Nov. 9, 2003


Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State wrestling team (0-0, 0-0), ranked 10th in the country, closed out the second day of competition at the Michigan State Open Sunday at Jenison Field House in East Lansing, Mich. with two first place finishers, a runner up and a third place wrestler in the non-scoring event.

Ohio State seniors Tommy Rowlands (HWT, Hilliard, Ohio), a three-time All-American, and Blake Kaplan (184, Cincinnati, Ohio), a two-time national qualifier, defended their 2002 MSU Open crowns Sunday as Rowlands captured the HWT title with a 14-4 victory over Bill Stouffer of Central Michigan in the semifinals before edging Greg Wagner of Michigan in the finals by a 9-7 count. With the five wins in the two days of competition, Rowlands now has upped his career record to 125-13.

Kaplan, who claimed the MSU Open title at the 174 class last season, was tested in the first round Saturday, emerging with a 1-0 decision, but posted more convincing decisions in the later rounds, including a 5-2 victory in the semifinals over Nate Mesyn of the host Spartans. Kaplan earned the title via injury default over Ben Hiezer of Northern Illinois in the finals.

Ohio State freshman J.D. Bergman (197, Oak Harbor, Ohio) was impressive in his collegiate debut, earning runner-up status in the 197 class. Bergman used decision wins in the first two rounds before pinning his third round opponent to advance to Sunday’s semis, where he recorded his second career fall at the 5:46 mark of the match over Willie Breyer of Michigan. It took an overtime match in the finals for Bergman to suffer his first career loss as he dropped a tight 3-1 decision to claim second place.

Ohio State senior John Clark (165, Canton, N.Y.), who scored his 100th career win in the quarterfinals Saturday night, also fell by a 3-1 figure in overtime in the semis at 165 pounds before posting his 101st career victory in claiming third place with a 5-1 win over Tim Foley of Virginia in the consolation final. Clark claimed the 2002 Michigan State Open title at 165.

Complete brackets and results of the 2003 Michigan State Open may be viewed at in pdf. format.

The Buckeyes next compete at the Oklahoma Gold Classic Saturday, Nov. 15 in Brockport, N.Y. The event, which features No. 3-ranked Oklahoma, is scheduled to run all day.