Nov. 21, 2003

Columbus, Ohio – The Ohio State wresting team (0-0,0-0) established its lineup for the 2003 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational Friday as the team conducted wrestle-offs at the 125, 149 and 184-pound classes in the Steelwood Training Facility.

Redshirt freshman Jermaine Jones downed sophomore Nathan Costello at 125 by a 12-4 count, while sophomore Ryan Derr edged junior Nick Harpster 7-3 at the 149 class to earn starting nods.

Senior Blake Kaplan, who has won two tournaments so far this season and is ranked among the Top 10 in all individual polls, competed in a round-robin competition with fellow 184-pounders sophomore Brent Billet and freshman Nick Luckens. Kaplan bested both as he solidified his jump from 174 in 2002-03 to 184 this season with an 11-5 decision over Billet and a 17-0 technical fall against Luckens.

The Ohio State starting line up for the 2003 Cliff keen Las Vegas Invitational:

125: Jermaine Jones (Fr., West Chester, Pa.) 133: Jesse Leng (Sr., Hinckley, Ohio) 141: Jeff Ratliff (Sr., Marion, Ohio) 149: Ryan Derr (Oregon, Ohio) 157: James King (Fr., Rockwell, Texas) 165: John Clark (Sr., Canton, N.Y.) 174: Alex Picazzo (Fr., Columbus, Ohio) 184: Blake Kaplan (Sr., Cincinnati, Ohio) 197: J.D. Bergman (Fr., Oak Harbor, Ohio) HWT: Tommy Rowlands (Sr., Hilliard, Ohio) * Returning starters in bold.

The Buckeyes, ranked between 12th and 15th in all recognized polls, will compete in the Las Vegas Invitational Friday, Dec. 6 through Saturday Dec. 7 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev.