Jan. 31, 2001

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COLUMBUS, Ohio– The Ohio State wrestling team enters its final two home duals of the season on the heels of a 13-consecutive match win streak. With a record of 13-3 overall (3-0 Big Ten), No. 10 OSU will play host to No. 7 Michigan State at 7:30 p.m. Friday and finish its home schedule at 2 p.m. Sunday with Northwestern. Both duals will take place at St. John Arena.

Roaring Twenties
Of the 10 starters for the Buckeyes, four have reached or surpassed the 20-win mark. No. 1 Tommy Rowlands (Fr., Columbus, Ohio/Bishop Ready) leads the way with a 30-2 record in the heavyweight division and is followed in the wins category by No. 11 Robert Sessley (Jr., Columbus, Ohio/Beechcroft) with 25, No. 5 Nick Preston (Jr., Columbus, Ohio/DeSales) with 23 and No. 19 Ryan Hieber (Fr., Galion, Ohio/Galion) with 20.

Knocking On The Door
Three other Buckeyes need to win one more match to reach the 20-win plateau as well. No. 19 Kore Sharpley (Sr., Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights) at 125 pounds, No. 16 Keaton Anderson (So., Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington) at 149 and John Clark (Fr., Canton, N.Y./Canton) at 165 all have recorded 19 wins so far this year.

A Return To Fall
Josh Janson (So., Loveland, Ohio/Cincinnati Moeller) collected two wins by fall in his last two Big Ten matches to increase his team-high total to eight falls. Janson is 17-10 overall and 3-0 in the Big Ten.

On A Rowlands
Rowlands has shown he is deserving of the No. 1 rank in the heavyweight division with a personal winning streak of 16-consecutive matches. Rowlands stands 30-2 on the year (3-0 Big Ten and 16-0 during dual competition) including a win at the NWCA All-Star Classic Monday. Rowlands scored a 5-3 decision over No. 11 Josh Pearce of Edinboro for consecutive win number 16.

Tougher Competition
As the season winds down toward its eventual end, the competition OSU will battle will be some of the toughest on the year. After home clashes with No. 7 MSU and NU Friday and Sunday, respectively, the Buckeyes will take to the road for three duals with Top 10 teams.

OSU will travel to No. 5 Michigan Feb. 11 before running the gauntlet of No. 3 Iowa and No. 8 Illinois. After those matches, it is off to the Big Ten Championships and then the NCAA tournament.

You’re Invited to a Celebration
Prior to the start of the OSU-Northwestern dual at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4, members of the 1950-51 Big Ten Championship team will be honored in a ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of OSU’s first and only conference championship. The matches that will immediately follow will be televised on Fox Sports-Chicago and aired Feb. 9.

In The Rankings
In the latest polls, the Buckeyes have been ranked No. 10 by W.I.N., No. 13 by Intermat and No. 13 by NWCA/

Big Ten Championships
The 2001 Big Ten Championships will be held at Welsh-Ryan Arena on the Campus of Northwestern at Evanston, Ill., March 3-4. Ticket order forms are available at the ticket office in St. John Arena. For more information on the tournament, visit the Northwestern University web site,

Scouting Michigan State
The Spartans, under the guidance of 10th-year coach Tom Minkel, MSU is ranked No. 7 in the nation and carries with it a 5-3 mark (1-1 Big Ten).

On the mats, MSU is led by senior Pat McNamara at 133, sophomore Karl Nadolsky at 149 and junior Chris Williams at 125. McNamara is ranked No. 6 in the nation and enters the dual after recording his 100th victory against Michigan’s No. 14 Foley Dowd.

Nadolsky comes to Columbus after handing No. 1 Adam Tirapelle of Illinois his first defeat of the year. Tirapelle is the defending NCAA champion at 149.

Williams is ranked No. 9 and leads the Spartans with a 22-5 record.

Spartans vs. Buckeyes
OSU and MSU have met 67 times in the history of the series with the Spartans holding a commanding 41-24-2 record. MSU has won the last six meetings, including a slim 18-17 decision in 1999 at East Lansing, Mich.

Scouting Northwestern
The Wildcats enter the dual with the Buckeyes with a 3-8-1 record (0-3 Big Ten) after scoring an 18-all tie with Northern Illinois Sunday. Twelfth-year coach Tim Cysewski and NU are led on the mats by No. 16 sophomore Josh Saul at heavyweight and Ryan Cumbee at 149 and junior Jason Erwinski.

Saul, the lone Wildcat in the national rankings, holds the best conference mark on the team at 3-1 and his 10-4 decision over NIU’s Jon Lovrich secured the 18-18 final Sunday.

Cumbee and Erwinski lead the team with four wins by fall each and are only two of three Wildcat wrestlers to win more than 10 matches this year. Both wrestlers stand 2-2 in the Big Ten.

Wildcats vs. Buckeyes
This will be the 53rd meeting on the mats between the schools. NU has taken the last two matches in the series including a 25-15 decision on Jan. 28, 2000 in Evanston, Ill. Despite dropping the last two matches, OSU holds a 35-27 advantage over its foe from the Windy City.

Noting the Starters
Kore Sharpley: Sharpley will compete in his final two home matches as a Buckeye this weekend. He has posted a 57-39 record at OSU to date.

Jeff Ratliff (Fr, Marion, Ohio/Marion): Ratliff went 1-1 over the weekend.

Robert Sessley: Sessley finished the weekend with a 1-1 mark and is only 10 wins away matching his career-high wins total in a season (35).

Keaton Anderson: Anderson improved his season record to 19-1 on the year with two wins including a major decision.

Josh Janson: Janson won both his matches by fall to remain one of four Buckeyes to remain undefeated in Big Ten action.

John Clark: Clark finished the weekend with a 1-1 mark. He almost upset No. 12 Kevin Stanley on Indiana Sunday as he fell 13-11 in overtime.

Ryan Hieber: Hieber won his 20th match of the year with two wins over the weekend and was rewarded with a No. 19 ranking in the latest W.I.N. magazine poll.

Anton Talamantes (So., Ft. Wayne, Ind./Bishop Dwenger): Talamantes battled two tough opponents, falling to both, in his matches. Talamantes fell to No. 15 Jeff Knupp of PSU, 5-3, and No. 5 Viktor Sveda of Indiana, 18-4.

Nick Preston: Preston scored two victories against Big Ten opponents and has now won 14-consecutive matches.

Tommy Rowlands: Rowlands won three matches over the weekend, all by decision.

Next Time Out
OSU has only one dual slated for next weekend as it will travel north to battle with the No. 5 Michigan Wolverines at Ann Arbor, Mich. at 2 p.m. Feb. 11.