: Decisioned Nathan Sharp (Mercyhurst College), 15-9
Round 2: Pinned Dan Bittner (Binghamton), 2:58
Quarterfinals: Decisioned Luke Stala (Finger Lakes), 4-0
Semifinal: Major Decisioned No. 4 Sean Dedeyn (Rutgers), 8-0
Final: Decisioned No. 2 Frank McGrath (Gannon), 5-4

In all, the Scarlet and Gray boasted 12 Top 5 finishes, which also included runner-up finishes by sophomore Nikko Triggas (125) and Magrum (174). A pair of freshmen in Jared Kusar (149) and Sean Nemec (157) were third, while Henry was fourth at 133 pounds. Senior Jason Cook (197), recorded a fifth-place finish and freshman Johnny Hiles was sixth in the heavyweight bracket.
 
JUST THE BEGINNING
With the release of two of the major Division I wrestling preseason polls, Ohio State is ranked in the Top 5 in both the Wrestling International Newsmagazine and USA Today/NWCA/InterMat standings.

The Buckeyes are the second-best dual team in the nation according to W.I.N. The publication also ranks teams based on their tournament performance and places the Scarlet and Gray fifth in the tournament power index. Ohio State received a No. 4 ranking by InterMat.

Individually, J Jaggers (141) and Mike Pucillo (184) are the top-ranked wrestlers in both the W.I.N. and USA Today polls. Eight of 10 Buckeyes are ranked in the Top 20 of both standings.

Weight  Wrestler    W.I.N.  InterMat
 125 Nikko Triggas 13th 12th
 133 Reece Humphrey 9th 9th
 141 J Jaggers 1st 1st
 149 Lance Palmer 8th 5th
 157 Jason Johnstone 13th 15th
 165 Colt Sponseller 13th 15th
 174 Dave Rella 18th 19th
 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).

JOIN THE PARTY
The University of the Cumberlands has been added to the list of schools scheduled to participate in the Buckeye Duals Nov. 16 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.   
 
LETS DUAL
After a four-year hiatus, the Buckeye Duals will make its return for 2008-09. Ohio State will host Cleveland State, Notre Dame College and the University of the Cumberlands Nov. 16 in St. John Arena. The first dual is slated to begin at 1 p.m.

In the last Buckeye Duals in 2004, Ohio State went 4-0, defeating Drexel (21-10), Bloomsburg (18-17), Kent State (23-16) and Cleveland State (33-3).

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 Nov. 24 in St. John Arena. Tickets are $10 and children 6 and under get in free. 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 and Mike Pucillo will participate in the All-Star Classic, becoming the first Buckeyes 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.

THE FUN STUFF
Members of the wrestling team will be available for autograph sessions following the conclusion of each home dual this season. Autograph sessions will take place on the southwest side of the arena.

The match vs. Indiana Jan. 30 is Alumni Night. Former Buckeyes will join the 2008-09 squad as they take on the Hoosiers in Big Ten Conference action.

Another highlight for fans is the White Out campaign against Minnesota Feb. 1 in Value City Arena in the Jerome Schottenstein Center. Fans are encouraged to wear white as the Buckeyes take on the Golden Gophers.

Making their final appearance in St. John Arena, Feb. 16 vs. Illinois is Senior Night. Ohio State will recognize its four seniors in Wes Bergman, J Jaggers, Jason Johnstone and Owen Schaefer.

For up-to-date information on the promotions for home wrestling matches, as well as all 36 Ohio State varsity sports, log on to OhioStateBuckeyes.com.

COME JOIN US
Tickets to Ohio State home matches are $8 for adults, $5 for students with a valid BuckID and children 6 and under are admitted free. An advanced purchased of 10 or more tickets is $4. Call toll free at 1-800-GO-BUCKS or 614-292-2624 or visit OhioStateBuckeyes.com to purchase tickets. 

TOUGH ROAD AHEAD
Eight 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.

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. 11 Illinois (No. 9) 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 (tied) Penn State (Feb. 6), No. 10 Michigan (Feb. 13), No. 11 Northwestern (Feb. 20) and No. 13 Wisconsin (Feb. 22).

BATTLING BUCKEYES
Junior Reece Humphrey and sophomore Nikko Triggas, who are ninth and 12th at 133 and 125 pounds, respectively, in the InterMat polls,  had an impressive summer 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.

UP NEXT
Ohio State will open its home schedule at 1 p.m. Nov. 16 with the Buckeye Duals in St. John Arena. A total of four teams Ohio State, Cleveland State, Notre Dame College and the University of the Cumberlands will participate. The Buckeyes will wrestle Notre Dame College at 1 p.m., followed by Cleveland State at 3 p.m.