Nov. 9, 2003

The 2003 version of the Ohio State wrestling team, ranked 10th in the country, began its season Saturday at the Michigan State Open at Jenison Field House in East Lansing, Mich. Four Buckeyes advanced through Saturday’ early rounds for spots in the semifinals Sunday. All-American seniors John Clark (165, Canton, N.Y.), who recorded his 100th career win in the quarterfinals, and Tommy Rowlands (HWT, Hilliard, Ohio) lead four Buckeyes who advanced to Sunday’s competition. Joining Clark and Rowlands in the semis is fellow senior Blake Kaplan (Cincinnati, Ohio) at 184, and freshman J.D. Bergman (Oak Harbor, Ohio) at 197 pounds.

Rowlands rolled through the bracket Saturday with an opening round technical fall before claiming successive decision wins in the third round and the quarterfinals. Rowlands will seek to defend his 2002 MSU Open title Sunday.

Fellow 2002 MSU Open champs Clark and Kaplan, pushed through Saturday’s rounds for spots in the semis as well. Kaplan emerged with a 1-0 first round decision, defeated teammate Alex Picazzo via fall in the third round and advanced to the semis with a 13-3 decision in the quarterfinals. Clark recorded a major decision, a fall and a decision to move into the semis at 165 en route to recording his 100th career victory.

Bergman, wrestling in his first collegiate event, competes in Sunday’s semifinals after 11-2 and 8-4 decisions before recording a fall in the quarterfinals.

Freshman Jermaine Jones and sophomore Anthony Magistrelli wrestled through the consolation bracket but dropped their second matches before the placing rounds. Magistrelli was forced to accept an injury default in the wrestlebacks.

Others who saw action in the Michigan State Open in Saturday’s competition were Nathan Costello and Aaron Joseph at 125 pounds, Theo Dotson and T.J. Enright at 133, 141-pounders Phil Lazar and Pasquale Razzano, Ryan Derr, Nick Harpster, Ryan Needle and Johnny Vogel at 149 pounds. In the heavier weight brackets, freshman Steve Muldrow, James King and Ryan Rhodes wrestled at 157, while Zach Craiglow joined Clark at 165. A trio of freshman saw action at 174 as Nathaniel Auguston, Kevin Petrella and Tommy Priestley wrestled Saturday, while Brent Billet and Nick Luckens, both 184 pounders, and HWT Chris Burtscher wrestled Saturday.

###Go Bucks###