Dec. 30, 2001

COLUMBUS, Ohio- The No. 7 Ohio State wrestling team fared well in the third session of the Midlands with ten of its members earning a Top 8 finish in the prestigious event held at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Ill., Sunday. Jeff Ratliff (So., Marion, Ohio/Marion Harding), Josh Daugherty (Jr., Huber Heights, Ohio/Wayne), John Clark (So., Canton, N.Y./Canton) and Tommy Rowlands (So., Hilliard, Ohio/Bishop Ready) will battle for third place in the final round of action at 7 p.m. CST. Nick Preston (Sr., Columbus, Ohio/DeSales) also will compete in the fifth-place bout. As a team, OSU sits fourth in the team standings with 107 points and are on the heels of the Minnesota Golden Gophers, currently third with 107.5. Iowa leads the event with 133 points with Iowa State in second with 112.5 points.

Ratliff, Clark and Rowlands all made the semifinal rounds at 133, 165 and heavyweight, respectively, but met defeat for the first time in the tournament. Ratliff, seeded No. 3, fell in a 5-1 decision to No. 10 Cliff Moore of Iowa before rebounding with a 5-1 decision in his favor over Eric Juergens of Iowa to advance to the third place bout where he will meet Michigan State’s Ryan L’Ameraoux. Clark met No. 1 seed Joe Heskett of Iowa State but was pinned at 3:35 into the match to fall into the consolation bracket. Clark handed Nate Becker of Minnesota a 6-3 decision to advance in the event.

In one of the most anticipated matches of the event, Rowlands suffered a 2-1 loss in the double-overtime tiebreaker to No. 6 seed Steve Mocco of Iowa. The match was nearly identical to Rowlands’ national championship match in March. Both wrestlers scored escapes to knot the score at one and send the match to overtime. Neither wrestler scored in the first overtime and Mocco won the toss in the second extra session. Mocco chose down and Rowlands could not hold down the bigger wrestler and loss 2-1.

Daugherty has been the biggest surprise of the tournament for OSU. After falling 9-2 to Navy’s Mark Conley in the quarterfinals Saturday, Daugherty put together three big wins to make the third place match. He pinned Ryan Meloche of Californa State-Bakersfield, scored an 18-1 technical fall at 4:00 over Thomas Jaurez of CS-B and then pinned Aaron Holker of Iowa State at 1:25 to advance to the consolation final.

Robert Sessley (Sr., Columbus, Ohio/Beechcroft) at 141, Keaton Anderson (Jr., Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington) at 149, Josh Janson (Sr., Loveland, Ohio/Moeller) at 157 and Anton Talamantes (Jr., Ft. Wayne, Ind./Bishop Dwenger) at 184 also scored for the Buckeyes with seventh-place finishes. All four wrestlers won their opening bouts to start the day but fell in their second matches before bouncing back to win the finale.

OSU does have one member of the team in the finals of the heavyweight division. Current Buckeye assistant Mitch Clark, seeded No. 4 in the heavyweight division, scored a takedown in the overtime period to defeat No. 1 seed Lockhart, 4-2, to advance to the title bout. Clark will face Mocco in his bid for his second Midlands title.

The championship, third and fifth place matches begin at 7:30 p.m. CST with the awards ceremony following.

2001 Midlands Session III 133- No. 3 Jeff Ratliff Semifinals No. 10 Cliff Moore (Iowa) Dec Ratliff, 5-1 Conso Semis Ratliff Dec No. 4 Marc Juergens (Iowa), 5-1 Third/Fourth vs. Ryan L’Amoreaux (Michigan St.)

141– No. 4 Robert Sessley – Seventh Place Conso Quarters No. 8 Coyte Cooper (Ind.) Dec Sessley, 5-4 tb Seventh/Eighth Sessley Dec Thomas Juarez (Cal-Bakersfield), 5-3

141– Josh Daugherty Conso Sixth Daugherty Fall Ryan Meloche (Cal-Bakersfield), 3:38 Conso Quarters Daugherty TechFall Thomas Juarez (Cal-Bakersfield), 18-1 (4:00) Conso Semis Daugherty Fall No. 5 Aaron Holker (Iowa State), 1:35 Third/Fourth vs. No. 3 Cedric Hayman (Cal-POLY)

149– No. 6 Keaton Anderson – Seventh Place Conso Sixth Anderson Dec Joe Barry (Central Michigan), 5-1 Conso Quarters Scott Frohardt (Air Force) Dec Anderson, 3-1 Seventh/Eighth Anderson Dec Jason DeBruin (Hofstra), 4-2

157– No. 8 Josh Janson – Seventh Place Conso Sixth Janson Fall No. 10 Adam Britt (VMI), 5:59 Conso Semis Shad Benton (Pitt-Johnstown) MajDec Janson, 9-1 Seventh/Eighth Janson Dec No. 7 Derek Jenkins (Rider), 12-7

165– No. 5 John Clark Semifinals No. 1 Joe Heskett (Iowa State) Fall Clark, 3:35 Conso Semis Clark Dec Nate Baker (Minn.), 6-3 Third/Fouth vs. Troy Letters (Lehigh)

184– No. 6 Anton Talamantes – Seventh Place Conso Sixth Talamantes INJDEF No. 7 Tom Tanis (Rutgers), injury at 2:59 Conso Quarters No. 2 Damian Hahn (Minn.) Dec Talamantes, 3-2 Seventh/Eighth Talamantes Dec No. 8 Ben Heizer (N. Illinois), 8-5

184– Blake Kaplan – Did Not Place Conso Sixth No. 8 Ben Heizer (N. Illinois) Dec Kaplan, 4-2

197– No. 5 Nick Preston Conso Fourth Preston Dec Mike Greenberg (Cornell), 3-1 Conso Quarters Preston Dec No. 9 C Skretkowicz (Hofstra), 6-3 Conso Semis No. 3 Owen Elzen (Minn.) Dec Preston, 1-1 tb Fifth/Sixth vs. Emmett Willson (Montana St. North)

HWT– No. 2 Tommy Rowlands Semifinals No. 6 Steve Mocco (Iowa) Dec Rowlands, 2-1 sv Conso Semis Rowlands Fall No. 5 Jason Cooley (Oregon State), 2:13 Third/Fourth vs. No. 1 John Lockhart (Illinois)

HWT– No. 4 Mitch Clark Semifinals Clark Dec No. 1 John Lockhardt (Illinois), 4-2 OT Finals vs. No. 6 Steve Mocco (Iowa)

Team Results (after session III) 1. Iowa 133.0 2. Iowa State 112.5 3. Minnesota 107.5 4. OHIO STATE 107.0 5. Pennsylvania 74.5