March 8, 2014


COLUMBUS, Ohio Nick Heflin and Logan Stieber, members of the Ohio State wrestling team, advanced to the semifinals of the 2014 Big Ten Wrestling Championships Saturday afternoon. The 2014 edition of the conference championships is taking place at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis. The Buckeyes currently are in the seventh place with 23.5 points. Semifinal wrestling, as well as wrestleback action will resume at 6 p.m. ET Saturday.

Heflin, a senior from Massillon, Ohio, and Stieber, a redshirt-junior from Monroeville, Ohio, wrestled once during the first session as both wrestlers received opening-round byes in the 197 and 141-pound brackets, respectively. A No. 2 seed, Heflin made quick work of Alex Polizzi, a No. 7 seed out of Northwestern, pinning the Wildcat in 1:08. Heflin will face No. 3 seed Scott Schiller in the semifinals. Stieber, a No. 2 seed, also scored a bonus-point victory for the Buckeyes with his 15-0 technical fall (3:25) over Steven Rodrigues of Illinois. No. 3 seed Chris Dardanes is up next for Stieber.

The remaining Buckeye contingent will attempt to stay in contention in the wrestlebacks field Saturday evening. Nick Roberts (125 pounds), Johnni DiJulius (133 pounds), Ian Paddock (149 pounds), Randy Languis (157 pounds), Joe Grandominico (165 pounds), Mark Martin (174 pounds), Kenny Courts (184 pounds) and Nick Tavanello (HWT) will look to rebound from their session one setback.

After receiving a first-round bye, Roberts, an eighth seed, fell to No. 1 seed Nico Megaludis of Penn State, 12-5. Up next, Roberts will face Minnesota’s Sam Brancale. Shutting out Joe Duca of Indiana, 6-0, in his opening match, sixth-seed DiJulius dropped a close 5-3 decision to No. 3 David Thorn of Minnesota. DiJulius will face Garth Yenter of Michigan State in wrestlebacks. Like DiJulius, No. 6 seed Paddock went 1-1 in the first session. First, the Buckeye senior from Warsaw, N.Y., downed Caleb Ervin of Illinois, 9-5, but was edged by No. 3 Jason Tsirtsis in the quarterfinals. On the docket for Paddock is Eric Roach out of Indiana.

Languis and Grandominico lost their first-round matches with Languis losing to Taylor Walsh of Indiana, 7-1, and Grandominico also falling to a Hoosier in Ryan LeBlanc, 7-3. Languis will wrestle Dylan Alton of Penn State next, while Grandominico will face Austin Wilson of Nebraska.

Following a 7-5 sudden victory win over Patrick Kissel of Purdue, No. 6 seed Martin suffered an 8-0 loss to No. 3 seed Mike Evans (Iowa). In wrestleback action, Martin will meet Nick Kaczanowski of Michigan State. Courts and Jacob Berkowitz from Northwestern will wrestle in the consolation bracket after Courts, the Buckeye sixth seed, beat John Rizqallah, 4-3, and lost, 4-1, to No. 3 seed Ethen Lofthouse of Iowa. A 6-0 loss to Wisconsin’s Connor Medbery in the first round dropped Tavanello to the wrestlebacks where he will face Collin Jensen.