Jan. 4, 2001

%^$COLUMBUS, Ohio– The Ohio State wrestling team will look to pick up its first dual%^$meet victory of the young season when it plays host to the Buckeye Duals Jan. 6 at St.%^$John Arena. OSU will compete in four duals Saturday with competition starting at Noon.%^$

%^$Keep on Rowlands%^$

%^$Tommy Rowlands (Fr., Columbus, Ohio/Bishop Ready) will enter the duals as the recently%^$named No. 1 wrestler in the nation at 285 pounds. Rowlands leads the Buckeyes with a 16-2%^$record and is 3-0 in duals.%^$

%^$”Tommy has been very steady for us,” Russ Hellickson, head coach for OSU, said. “You would%^$like to have a seasoned veteran be that steady and he is only a freshman. The best part%^$about him is he will give 100 percent every time he steps on the mat.”%^$

%^$Special Invite%^$

%^$Rowlands was also named to the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star team and will compete in the 2001 NWCA All-Star meet Jan. 29 at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa.%^$

%^$”It is a great honor they selected me to be an all-star,” Rowlands said. “I am glad I will be able to represent Ohio State at the meet.”%^$

%^$The meet is set up to have the top two wrestlers in each weight class square off against one another to crown an all-star champion. Rowlands’ competitor will be named Monday on the NWCA’s web site,^$

%^$Hellickson Honored%^$

%^$The Midlands Tournament Committee recently selected Hellickson to the “Top 30 Midlands Wrestlers of the 20th Century” and honored him prior to the start of the Midlands Tournament Dec. 29.%^$

%^$”It was a very nice presentation,” Hellickson said. “It’s a special time when you get to go back and be around other great wrestlers you competed against before. It was a great thing for me.”%^$

%^$In The Rankings%^$

%^$OSU is currently the No. 15 team in the nation and boasts six individuals in the Top 20 in the nation.%^$

%^$Rowlands leads the Buckeyes as the No. 1 wrestler at 285-lbs. while Nick Preston (Jr., Columbus, Ohio/DeSales) is No. 6 at 197-lbs., Robert Sessley (Jr. Columbus, Ohio/Beechcroft) is No. 14 at 141-lbs., Anton Talamantes (So., Ft. Wayne, Ind./Lessen College) is No. 15 at 184-lbs. and Jeff Ratliff (Fr., Marion, Ohio/Harding) and Keaton Anderson (So., Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington) are both ranked No. 17 at 133 and 149-lbs., respectively.%^$

%^$Buckeye Duals%^$

%^$OSU will play host to five other wrestling programs during the Buckeye Duals and will compete against four of them.%^$

%^$The teams competing are the University at Buffalo, Cleveland State University, Drexel University, Eastern Michigan University, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga and OSU.%^$

%^$Scouting Buffalo%^$

%^$The Buffalo Bulls are led by fifth year coach Jim Beichner and enter the duals with a 5-0 overall record and stand 2-0 in the Mid-American Conference. In every national poll by Intermat this year, Buffalo as a team has been an honorable mention team (just outside of being a Top 25 squad).%^$

%^$The Bulls are led by No. 14 Shawn Kegel (133-lbs.), No. 18 Josh States (184-lbs.) and No. 6 John Eschenfelder (285-lbs).%^$

%^$The Buckeyes and Bulls have met four times before with OSU winning all four meets. OSU won the teams’ last meeting, 35-9, in 1995.%^$

%^$Scouting Cleveland State%^$

%^$The Vikings, under the guidance of fourth year coach Jack Effner, are 1-1 overall and 0-1 in the Eastern Wrestling League. CSU enters competition following a tie for 33rd place at the Midlands.%^$

%^$Leading the way for CSU is freshman Anthony Coleman (149-lbs.). He is 12-5 on the season and 1-1 in dual matches.%^$

%^$In the series between OSU and CSU, the Buckeyes hold a 16-12-2 record over the Vikings and won the teams’ last meeting, a 24-19 decision during the Wendy’s Classic, Jan. 16.%^$

%^$Scouting Drexel%^$

%^$Drexel is 5-2 overall and is 0-0 in the East Coast Wrestling Association. The Dragons, guided by 25 year head coach Jack Childs, have not wrestled since it defeated Wagner, 48-3, on Dec. 15. DU also has wrestled Eastern Michigan and Buffalo once this year and will face EMU during the Buckeye Duals. DU defeated the Eagles 25-18 and fell to the Bulls, 28-6, at the Binghamton Duals on Dec. 9.%^$

%^$The Dragons are led by junior Jason Staso and sophomore Mike Carroll at 157 and 285-lbs., respectively. Both wrestlers bring in records of 13-3 overall and 6-1 in dual matches.%^$

%^$DU and OSU have met on the mat twice with the Dragons holding a 2-0 lead. In the last meeting, DU edged the Buckeyes 19-17 in 1999.%^$

%^$Scouting Eastern Michigan%^$

%^$The Eagles are coming off a 2-12 record from a year ago and stand 6-3-1 overall with a 0-2-1 mark in the MAC under the leadership of first year coach Charlie Branch.%^$

%^$EMU is led by Dublin, Ohio native Mike Feeney, a 174 pound senior. Feeney placed second in his weight class at the Midlands and is 22-2 overall this year.%^$

%^$OSU and EMU have met twice with the Buckeyes holding the 2-0 advantage. In the last meeting, OSU scored a 37-6 victory over the Eagles on Jan. 8 in the Buckeye Duals.%^$

%^$Last Time Out%^$

%^$The Buckeyes participated in the Midlands Tournament held on the campus of Northwestern University at Evanston, Ill. on Dec. 29-30. OSU totaled 66 points and captured a 5th place team finish out of the 55 participating teams.%^$

%^$Rowlands led the team with a third place finish and a 5-0 record during competition in the 285 pound class while Seesley added a fifth place finish in the 141 pound division. OSU had one wrestler place in five of the ten weight classes while all Buckeye wrestlers combined to total 31 wins and 26 losses.%^$

%^$Preston brought home a fifth place finish at 197-lbs. with a 4-3 record while Ratliff, 133-lbs., and Ryan Hieber (So., Galion, Ohio/Galion), 174-lbs., scored a seventh and eighth place finish, respectively.%^$

%^$Next Time Out%^$

%^$The Buckeyes will travel to Pittsburgh, Pa. Jan. 11 to take on the Pittsburgh Panthers in a 7:30 p.m. meet. OSU has dropped its last three decisions to the Panthers which includes the last meeting, a 22-9 UP victory in 1999. The Panthers also lead the all-time series 8-7.