COLUMBUS, Ohio – Four wins between the 165 and 197-pound weight classes gave the Ohio State wrestling team 13 points, but the Buckeyes could not overcome tough competition the rest of the way en route to dropping a 27-13 decision to No. 14 Northwestern in St. John Arena Saturday afternoon.
The quartet of Colt Sponseller (165), Nick Heflin (174), C.J. Magrum (184) and Peter Capone (197) produced wins for the Scarlet and Gray in the final regular-season match for both teams.
The 2011 Big Ten Championships will take place in Evanston, Ill., March 5-6 at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Northwestern will serve as hosts.
Ohio State jumped out to a 3-0 lead after Magrum decisioned Aaron Jones, 7-4. Seven seconds into the match, Magrum scored a takedown and led Jones, 4-1, at the end of the period. Another takedown in the second helped the Oak Harbor, Ohio, native maintain his advantage and he owned a 6-3 lead at the conclusion of the second period. A riding time of 1:25 tacked on the extra point.
Riding time of 1:47 was the difference maker in Capone’s 2-1 vs. John Schoen. With a 1-0 lead, the Buckeye from Johnson City, N.Y., was called for his second stalling warning in the third period. With both wrestlers knotted up at 1-all, Capone maintained his riding time advantage for the win.
In the final home match of his collegiate career, Sponseller defeated Kevin Bialka, 13-5. Up 2-1 at the end of the first period, Sponseller quickly took command of the match the rest of the way with four takedowns and a reversal. The Glenmont, Ohio, native also accrued a riding time of 3:20.
Wrapping up the afternoon, Heflin, who hails from Massillon, Ohio, decisioned Brian Roddy, 7-4. With a 5-2 lead at the conclusion of the second period, Heflin added one more takedown in the third for good measure to secure his 19th win of the season.
C.J. Magrum, redshirt-sophomore (184)
On the keys to his win
“The key was for me to stay on offense. Good things always happen when I stay on offense and that’s always my goal going into matches.”
On preparing for the upcoming Big Ten Championships
“Next week I’m going to train harder than I ever have. The following week I’m planning on resting up and preparing both physically and mentally for the tournament.”
On his improvement this season
“I’ve been much more physical this season. I moved down a weight class which has helped a lot. I’m also in better shape. No one likes to get roughed up and by being more physical I’ve had success.”
Nick Heflin, redshirt-freshman (174)
On preparing for the Big Ten Championships
“I’m excited. I’ve worked really hard this year to fix a lot of my mistakes. Today I was more offensive than usual. Normally I’m a lot more passive and that’s been hurting me in a lot of matches.”
On taking an offensive approach to wrestling
“I’m just going to be more offensive now. I’m not going to get into ties because ties have been slowing me down. It’s really just about staying offensive. I feel pretty confident going into the Big Ten championships. Overall, it’s just about staying offensive through Big Tens. I only get scored on when I become passive.”
• Saturday served as Senior Day. Prior to the match, Buckeyes Sean Nemec, Colt Sponseller, Zach Stolarsky and Pat Zamaria, as well as their family, were recognized in a pre-match ceremony. The 2010-11 class are a combined 172-99 (.635) overall and was part of two national runner-up finishes in 2008 and 2009.
• Sponseller won his eighth-consecutive match vs. Kevin Bialka with a 13-5 major decision at 165 pounds. He is now one win away from his 100th-career victory.
• Redshirt-freshman Nick Heflin and Sponseller are tied for the team lead with 19 wins each. Heflin is 19-5, while Sponseller owns a 19-3 record.
• The match vs. the Wildcats aired live on bigtennetwork.com. The television replay is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday Feb. 21.
• Former Buckeyes J.D. Bergman (2004-08) and Corey Morrison (2006-10) served as the television talent for bigtennetwork.com. Bergman is currently training for the 2012 London Olympics and Morrison is studying in the education and administration graduate programs at Ohio State.
• The 2011 Big Ten Championships are up next. Northwestern will host the event at Welsh-Ryan Arena March 5-6. For tickets, call 888-GO-PURPLE.
Ohio State 13, No. 14 Northwestern 27
Feb. 19, 2011
St. John Arena
184 C.J. Magrum (Ohio State) DEC Aaron Jones (Northwestern), 7 – 4
197 Peter Capone (Ohio State) DEC John Schoen (Northwestern), 2 – 1
285 Bennett Kuhar (Northwestern) DEC Zach Stolarsky (Ohio State), 6 – 0
125 Brandon Precin (Northwestern) FALL Bo Touris (Ohio State), 1:03
133 Levi Mele (Northwestern) FALL Jacob Vaughan (Ohio State), 1:19
141 Kaleb Friedley (Northwestern) MD Randy Languis (Ohio State), 10 – 0
149 Andrew Nadhir (Northwestern) MD Joe Grandominico (Ohio State), 15 – 7
157 Jason Welch (Northwestern) MD Sean Nemec (Ohio State), 8 – 0
165 Colt Sponseller (Ohio State) MD Kevin Bialka (Northwestern), 13 – 5
174 Nick Heflin (Ohio State) DEC Brian Roddy (Northwestern), 7 – 4