Dec. 1, 2001

COLUMBUS, Ohio- The No. 7 Ohio State wrestling held its annual wrestle-offs in the wrestling room at Larkins Hall Friday (Nov. 30) and Saturday (Dec. 1) with 13 matches taking place over the two day span. The winners of the respective weight classes will travel to Allentown, Pa., Saturday, Dec. 8, to compete in OSU’s first dual event of the year, the Sheridon Duals.

“I think we had some pretty tight matches in three or four weight classes which is what I expected,” Russ Hellickson, OSU head coach, said. “We are very deep in several weight classes. This will not be the only wrestle-offs we have this year. When (Ryan) Hieber returns as well as (Robert) Sessley, they will have the opportunity to win back the starting spot they could not defend this weekend.”

With Robert Sessley (Sr., Columbus, Ohio/Beechcroft) on the sidelines temporarily, Josh Daugherty (Jr., Huber Heights, Ohio/Wayne) pinned freshman Chad Redmond (Fr., Columbus, Ohio/DeSales) at 2:35 to win the starting nod at 141. Daugherty will join Jesse Leng (So., Hinckley, Ohio/Highland), at 125, and Joel Walker (Jr., Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington), at 174, as the three changes to the starting line up that produced 10 national qualifiers a year ago. Leng, the lone OSU wrestler at 125, replaces a graduated Kore Sharpley while Walker, who competed at 165 two years ago before redshirting last season, will replace Ryan Hieber (So., Galion, Ohio/Galion) at 174.

Walker won twice over the weekend to jump into the line up. He defeated Daniel Koch (Fr., Martin’s Ferry, Ohio/West Liberty State), 5-2, before handing down a 4-3 decision to Phillip Freeman (Jr., Cincinnati, Ohio/Northrop) in a hard-fought match. Also at 174, Daniel Koch scored a 4-2 decision over Anthony Magistrelli (Fr., Maple Heights, Ohio/Maple Heights) and Freeman defeated Nick Stepanovich (Jr., Berea, Ohio/Berea), 6-1.

The 184 division also had four matches to determine the starter with Anton Talamantes (Jr., Ft. Wayne, Ind./Lassen J.C.) scoring a close 3-2 decision over Blake Kaplan (So., Cincinnati, Ohio/Sycamore) in the final. Talamantes advanced to the final with a major decision, 20-9, over freshman Brent Billet (Fr., Carlisle, Pa./Cumberland Valley) while Kaplan also used a major decision, 13-3 over Casey Kapustka (Jr., Centerville, Ohio/Centerville), to advance to the final. Kapustka rebounded to pin Billet at 6:48 to take third place.

Jeff Ratliff (So., Marion, Ohio/Marion Harding) retained his starting role with a 17-4 major decision over Ryan Derr (Fr., Oregon, Ohio/Oregon Cardinal Stritch) and Josh Janson (Sr., Loveland, Ohio/Cincinnati Moeller) will again start at 157 after an 11-3 major decision over Richie Bordner (Sr., Jefferson City, Mo./Jefferson City). John Clark (So., Canton, N.Y./Canton) also retained his starting role when he captured the 165 spot with a 7-3 decision over Derek Koch (Fr., Martin’s Ferry, Ohio/West Liberty State). The final two starters will be Nick Preston (Sr., Columbus, Ohio/DeSales) and Tommy Rowlands (So., Columbus, Ohio/Bishop Ready) at 197 and heavyweight, respectively.

The Buckeye open the dual season with three matches at the Sheridon Duals Saturday. OSU will face Rider at 10 a.m., Rutgers at noon and host Lehigh, ranked No. 8 in the nation, at 2 p.m.

Ohio State Wrestle-offs 125- No matches wrestled 133- Jeff Ratliff MD Ryan Derr 17-4 141- Josh Daugherty Fall Chad Redmond 2:35 149- No matches wrestled 157- Josh Janson MD Richie Bordner 11-3 165- John Clark Dec Derek Koch 7-3 174- Daniel Koch Dec Anthony Magistrelli 4-2 Phillip Freeman Dec Nick Stepanovich 6-1 Joel Walker Dec Daniel Koch 5-2 Joel Walker Dec Phillip Freeman 4-3 184- Anton Talamantes MD Brent Billet 20-9 Blake Kaplan MD Casey Kapustka 13-3 Casey Kapustka Fall Brent Billet 6:48 Anton Talamantes Dec Blake Kaplan 3-2 197- Lewis DelPonte Dec Adam Griffiths 2-0 (exhibition) 285- No matches wrestled

125- Jesse Leng
133- Jeff Ratliff
141- Josh Daugherty
149- Keaton Anderson
157- Josh Janson
165- John Clark
174- Joel Walker
184- Anton Talamantes
197- Nick Preston
285- Tommy Rowlands