Feb. 26, 2007

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Big Ten Conference announced the preliminary seeding for the 2007 Big Ten Wrestling Championships Saturday and Sunday on the campus of Michigan State University at the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Mich. The pre-seeds were determined by a vote amongst the head coaches of the league after consideration of regular-season results. The official championship bracket will be announced Friday.

A pair of freshmen in Lance Palmer (Lakewood, Ohio/St. Edward) and Mike Pucillo (Cuyahoga, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit) lead the Buckeye contingent as No. 3 seeds at 149 and 184 pounds, respectively. Palmer, one of three Buckeyes to tally 20 or more wins during the regular season, finished the 2006-07 campaign on a six-match win streak to compile a 26-11 overall record, including a7-1 mark in the conference. One of those Big Ten wins included a 6-4 overtime decision against second-ranked Josh Churella of Michigan Feb. 11.

Pucillo owns a 19-1 record, with his lone loss coming against No. 1 Jake Herbert of Northwestern Feb. 4. Prior to his only defeat, Pucillo won 16-consecutive matches in his first year as a Buckeye, including the 184-pound title at the 25th annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational in December. In all, Pucillo has faced eight ranked wrestlers, compiling a 7-1 mark.

At 197 pounds, J.D Bergman (Jr., Oak Harbor, Ohio/Oak Harbor) earned a No. 4 seed. After missing last season because of injury, Bergman returns to the Big Ten championships after finishing second in 2005 and fifth in 2004. Like Palmer, Bergman finished the 2006-07 regular season with 20 wins (20-6). One of his victories came against No. 2 Mike Tamillow of Northwestern, finishing with a 5-3 record in the conference.

Chris Vondruska (Sr., Lakewood, Ohio/Hofstra) is the fifth seed at 165 pounds. Vondruska leads the Buckeyes in wins with 28, as he is the third and final Buckeye to end the regular season with more than 20 victories. He began his OSU career with a third-place finish in the Eastern Michigan Open and the Las Vegas Invitational. From Dec. 17, 2006- Feb. 2, 2007, Vondruska went on a nine-match win streak. Vondruska was the Colonial Athletic Association champion at 165 pounds last season.

Finishing sixth in the Big Ten championships last year at 149 pounds, J Jaggers (So., Northfield, Ohio/St. Peter Chanel) returns as the No. 7 seed at 141 pounds. Jaggers capped an 18-16 Buckeye rally against No. 10 Northwestern Feb. 4 in Lakewood, Ohio, when he defeated James Kohlberg, 7-5, in the final bout. The OSU win gave the Scarlet and Gray its third-consecutive win over a ranked opponent and fourth overall in 2006-07.

T.J. Enright (Jr., Galloway, Ohio/Westland) and Corey Morrison (So., Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights) are the eighth seeds at 133 and 285 pounds, respectively. Enright scored one of the biggest wins of his collegiate career when he defeated No. 1 Nick Simmons of Michigan State, 4-2, in sudden victory Feb. 2 in Columbus, Ohio. The win helped propel the Buckeyes to a 19-14 victory over the 19th-ranked Spartans.

Morrison’s wins over Big Ten foes David Pisarcik of Purdue, Josh Buuck of Indiana and Alan O’Donnell of Michigan State helped the Buckeyes to wins in each of those matches in Columbus.

2007 Big Ten Wrestling Championships Preliminary Seeds

1. Jayson Ness, Minnesota
2. Charlie Falck, Iowa
3. Angel Escobedo, Indiana
4. Franklin Gomez, Michigan State
5. Gabriel Flores, Illinois
6. Brandon Precin, Northwestern
7. Mark McKnight, Penn State
8. Brandon Tucker, Purdue

1. Nick Simmons, Michigan State
2. James Kennedy, Illinois
3. Mack Reiter, Minnesota
4. Zach Tanelli, Wisconsin
5. Jake Strayer, Penn State
6. Andrae Hernandez, Indiana
7. Mario Galanakis, Iowa
8. T.J. Enright, Ohio State

1. Manuel Rivera, Minnesota
2. Ryan Lang, Northwestern
3. Andy Simmons, Michigan State
4. Cassio Pero, Illinois
5. Kyle Ruschell, Wisconsin
6. Alex Tsirtsis, Iowa
7. J Jaggers, Ohio State
8. Justin Chrzanowski, Michigan

1. Dustin Schlatter, Minnesota
2. Joshua Churella, Michigan
3. Lance Palmer, Ohio State
4. Jake Patacsil, Purdue
5. Tyler Turner, Wisconsin
6. Dan Vallimont, Penn State
7. Troy Tirapelle, Illinois
8. Matt Coughlin, Indiana

1. Michael Poeta, Illinois
2. Brandon Becker, Indiana
T3. C.P. Schlatter, Minnesota
T3. Craig Henning, Wisconsin
5. Ryan Morningstar, Iowa
6. Bubba Jenkins, Penn State
7. Jacob Murphy, Purdue
8. Jeff Marsh, Michigan

1. Eric Tannenbaum, Michigan
2. Mark Perry, Iowa
3. Tyler Safratowich, Minnesota
4. Roger Smith-Bergsrud, Illinois
5. Chris Vondruska, Ohio State
6. Justin Fraga, Purdue
7. Dave Rella, Penn State
8. Max Dean, Indiana

1. James Yonushonis, Penn State
2. Eric Luedke, Iowa
3. Steve Luke, Michigan
4. Gabriel Dretsch, Minnesota
5. Trevor Perry, Indiana
6. Nick Hayes, Northwestern
7. Matthew Winterhalter, Illinois
8. Matthew Maciag, Wisconsin

1. Jake Herbert, Northwestern
2. Roger Kish, Minnesota
3. Mike Pucillo, Ohio State
4. Tyrel Todd, Michigan
5. Marc Bennet, Indiana
6. Joseph Williams, Michigan State
7. John Dergo, Illinois
8. Trevor Brandvold, Wisconsin

1. Phil Davis, Penn State
2. Mike Tamillow, Northwestern
3. Patrick Bond, Illinois
4. J.D. Bergman, Ohio State
5. Dallas Herbst, Wisconsin
6. Nathan Moore, Purdue
7. Nick Roy, Michigan
8. Nathan Everhart, Indiana

1. Cole Konrad, Minnesota
2. Aaron Anspach, Penn State
3. Dustin Fox, Northwestern
4. Matt Fields, Iowa
5. Kyle Massey, Wisconsin
6. Josh Buuck, Indiana
7. John Wise, Illinois
8. Corey Morrison, Ohio State