COLUMBUS, Ohio – Despite a few tough early losses, the Ohio State wrestling team is only 8.5 points out of first place after the first session of the 2010 NCAA Championships. Seniors Reece Humphrey and Lance Palmer, as well as junior Colt Sponseller and true-freshman Ian Paddock remain in the championships bracket Thursday at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb.

Ohio State has collected 13 points as five other Buckeyes will contend in the wrestlebacks Thursday evening. Iowa leads the contingent early with 21.5 points. Oklahoma State is second (16.0), while Central Michigan, Lehigh and Wisconsin are tied for third with 15.0 points each.

The fourth seed at 141 pounds, Humphrey posted an 11-3 major decision over Iowa State’s Dalton Jensen to open his final NCAA championships. The Buckeye from Indianapolis, Ind., will face Michael Mangrum from Oregon State next.

Palmer, the 2010 Big Ten Champion, began his title run with an 8-1 decision against Ohio University’s Seth Morton in the 149-pound bracket. The No. 1 seed from Columbia Station, Ohio, Palmer will face Purdue’s Nicholas Bertucci in the round of 16.

Sponseller, a fifth seed out of Glenmont, Ohio, pinned John-Martin Cannon of Buffalo in 6:22 to set up a second-round match against Oklahoma’s Tyler Caldwell.

Paddock is sure to have his hands full Thursday evening when he faces No. 1 Jayson Ness of Minnesota, but for a short moment he will enjoy the fact he won his first-career NCAA championships match. A native of Warsaw, N.Y., Paddock dropped Alex Radsky of Davidson in 4:38.

Nikko Triggas (125), Dave Rella (174), Mike Pucillo (184), C.J. Magrum (197) and Corey Morrison (HWT) will attempt to finish as high as third after dropping their opening-round matches Thursday afternoon.

Triggas lost to Boston University’s Fred Santaite by a close 8-7 margin and now will contend against Allen Bartelli (Boise St).

In his final NCAA championships, Rella suffered an 8-0 loss to No. 3 Christopher Henrich of Virginia. He will attempt to rebound against a familiar opponent in Michigan State’s Ian Hinton. Earlier this season, Rella defeated Hinton, 3-1, Feb. 14 in Columbus.

The 2008 NCAA Champion at 184 pounds, Pucillo came up short against 2009 174-pound finalist Mike Miller (Central Michigan), 4-2, in the pigtail round. The 10th seed, Pucillo will battle Virginia’s Michael Salopek next.

Magrum drew 10th seed Jesse Strawn of Old Dominion in the first round and dropped a 5-3 decision in his first appearance on the national stage. The Buckeye from Oak Harbor, Ohio, now will face Campbell’s Parker Burns.

A wildcard bid into the championships, Morrison was familiar with his first-round opponent, Indiana’s Nathan Everhart. However, the sixth seed from Indiana handed Morrison a 5-2 loss. Also, his final showing at the national championships, Morrison will face another tough opponent in 11th seed Mitchell Monteiro (CSU Bakersfield).

2010 NCAA Championships
March 18-20
Qwest Center
Omaha, Neb.
Session I Results

Place PointsSchool ChampionshipConsolation 1. 21.5 Iowa 9 1 2. 16.0 OklahomaState 7 2 3. 15.0 Central Michigan 6 4 15.0 Lehigh 6 1 15.0Wisconsin 5 2 6. 14.0 Cornell 6 2 7.13.0 Ohio State4 5 13.0 Iowa State 5 5 9. 11.5Oregon State 4 2 10. 11.0 Minnesota 4 5 11.0 Missouri 4 2 11.0Oklahoma 4 6

Fred Santaite (Boston University) DEC Nikko Triggas (Ohio State) D 8-7

Ian Paddock (Ohio State) WBF Alex Radsky (Davidson) F 4:38

Reece Humphrey (Ohio State) DEC Dalton Jensen (Iowa State) M 11-3

Lance Palmer (Ohio State) DEC Seth Morton (Ohio University) D 8-1

Colt Sponseller (Ohio State) WBF John-Martin Cannon (Buffalo) F 6:22

Christopher Henrich (Virginia) DEC Dave Rella (Ohio State) M 8-0

Mike Miller (Central Michigan) DEC Mike Pucillo (Ohio State) D 4-2

Jesse Strawn (Old Dominion) DEC C.J. Magrum (Ohio State) D 5-3

Nathan Everhart (Indiana) DEC Corey Morrison (Ohio State) D 5-2