Dec. 13, 2001

%^$COLUMBUS, Ohio– The No. 7 Ohio State wrestling team makes a return trip to the Keystone State for three duals after opening the year 3-0 at the Sheridan Duals in Allentown, Pa., Dec. 8. The Buckeyes head to Clarion, Pa., for the Clarion Duals Dec. 16 and will battle Ohio at 1 p.m., host Clarion at 3 p.m. and No. 14 Lock Haven at 5 p.m.%^$

%^$Ohio State has scored a big reversal this year. After opening their 2000-01 campaign with three-consecutive losses, the Buckeyes hold a 3-0 record following a sweep of the competition at the Sheridan Duals Dec. 8. OSU’s performance has helped it secure a spot in the Top 10 with nine of its ten starters currently ranked in the national Top 20 polls.%^$

%^$Jeff Ratliff has stormed out of the gates this year. He is 6-2 overall and 3-0 in duals with five wins coming in major decisions and the sixth by pinfall. His 22 back points and 14 team points are the second most on the team and his 27 takedowns rank him third.%^$

%^$Blake Kaplan has wrestled one dual match as a starter for the Buckeyes and the outcome was spectacular. Kaplan started at 184 in the OSU-Rutgers match Dec. 8 and upset No. 8 Tom Tanis, 8-7. Kaplan is putting together a stellar year with a 6-2 overall record. He has won two of his matches by technical fall, a team high, and is tied for third on the squad with 20 back points.%^$

%^$Senior Nick Preston has proved he is one of the top wrestlers at 197 this year by winning all of his matches so far this year and posting a 7-0 record. Included in his stellar performance is the championship title he captured at the Missouri Open Nov. 18. Preston is tied for second on the team with three dual wins as well as overall wins.%^$

%^$Russ Hellickson is approaching a milestone. With OSU’s 3-0 start this season, Hellickson needs seven more wins record the 300th victory of his 20 year coaching career. Here is a list of his other milestone wins.%^$

Career Wins%^$No. 1 H-Indiana, 27-14* 1/8/83%^$No. 50 H-Michigan, 23-13* 1984-85%^$No. 100 A-Clarion, 23-21 12/9/88%^$No. 150 A-Purdue, 20-16 1/27/91%^$No. 200 H-Illinois, 24-6 2/13/94%^$No. 250 H-Clarion, 23-17 1/17/98%^$* at the University of Wisconsin%^$

%^$Ohio State Wins%^$No. 1 H-Indiana, 30-6 1/3/87%^$No. 50 N-Michigan, 35-9 11/24/89%^$No. 100 H-Clarion, 23-19 2/21/92%^$No. 150 N-James Madison, 34-6 2/4/95%^$No. 200 N-Binghampton, 37-9 1/16/00%^$

%^$Russ Hellickson enters his 16th year of head coaching duties with the Scarlet and Gray and his 20th overall. Hellickson stands 290-146-6 overall and 219-124-6 with the Buckeyes. Under Hellickson’s guidance, OSU has produced at least one All-American 12 years in a row and four wrestlers have captured a total of five national championships. He began his coaching duties in the 1982-83 season with his alma mater Wisconsin and coached the Badgers to a 71-22-0 record in four seasons prior to arriving in Columbus.%^$

%^$The Bobcats stand 0-3 on the year following three defeats at the Sheridan Duals Dec. 8. OU dropped decisions to No. 11 Lock Haven, 28-9, No. 13 Lehigh, 23-13, and Rider, 25-16.%^$

Joel Greenlee, in his fifth season at the helm of the Bobcat program, has three wrestlers ranked in the Top 20 with No. 14 Jake Percival (149), No. 18 Ryan Smith (157) and No. 19 Luke Moore (174) representing OU. Smith is 11-3 and Percival stands 10-2.%^$

%^$The battle of Ohio has been fought 37 times with the Buckeyes holding a commanding 32-4-1 record over the Bobcats. OU won the last meeting, 22-20, Dec. 13, 1997 in Columbus.%^$

%^$125- Michael Caruso (3-5)
%^$133- Anthony Carrizales (10-4)
%^$141- Jon Spires (7-4)
%^$149- Jake Percival (10-2)
%^$157- No. 18 Ryan Smith (11-3)
%^$165- Tony DeAnna (2-7)
%^$174- No. 19 Luke Moore (8-3)
%^$184- Mark Shrout (8-2)
%^$197- Joel Weimier (5-4)
%^$285- Jeremiah Beltran (9-6)

%^$Clarion, under the direction of fifth year head coach Ken Nellis, enters its dual with the Buckeyes after dropping two matches in its opening weekend to No. 8 West Virginia, 23-12, and No. 23 Penn State, 26-9.%^$

CU has three wrestlers ranked among the Top 20 in the nation and are led by No. 6 Rad Martinez at 133. He is third on the team in wins with 10. Leading the win column is No. 17 Eric Mausser, 197, with a 13-3 mark and is just ahead of heavyweight No. 13 John Testa’s 12-3 record.%^$

%^$The Golden Eagles hold the 12-10 series lead over the Buckeyes with OSU winning the last two matches to cut into CU’s lead. The Buckeyes scored a 23-14 win Jan. 8, 2000 in the second of four matches OSU wrestled in the Buckeye Duals.%^$

%^$125- Starlin Jimenez (5-4)
%^$133- No. 6 Rad Martinez (10-1)
%^$141- Jaren Moss (3-4)
%^$149- Dominic Surra (5-3)
%^$157- Jim Perry (4-5)
%^$165- Jamie Durkin (2-5)
%^$174- Ryan Patakay (0-4)
%^$184- Marcus Surin (1-5)
%^$197- No. 17 Eric Mausser (13-3)
%^$285- No. 13 John Testa (12-3)

%^$Carl Poff is in his 13th season of head coaching duties with the Bald Eagles and has guided his team to a 5-0 start. LHU went 3-0 at the Sheridan Duals with wins over Ohio, 28-9, Rider, 25-13, and Rutgers, 23-12.%^$

No. 2 JaMarr Billman (149) is 12-0 on the year and was recently named the wrestler of the week by the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. LHU has four wrestlers ranked in the polls with Billman joining No. 5 Mike Maney (141), No. 17 Trap McCormack (125) and No. 20 Chris Spealler (133). Maney is 7-0 this year.%^$

%^$Ohio State and Lock Haven renew a short-lived series which OSU leads 3-1. The two teams last met in the 1991 season with the Buckeyes scoring a 37-0 decision over the Bald Eagles. The win was the second in a row for OSU over LHU.%^$

%^$125- No. 17 Trap McCormack (5-1)
%^$133- No. 20 Chris Spealler (7-2)
%^$141- No. 5 Mike Maney (7-0)
%^$149- No. 2 JaMarr Billman (12-0)
%^$157- Jason Gilliagan (5-3)
%^$165- Charlie Brenneman (5-5)
%^$174- Ed Pawlak (3-5)
%^$184- Josh Millard (6-3)
%^$197- Avery Zerkle (3-3)
%^$285- Tom Boetsch (2-4)

%^$The Buckeyes and Broncs traded wins in the first four matches of the dual with OSU taking the advantage on team points, 9-6, on the strength of Jeff Ratliff’s pin of No. 18 Dave Santamaria at 2:55. OSU won the match, 24-13, with Ratliff, Keaton Anderson (decision), John Clark (decision), Joel Walker (major decision), Nick Preston (decision) and Tommy Rowlands (technical fall) scoring wins in the dual for the Buckeyes.%^$

%^$OSU won the first nine matches on its way to a 33-4 win. The Buckeyes won three matches by major decision (Jeff Ratliff, Keaton Anderson and Tommy Rowlands) and one by fall (Josh Daugherty). The biggest win of the match was an 8-7 decision for Blake Kaplan over No. 8 Tom Tanis at 184.%^$

%^$In a battle of Top 15 teams, the No. 7 Buckeyes took the early lead but had to fight back to reclaim the lead from the No. 13 Mountain Hawks. OSU was victorious in its first three matches, including a win by fall by Josh Daugherty, to mount a 13-0 lead. LU raced ahead with four decision wins to take the 16-13 lead. Nick Preston and Tommy Rowlands pinned their opponents at 2:33 and 2:35, respectively to give OSU the lead for good and helped the Buckeyes to a 25-19 win.%^$

%^$St. John Arena, the former home of men’s and women’s basketball, houses the Buckeyes’ home wrestling meets, men’s and women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s gymnastics. Constructed in 1956, the 13,276 capacity venue has hosted three men’s NCAA championship basketball games and will be the home of the NWCA Cliff Keen National Duals for Division I and the placing matches for Division II and III.%^$

%^$The 2002 Cliff Keen/National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) National Duals will be a historic occasion. For the first time in event history, all three divisions (I, II and III) will hold their respective duals in one location concurrently when the duals come to Ohio State University Jan. 19-20.%^$

In a span of two days, St. John Arena and French Field House will be transformed into the home of the duals with 12 mats to accommodate a total of 90 duals. Division I will hold all of its matches in St. John Arena and will welcome the other two divisions into the arena for their respective placing duals. The smaller divisions will wrestle the earlier round duals in French before moving to the arena.%^$

Ohio State is one of five schools from the state of Ohio that will compete in the event. Ashland and Findlay will represent Division II and John Carroll and Ohio Northern will battle in Division III.%^$

%^$The Buckeyes are off for the holidays and will return to action Dec. 29-30 at the Midlands Tournament in Evanston, Ill., on the campus of Northwestern University.