Dec. 4, 2004
Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State wrestling team competed in the opening rounds of the 2004 Las Vegas Invitational Friday at the Cashman Center in Las Vegas, Nev. Sophomore J.D. Bergman, a returning All-American, advanced through the quarterfinals with three major decisions to set up a semifinal match at 197 early Saturday. Two Ohio State freshmen, T.J. Enright at 133 and Keegan Mueller at 157, are still alive in the double-elimination tournament and compete in the consolation rounds with a chance at placing Saturday.
Bergman (Oak Harbor, Ohio) used 13-3 and 11-3 major decisions to advance to the quarterfinals against B.J. Padden of Nebraska, a Top 10 wrestler in all recognized polls. Bergman controlled the match with Padden and emerged with his third major decision of the day at 11-2. Saturday, Bergman will face Ryan Bader of Arizona State in the semifinals. Bergman defeated Bader via decision to earn third-place at the NCAA championships last season.
At 133, Enright (Galloway, Ohio) scored three decision wins to up his season record to 11-0 before facing 2003 NCAA champion Chris Fleeger of Purdue in the quarters, where Enright suffered his first loss of the year by a 12-3 count. With the loss, Enright fell into the wrestlebacks and will vie for third place Saturday. En route to his match with Fleeger, the No. 11-ranked Enright topped No. 20 Tyler McCormick of Missouri, 3-2, in the Round of 16.
Mueller (Dallas, Texas), wrestling in just his second tournament as a Buckeye, moved through the first three rounds with a pair of decisions and a major, including a 2-1 upset of No. 12-ranked Brad Cieleski of Missouri in a Round of 16 bout. In the quarterfinals, Mueller dropped a 3-0 decision to Davis Strader of Montana State – Northern, the top-ranked wrestler in the NAIA at 157 pounds.
Three Buckeyes won two matches before being eliminated Friday. Sophomore Alex Picazo (Grandview, Ohio) dropped a major decision to No. 6-ranked Travis Pascoe of Nebraska in the Round of 16 to fall into consolation action, where he won a 7-3 decision before bowing out with a 4-0 loss in his second wrestleback. True freshmen, Kirk Nail (Hilliard, Ohio) at HWT and Jason Johnstone (Massillon, Ohio) at 141, also scored a 2-2 record Friday before being bounced from the tournament.
The Las Vegas Invitational resumes Saturday at 10 a.m. (PST). Live updates for the tournament can be accessed at www.thewrestlingmall.com.