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Oct. 7, 1999

Columbus, Ohio – Ohio State University wrestling’s 1999 recruiting class has been recognized as No. 1 in the nation by Amateur Wrestling News. The class includes five wrestlers who were named high school All-Americans by AWN, two of which were tabbed as No. 1 in the country in their weight classes. The five All-Americans combined for 10 state championships during their high school careers.%^$

“This is truly the best recruiting class in Ohio State wrestling history,” coach Russ Hellickson said. “To have the level of wrestlers coming in this fall is fabulous.”%^$

The class is led by first-team All-Americans Jeff Ratliff and Tommy Rowlands. Ratliff is a three-time state champion from Marion Harding High School in Marion, Ohio. He plans to wrestle in the 133-pound weight class. Rowlands is a two-time state champion from Bishop Ready High School in Columbus, Ohio. He recently finished fourth at the 1999 Junior World Championships. He plans to wrestle as a heavyweight. %^$

The other All-Americans in the class are John Clark, Ryan Hieber and Jesse Leng. Clark is a two-time state champion from Canton, N.Y., who will wrestle at 157 pounds. Hieber went 49-0 on his way to a state championship as a senior at Galion High School last year. He will wrestle at either 165 or 174 pounds. Leng is a two-time state champion from Hinckley, Ohio, who will wrestle at 125 pounds for OSU. %^$

The wrestling team begins its season at the Michigan State Open on Nov. 13-14 in East Lansing, Mich. The Buckeyes practice at Larkins Hall, Monday through Friday from 3-5:30 p.m. %^$