No. 3 Ohio State (18-2; 7-1 Big Ten)
at 2010 NCAA Championships
Thursday-Saturday, March 18-20
Thursday, March 18
Session I: Noon ET – NCAA.com
Session II: 7:30 p.m. ET – NCAA.com
Friday, March 19
Session III: 10:30 a.m. ET – ESPNU/ESPN360.com
Session IV: 7 p.m. ET – ESPNU
Saturday, March 20
Session V: 11 a.m. ET – ESPNU
Session VI: 7:30 p.m. ET – ESPN/ESPN360.com
Todd Harris: Play-by-play
Tim Johnson: Analyst
Jeff Blatnick: Analyst
Quint Kessenich: Reporter
Shawn Kenney: Play-by-play
Jim Gibbons: Analyst
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 2010 NCAA Championships await the No. 3 Ohio State wrestling team. Taking place Thursday-Saturday at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb., the Buckeyes will send nine wrestlers to the event.
2010 NCAA Qualifiers
125 – Nikko Triggas
133 – Ian Paddock
141 – No. 4 Reece Humphrey
149 – No. 1 Lance Palmer
165 – No. 5 Colt Sponseller
174 – Dave Rella
184 – No. 10 Mike Pucillo
197 – C.J. Magrum
285 – Corey Morrison
AT THE TOP
Senior team-captain Lance Palmer earned the No. 1 seed in the 149-pound bracket at the 2010 NCAA Championships. The 2010 Big Ten Champion, Palmer will face Seth Morton (Ohio University) in the opening round.
Other seeded wrestlers include No. 4 Reece Humphrey (141), No. 5 Colt Sponseller (165) and No. 10 Mike Pucillo (184).
SCARLET AND GRAY 9
The nine Buckeyes representing Ohio State at the 2010 NCAA Championships are a combined 213-83 (.720) this season. The group owns a combined 45 pins, 12 technical falls and 46 major decisions entering the weekend.
David Rella (174) and C.J. Magrum (197) received at-large selections to the 2010 NCAA Championships the NCAA announced March 10. Heavyweight Corey Morrison joined the field following an injury to Boise State’s Samuel Zylstra.
It was a stat the wrestling community, especially the Big Ten wrestling community, knew all too well. It was a fact senior Lance Palmer was quite familiar with also – 0-4. That was Palmer’s record against conference and national favorite Brent Metcalf who has dominated wrestling at 149 pounds during the past four seasons.
However, Palmer topped Metcalf, 9-3, in the 149-pound final at the Big Ten Wrestling championships in Ann Arbor, Mich., March 6. The fact the win granted the Buckeye from Columbia Station, Ohio, his first and only Big Ten title, made it all the sweeter and at the conclusion of the championships was named the event’s Most Outstanding Wrestler.
And consider this, not only was Palmer’s victory huge in boosting his confidence heading to the NCAA championships in two weeks, but his win also served as Metcalf’s first loss of the season as the Hawkeye entered the match 31-0. Also in four meetings, the six-point differential was the largest margin of victory for either wrestler.
As a team, the Buckeyes finished fourth with 102.5 points, not the finish head coach Tom Ryan was hoping for heading to Crisler Arena. But at the conclusion of the championships, Ohio State locked up at least six wrestlers for nationals, including runners-up Reece Humphrey (141) and Colt Sponseller (165). Nikko Triggas (125), Ian Paddock (133) and Mike Pucillo (184) were the remaining automatic qualifiers.
After finishing second last season at 133 pounds, Humphrey was hoping to capture the title in his senior season at the weight class he definitely feels more comfortable with, but came up short, suffering a 3-1 setback to No. 2 Michael Thorn of Minnesota.
Sponseller, the No. 3 seed, earned his way to the title bout against No. 1 seed Andrew Howe of Wisconsin, but also lost a close decision, 4-2.
Pucillo finished third in the 184-pound bracket, opening the session with a 4:10 pin against Nick Palmieri of Michigan State. The senior from Strongsville, Ohio, then wrapped up his final conference championships with a 4-1 win over No. 2 and Penn State’s Dave Erwin. It is the second straight year Pucillo has finished third. He was the league champion in 2008.
Top 5 finishes by Triggas and Paddock also helped the Buckeyes score team points. The sixth seed, Triggas began the day with a loss to fourth-seed Brad Pataky of Penn State, 11-2, but rebounded nicely with a 12-4 major decision against No. 5 Cashe Quiroga of Purdue.
Paddock, the seventh seed, followed pretty much the same route as Triggas to his fifth-place finish as he lost to No. 4 Tyler Graff (Wisconsin), 9-4, to open the third session. However, a 10-2 major decision over Boilermaker Akif Eren would ensue to conclude his first career Big Ten championships.
Seniors Dave Rella and Corey Morrison would go on to finish seventh, while redshirt-freshman C.J. Magrum (197) was eighth.
Lance Palmer was named the 2010 Big Ten Championships Most Outstanding Wrestler the conference announced at the conclusion of the event. As the No. 2 seed, Palmer downed No. 7 Mario Mason of Minnesota before beating No. 3 Kyle Ruschell of Wisconsin and No. 1 Brent Metcalf of Iowa.
Ohio State finished the Big Ten regular season with a 7-1 record. Last season, the Buckeyes also finished their conference ledger with a 7-1 mark. This is the first time in program history the Scarlet and Gray has recorded back-to-back seven-win seasons in the league.
Ohio State has compiled seven conference wins two other times: 1991-92 and 1980-81.
THIS AND THAT
As a team, Ohio State finished the regular season with 48 falls and 48 major decisions. Additionally, the Buckeyes compiled 12 technical falls during the regular season.
The Scarlet and Gray’s combined record was 204-75 (.731) before the start of postseason as well.
FOLLOW ON TWITTER
In addition to the latest news and updates on the official website of Ohio State Athletics, OhioStateBuckeyes.com, Buckeye wrestling fans can now follow the Scarlet and Gray on Twitter at http://twitter.com/wrestlingbucks.
Also, for general Ohio State athletics news and notes, visit http://twitter.com/Brutus_Buckeye.
THIS IS WHERE WE STAND
In the InterMat.com’s tournament rankings, Ohio State is seventh with 50.5 points (March 10). Six Buckeyes earned Top 20 rankings in the individual standings.
InterMat Rankings – March 10
125: Nikko Triggas – 19
141: Reece Humphrey – 4
149: Lance Palmer – 1
165: Colt Sponseller – 5
174: Dave Rella – 20
184: Mike Pucillo – 10
CLIMBING THE CHARTS
Junior Nikko Triggas scored 12 bonus points on four pins during back-to-back weekends (Feb. 7-Feb. 14). Currently with 15 pins, Triggas leads the team and now has 37 career falls, which is good for sole possession of fifth place in the program’s records book.
Triggas has recorded 14 or more pins in each of the last two seasons. His 14 last year is sixth in the program’s single-season record book, while the 15 in 2009-10 is a tie for fifth.
MORE TIME NEEDED
Senior Dave Rella has wrestled in eight overtime matches this season and is 5-3 in those bouts. In just his third match of the season, Rella secured a 3-1 sudden victory win over Daniel Rinaldi of Rutgers at the Oklahoma Gold Classic Nov. 14.
He then suffered a setback to Robert Hamlin of Lehigh that was based on riding time differential a week later.
Rella won four straight sudden victory matches – 11-9 vs. Chance Litton of West Virginia Dec. 4, 3-1 vs. Bagna Tovuujav of George Mason Jan. 3, 6-4 vs. Jordan Blanton of Illinois Feb. 12, 3-1 vs. Ian Hinton of Michigan State Feb. 14 – before dropping back-to-back sudden victory bouts in the Big Ten championships.
Junior 125-pounder Nikko Triggas leads the team with 15 pins. Senior captains Mike Pucillo (184) and Lance Palmer (149) are second and third, respectively,with eight and seven falls.
Reece Humphrey, also a senior tri-captain, paces the squad with five technical falls. Triggas and 165-pound junior Colt Sponseller are tied for second with two.
Sponseller sits a top of the team standings with 10 major decisions. Palmer is second with nine and freshman Ian Paddock is third with eight.
Zach Stolarsky, a 197-pound junior, has been giving fans an inside perspective on the Buckeyes’ season with his blog, “Weighing In with Zach Stolarsky.” With 12 entries, Stolarsky offers a unique and humorous side to the up-to-date news and notes that can be found on the official website of Ohio State athletics, OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
A PROMISING FUTURE
Freshman Collin Palmer was named High School Athlete of the Year by the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission Feb. 3.
It is the second-consecutive year a Buckeye has been honored by the sports commission as two-time NCAA champion J Jaggers earned Collegiate Athlete of the Year in 2009.
As a high school senior, Palmer won his fourth-consecutive Ohio High School State Tournament title in 2009 at 140 pounds en route to leading St. Edward High School to its 13th straight team title and 25th overall. In 2008, the Columbia Station, Ohio, native won the 135-pound division after being crowned champion at 125 pounds in 2007. During his freshman season in 2006, he won the state title on a 3:08 pin at 112 pounds and pinned three of his four opponents en route to his first title.
The announcement was made at the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards in front of more than 1,000 guests at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel.
All athletes were nominated by local media outlets in each of the sports awards categories, which then went through a ranking point system that selected the winners.