ST. LOUIS J.D. Bergman, J Jaggers and Mike Pucillo, members of the No. 9 Ohio State wrestling team, will contend for a spot in the NCAA championships finals when they compete in semifinal action Friday night at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo. The Buckeyes currently are in fourth place with 44.5 points after three sessions.
Semifinal action will begin at 7 p.m. ET. ESPNU will broadcast live coverage.
Reece Humphrey and Lance Palmer remain in contention in wrestleback action and will look to finish as high as third in their respective weight classes.
A place in the finals at 141 pounds is on the line for Jaggers after he advanced to the semifinals following a hard-fought 5-3 decision over No. 3-seed Kellen Russell of Michigan. In his second-consecutive win over Russell, the Northfield, Ohio, native held a slim 2-1 lead after the first period. In the lone scoring of the second period, Jaggers scored an escape to increase his advantage to 3-1. However, Russell, recorded two escapes in the final period in an attempt at a comeback, but Jaggers added a final takedown for the 5-3 victory. Prior to Friday, Jaggers beat Russell, 3-2, Feb. 10 in St. John Arena. Up next for Jaggers in the semifinals is No. 2-seed Charles Griffin of Hofstra.
At 184 pounds, Pucillo had his hands full against Iowa’s seventh-seed Phil Keddy. Trailing 2-1 after the first period and 3-1 following the second stanza, Pucillo rallied in the third, recording an escape early in the period before scoring a takedown with just six seconds left in the match to record the 4-3 victory. Pucillo will face a familiar foe in Raymond Jordan of Missouri in the semifinals. Earlier this season, the native of Strongsville, Ohio, beat Jordan, 7-2, at the Las Vegas Invitational in December.
In his first quarterfinal appearance at nationals, senior heavyweight Bergman posted an 11-1 major decision over No. 7-seed David Zabriskie for a spot in the semifinals against No. 3-seed Ed Prendergast of Navy Friday night. The Oak Harbor, Ohio, native held a 4-1 advantage after the first and second periods and proceeded to take control of the match in the third period with a three-point nearfall, takedown and riding time of 2:40 for the win.
Palmer was looking to advance to his second-consecutive semifinal at 149 pounds when he faced No. 1-seed Brent Metcalf of Iowa in the quarterfinals. However, the native of Columbia Station, Ohio, dropped a 3-2 decision. Following a scoreless first period, Palmer took a 1-0 lead on an escape early in the second stanza. However, Metcalf took the down position in the third period and scored a quick escape followed by a takedown two seconds later to take a 3-1 advantage. With 1:14 left, Palmer tallied an escape to cut Metcalf’s lead to one, but it was not enough as Metcalf won by the final score. Brandon Carter of Central Michigan is Palmer’s next opponent in the wrestleback bracket.
After his heartbreaking loss to No. 1-seed Franklin Gomez Thursday, Humphrey rebounded with two wrestleback wins in the third session Friday. In his first match of the day, the Indianapolis, Ind., native topped Kyle Hutter of Old Dominion, 6-3. He followed that performance with a 6-2 decision over Conor Beebe of Central Michigan. No. 7 Mike Grey of Cornell is up next for Humphrey for a chance to earn All-America honors.
Against Hutter, Humphrey took a 2-1 lead in the first period and increased his advantage to 6-3 after the second stanza. There was no scoring in the final period. In his win over Beebe, Humphrey scored an early takedown in the first period and added another two points on a takedown in the second period. Beebe attempted the comeback with a reversal in the second period to cut Humphrey’s lead to 4-2, but Humphrey scored an escape early in the third period and earned a riding time of 1:50 for the victory.
Freshman Nikko Triggas and redshirt-junior Jason Johnstone were eliminated from competition at 125 and 157 pounds, respectively. Triggas dropped a 5-0 decision to No. 9-seed Rollie Peterkin of Penn in wrestleback action. Johnstone, who won his opening bout of the day against Jarrett Hostetter of Millersville, 6-4, lost his second wrestleback match to Matt Moley of Bloomsburg.
In his opening match on the second day of competition, Johnstone owned a close 5-4 lead heading into the third period against Hostetter, but his escape in the final period was enough for him to hold on for the victory.
2008 NCAA Wrestling Championships
St. Louis, Mo.
No. 3 Paul Donahoe (Nebraska) mdec. Nikko Triggas (Ohio State), 9-0
Nikko Triggas (Ohio State) pinned Caleb Flores (UNI), 4:37
No. 9 Rollie Peterkin (Penn) dec. Nikko Triggas (Ohio State), 5-0
Reece Humphrey (Ohio State) dec. Rick Deubel (Edinboro), 4-3
No. 1 Franklin Gomez (Michigan State) dec. Reece Humphrey (Ohio State), 5-4 TB6
Reece Humphrey (Ohio State) dec. Kyle Hutter (Old Dominion), 6-3
Reece Humphrey (Ohio State) dec. Conor Beebe (Central Michigan), 6-2
No. 6 J Jaggers (Ohio State) dec. Nexi Delgado (UC Davis) 13-10
No. 6 J Jaggers (Ohio State) dec. Drew Headlee (Pittsburgh), 7-2
No. 6 J Jaggers (Ohio State) dec. No. 3 Kellen Russell (Michigan), 5-3
No. 9 Lance Palmer (Ohio State) mdec. Kyle Larson (Oregon State), 14-3
No. 9 Lance Palmer (Ohio State) mdec. No. 8 Jake Patacsil (Purdue), 14-6
No.1 Brent Metcalf (Iowa) dec. No. 9 Lance Palmer (Ohio State), 3-2
No. 1 Gregor Gillespie (Edinboro) dec. Jason Johnstone (Ohio State), 6-0
Jason Johnstone (Ohio State) dec. Jarrett Hostetter (Millersville), 6-4
Jason Johnstone (Ohio State) Matt Moley (Bloomsburg)
No. 2 Mike Pucillo (Ohio State) mdec. Ian Murphy (Cal State Fullerton), 11-2
No. 2 Mike Pucillo (Ohio State) mdec. Ryan Goodman (N.C. State), 14-1
No. 2 Mike Pucillo (Ohio State) dec. No. 7 Phil Keddy (Iowa), 4-3
No. 2 J.D. Bergman (Ohio State) pinned Patrick Walker (Liberty), :37 seconds
No. 2 J.D. Bergman (Ohio State) dec. Joe Fendone (Edinboro), 6-3
No. 2 J.D. Bergman (Ohio State) mdec. No. 7 David Zabriskie (Iowa State), 11-1