Feb. 21, 2003

Columbus, Ohio – In what proved to be a milestone dual for 17th-year Ohio State wrestling head coach Russ Hellickson, the No. 7 Ohio State wrestling team (11-7, 3-4) scored wins in the final six matches of the dual Friday night as OSU scored a 25-14 victory over Northwestern in Evanston, Ill. The win snaps a three-match losing streak for the Buckeyes and also serves as Hellickson’s 250th career win at Ohio State. Hellickson’s career record now stands at 250-135-6 at the Buckeye helm.

Northwestern captured wins in three of the first four weight classes to start the evening as the Wildcats scored major decisions at both the 125 and 133 classes and combined a fall by Northwestern’s Josh Ballard over Ohio State’s Ryan Derr (Fr., Oregon, Ohio), who filled in for an injured No. 16 Josh Daugherty (Sr., Huber Heights, Ohio), for an early 14-4 advantage. Ohio State’s No. 13 Jeff Ratliff (Jr., Marion, Ohio) posted a major decision in the 141 match to post the lone Buckeye score.

The momentum began to shift in favor of Ohio State at 157 pounds, where top-ranked Keaton Anderson (Sr., Pickerington, Ohio) outlasted Mike Kimberlin 5-2 to claim his 31st win of 2003 and extend his current win streak to 19 consecutive matches. Sixth-ranked John Clark (Jr., Canton, N.Y.) followed with a narrow 10-8 win against Jason Erwinski at 165. Erwinski got control of Clark’s left leg, but the buzzer sounded before he could get the match-tying takedown as OSU moved to within four at 14-10.

The Buckeyes climbed back to knot the dual score at 14-14 after a convincing 13-0 major decision at 174 by No. 6 Blake Kaplan (Jr., Cincinnati, Ohio) over Wildcat Andrew Curran.

The Ohio State surge continued as the Buckeyes swept the remaining matches at 184, 197 and HWT. Seniors Casey Kapustka (Centerville, Ohio) and Anton Talamantes (Ft. Wayne, Ind.) combined decision wins at 184 and 197 as OSU took the 20-14 edge before HWT Tommy Rowlands (Jr., Hilliard, Ohio) notched his third-consecutive win via technical fall over Northwestern’s Matt Repchak.

Hellickson, who has led the Buckeyes to 20-win seasons three times, joins Minnesota head coach J Robinson as the only active Big Ten mentors to reach the 250-win plateau at their respective schools. Robinson also completed the feat during the 2003 season.

The Buckeyes conclude the regular season with a bout at Wisconsin Sunday. The Buckeyes and Badgers take to the mat 2 p.m. (EST).

Ohio State 25 Northwestern 14

125- John Velez (NU) major dec. Nathan Costello (OSU) 12-4 NU 4-0 133- Jon Ott (NU) major dec. Rob Rosenfeld (OSU) 14-5 NU 8-0 141- #14 Jeff Ratliff (OSU) major dec. John Giacche (NU) 14-6 NU 8-4 149- Josh Ballard (NU) pinned Ryan Derr (OSU) 2:01 NU 14-4 157- #1 Keaton Anderson (OSU) dec. Mike Kimberlin (NU) 5-2 NU 14-7 165- #6 John Clark (OSU) dec. Jason Erwinski (NU) 10-8 NU 14-10 174- #6 Blake Kaplan (OSU) major dec. Andrew Curran (NU) 13-0 Tied 14-14 184- Casey Kapustka (OSU) dec. Brendan Curran (NU) 8-3 OSU 17-14 197- #11 Anton Talamantes (OSU) dec. Matt Delguyd (NU) 4-2 OSU 20-14 Hwt- #2 Tommy Rowlands (OSU) tech. fall Matt Repchak (NU) 2:06 OSU 25-14