2008 Big Ten Wrestling Championships
March 8-9
Williams Arena
Minneapolis, Minn.

2008 Ohio State Big Ten Starting Lineup
No. 7 seedNikko Triggas (16-13)
133-No. 7 seed Reece Humphrey (22-7)
No. 3 seed J Jaggers (21-5) 
149-No. 5 seed Lance Palmer (19-6) 
Jason Johnstone (13-15)
165-No. 4 seed Colt Sponseller (16-2) 
174-Alex Picazo (12-14) 
No. 1 seed Mike Pucillo (25-1)  
197-John Weakley (6-19)
285-No. 1 seed J.D. Bergman (27-1)  

COLUMBUS, Ohio The No. 9 Ohio State wrestling team will get postseason action underway at the 2008 Big Ten Championships Saturday-Sunday  at Williams Arena in Minneapolis, Minn.

2008 Big Ten Championships Schedule
March 8
Noon ET Session I (four mats)
7 p.m. ET Session II (four mats)

March 9
1 p.m. ET Session III (three mats)

The Big Ten Network will televise day two (March 9) of the Big Ten championships in a live three-hour presentation beginning at 3 p.m. ET.   The wrestling championships kick off Championship Sunday as the network also will air the
conference Men’s Indoor Track and Field championships from Wisconsin at 8 p.m. ET.

The Big Ten Conference released the championships pre-seedings Monday and senior J.D. Bergman and redshirt-sophomore Mike Pucillo earned the No. 1 pre-seeds at heavyweight and the 184-pound weight class, respectively.

Bergman finished the regular season with an overall record of 27-1, including a 22-1 mark in dual action and an 8-0 ledger in the league.

Pucillo posted a 25-1 record during the regular season, which included a 21-0 mark in dual competition. Pucillo also owned a perfect record (8-0) in Big Ten action.

Freshman Nikko Triggas (125) and redshirt-sophomore Reece Humphrey (133) earned the No. 7 pre-seeds in their respective weight classes.

Redshirt-junior J Jaggers locked down the No. 3 pre-seed at 141 pounds and sophomore Lance Palmer earned the No. 5 pre-seed at 149 pounds. Freshman Colt Sponseller received the No. 4 pre-seed at 165 pounds.    
Senior heavyweight J.D. Bergman is a two-time Big Ten championship runner-up. Last season, Bergman finished second at 197 pounds after taking the second-place standing in 2005 in the 197-pound weight class.

Tommy Rowlands, now the current assistant coach of Ohio State, is the last Buckeye to win a Big Ten championship (HWT). During his collegiate career, Rowlands was a two-time league champion, winning in 2002 and 2004. One of nine Buckeyes to win multiple conference titles, Rowlands also went on to win national titles during those same years.

Ohio State won Big Ten championship titles in 1923 and 1951 and boasts 21 conference individual championships, including three-time winner Kevin Randleman (1991, 92, 93).

Not only is a Big Ten conference championship on the line for the Buckeyes this weekend, but Ohio State also is hoping to qualify its wrestlers to the NCAA championships March 20-22 in St. Louis, Mo.

Wrestlers placing in the Top 7 of the league championships earn a bid to nationals.

Last season, Ohio State sent six to the NCAA championships, with four – J.D. Bergman, J Jaggers, Lance Palmer and Mike Pucillo – earning All-America honors and helping the team to a 10th-place team finish.   

Ohio State finished the regular season with a 19-4 overall record and 6-2 ledger in the Big Ten Conference. From an overall wins standpoint, it was the Buckeyes’ best regular-season finish since 2001-02 when they compiled 20 victories (four losses).

The six wins in the league is the most wins for Ohio State since 1992-93 when that team also recorded a 6-2 mark.

The Buckeyes ended the regular season in second place behind Iowa, which went perfect in conference action (8-0) and had a 21-1 overall record.

NO. 1
After starting the season No. 4 in the heavyweight standings of the USA Today/InterMat/NWCA Division I poll and spending the remainder of the season ranked third and second, senior  J.D. Bergman finally worked his way to No. 1 in the nation in the Feb. 26 polls.

Bergman enters postseason action with a 27-1 overall record, including a 22-1 mark in dual competition. Bergman also went 5-0 in tournament action, winning the heavyweight division at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational in December.

Included in his 27-1 record are eight wins vs. Top 20 wrestlers.

After concluding regular-season action with a 23-18 loss at Minnesota Feb. 24, Ohio State dipped to No. 9 in the USA Today/InterMat/NWCA Division I Coaches Polls (Feb. 26).

Six Buckeyes are ranked in the Top 20 of the individual polls:
133: No. 13 Reece Humphrey
141: No. 7 J Jaggers
149: No. 6 Lance Palmer
165: No. 12 Colt Sponseller
184: No. 2 Mike Pucillo
285: No. 1 J.D. Bergman

Senior heavyweight J.D. Bergman and redshirt-sophomore (184) Mike Pucillo each finished the Big Ten regular-season with perfect 8-0 records.

Bergman enters postseason action with a 27-1 overall record, including a 22-1 dual mark and 5-0 ledger in tournament action. Bergman was the heavyweight champion at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational in December.

Pucillo concluded the regular season with a 25-1 overall record and 21-0 mark in dual competition. Of his 25 wins, six have come via fall. He also has won by a technical fall six times and major decision five times.

En route to his perfect dual record, Pucillo has defeated nine Top 20 wrestlers.

Senior J.D. Bergman was the heavyweight champion at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational in December.

En route to the title, Bergman defeated No. 2 Wade Sauer of Cal State-Fullerton, 6-5, in the semifinals and won by medical default in the final after No. 4 Dustin Rogers of West Virginia bowed out because of injury.

Bergman also topped No. 11 John Wise of Illinois, 16-6, in the quarterfinals.

Senior heavyweight J.D. Bergman earned his 100th Buckeye win Nov. 11 when he recorded a 3-0 day at the Chattanooga Duals in Chattanooga, Tenn. Bergman, who now owns a 123-34 career record, is one of just 16 Buckeyes who have reached the century mark. With his 123 victories, Bergman moved into eighth place all-time in the OSU career wins record book. 

Bergman began the season 12th all-time at Ohio State in career winning percentage (.744). With his 27-1 record in 2007-08, Bergman moved up a spot to 11th with a career winning percentage of .783, surpassing Keaton Anderson’s (1999-2003) .767.

Current Buckeye assistant coach Tommy Rowlands owns the all-time career wins record with 164 victories from 2000-04. Mark Coleman’s 1988 record of 50-2 for a percentage of .962 stands as the best OSU mark.

Bergman also has climbed the Ohio State career falls list. With 42 pins to date, Bergman now is fourth all-time and four pins away from taking over the No. 3 spot, held by former OSU assistant  coach and two-time NCAA champion Mitch Clark (1994-98).

Ohio State Career Wins List
   Name           Years     Wins
1. Tommy Rowlands  2000-04    164
2. Ed Potokar     1980-83    151
3. Adam DiSabato  1989-93    138
4. John Clark     2000-04    134
5. Jude Skove     1982-86    131
6. Mike Schyck    1990-93    127
7. Nick Preston   1999-02    126
8. J.D. Bergman    2004-pres. 123

Ohio State Career Falls List
        Name          Years     Falls
1. Don Moxley     1983-85   50
2. Ed Potokar     1980-83   47
3. Mitch Clark    1994-98   45
4. J.D. Bergman    2004-pres.42

Senior heavyweight J.D. Bergman hit the 20-win plateau with his 4-2 decision over sixth-ranked Matt Fields of Iowa Jan. 18 and now has 27 victories (1 loss) to date. Bergman has won 20 or more matches in all four years competing with the Buckeyes. Bergman received a medical redshirt in 2005-06.

Senior HWT J.D. Bergman’s Career Win Total
2003-04: 32-15
2004-05: 36-9
2005-06: DNC
2006-07: 28-9
2007-08: 27-1
Total: 123-34 (.783)

 In the Buckeyes’ matchup against Chattanooga during the Chattanooga Duals Nov. 11, senior J.D. Bergman pinned Ben O’Neill in 28 seconds. That time ranks 13th in the OSU all-time record book for the quickest fall.

For the second-consecutive year, a Buckeye has downed the No. 1-ranked wrestler in the country. At the 26th Annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Wrestling Invitational Nov. 30-Dec. 1, Reece Humphrey pinned top-ranked Louie Ruggirello of Hofstra in 7:53 to advance to the 133-pound third-place bout. Humphrey went on to finish third after posting a 6-4 decision over Filip Novachkov of Cal Poly.

Last year, 133-pounder T.J. Enright defeated No. 1 and undefeated Nick Simmons of Michigan State, 4-2, in overtime to help propel the Buckeyes to a 19-14 victory.

With the Buckeyes down 15-13 against No. 6 Michigan Feb. 10, redshirt-sophomore Reece Humphrey entered his match against Chris Diehl with the Ohio State win on the line. After Humphrey defeated Diehl, 7-2, in front of a record crowd of 5,341 in St. John Arena, the Buckeyes posted their first victory (16-15) against the Wolverines in 14 seasons.

It has been a season full of historic moments for Humphrey as he also defeated the No. 1-ranked wrestler in the nation at the Las Vegas Invitational (Nov. 30-Dec. 1). It was for a chance to compete for third place that Humphrey pinned No. 1 Louie Ruggirello in 7:53. Humphrey went on to finish third in the event after beating Filip Novachkov, 6-4. 
Redshirt-junior J Jaggers ended the regular season on a six-match win streak. Jaggers’ run began with a 6-4 win over No. 5 Jake Strayer of Penn State Jan. 25 in Columbus. Jaggers also beat the Nos. 4 and 3-ranked wrestlers in the nation during this stretch. Jaggers defeated Michigan’s Kellen Russell, 3-2, Feb. 10 in Columbus before upsetting Minnesota’s Manuel Rivera, 6-4, Feb. 24 in Minneapolis.

In all, Jaggers has defeated eight Top 20 wrestlers, including Strayer two times.

Teammate Lance Palmer also ended the regular season on a high note, topping the third-ranked wrestler in the nation in Dustin Schlatter of Minnesota. Palmer has won six of his last eight matches, including five straight.

J Jaggers was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week the conference announced Jan. 30. It was Jaggers’ first-career weekly honor.

A 2007 All-American at 141 pounds, Jaggers (21-5) lifted the Buckeyes to a 22-19 victory over No. 8 Penn State Jan. 25 in St. John Arena. With the Buckeyes down three (19-16) with one bout remaining, Jaggers pinned fifth-ranked Jake Strayer in 3:25 to seal the win. Ohio State trailed throughout the evening, but took its first and only lead for the win after Jaggers’ pin. 

It was Jaggers’ second victory of the season over Strayer as he also defeated the Nittany Lion, 6-4, at the National Duals Jan. 13. Strayer was No. 2 in the nation at the time. 

The win by Jaggers marked the sixth time this season he has beaten a Top 20 wrestler. Of his  eight wins over a ranked grappler, three have come via fall.

For the first time in 14 seasons, Ohio State beat Michigan, 16-15, Feb. 10 in front of a St. John Arena wrestling-record crowd of 5,341.

The win over the Wolverines also marked the first time since 1992-93 the Buckeyes have won six league matches. That year marked the last time the Buckeyes beat Michigan, a 19-14 win in Columbus.   

With Ohio State down 15-13, redshirt-sophomore Reece Humphrey sealed the victory at 133 pounds with a 7-2 decision over Chris Diehl.

Buckeyes J Jaggers (141) and Lance Palmer (149) gave Ohio State an early 7-0 lead, with a 3-2 decision and 10-2 major decision, respectively.

Mike Pucillo and J.D. Bergman also contributed much-needed wins in the OSU triumph.

Mike Pucillo, who owns a 25-1 overall record and a perfect dual mark of 21-0, met Michigan’s Tyrel Todd for the second time this season Feb. 10. The second-ranked Todd handed Pucillo his lone loss of the season at the 2007 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational in December, but Pucillo was able to redeem himself in dual action when his 6-5 decision helped lift the Buckeyes to a 16-15 win.

With his 22 dual wins in 2007-08, senior heavyweight J.D. Bergman set a personal-best in dual victories. In his final season, Bergman amassed more than half the dual wins he totaled for his collegiate career (40) prior to the start of the season.

Redshirt-junior J Jaggers has recorded a career-best nine falls on the season. Jaggers recorded his second pin in three matches Feb. 3 against Purdue’s Matt Redmond. For his career, Jaggers has 17 falls.

After missing the early part of the 2007-08 season because of an injury, freshman Colt Sponseller entered the Buckeye lineup against Wisconsin Dec. 10 and has more than held his own. He enters postseason action with a 16-2 record.

After his first taste of collegiate action, Sponseller went on a 14-match win streak. His first loss came against No. 3 Eric Tannenbaum of Michigan (10-4) Feb. 10. He then lost to No. 20 Tyler Safratowich of Minnesota, 5-2, Feb. 24. 

Ohio State has broken its home-attendance record twice this season. The Buckeyes had an attendance record of 4,378 when they hosted No. 1 Iowa Jan. 15. That number beat the previous record of 3,022 set against No. 1 Minnesota Jan. 27, 2006. The mark against the Hawkeyes did not last long as 5,341 came out to watch the Buckeyes down the sixth-ranked Wolverines, 16-15, Feb. 10. 

NO. 130
Buckeye head coach Tom Ryan earned his 130th career win after Ohio State’s 24-11 win over Penn State in the fifth-place matchup of the 2008 NWCA Cliff Keen National Duals Jan. 13.

In two seasons at Ohio State, Ryan has compiled a 27-11 record. Prior to his tenure with the Buckeyes, Ryan was the head coach at Hofstra and tallied a 109-82 mark.

When the Buckeyes were last invited to the National Duals in 2004, they went 0-2 in the event, losing to Oklahoma, 30-12, and Cornell, 21-20, in Cleveland, Ohio.

However, Ohio State rebounded in the 2008 National Duals, recording a 4-1 mark to finish fifth. The Buckeyes’ record this season was their best finish since taking second (3-1) in 2002 and was their first four-win outing since 1992.

Not only did Ohio State knock off the No. 1 team in the nation in Penn State at the 2008 National Duals Jan. 13, but the Buckeyes also defeated nationally ranked Hofstra (No. 12) and Northwestern (No. 9).

Eight of Ohio State’s 19 victories have been come-from-behind acts. Ohio State overcame two-point deficits three different times to beat sixth-ranked Michigan, 16-15, Feb. 10 in St. John Arena.

Against No. 16 Indiana Feb. 1, the Buckeyes trailed by seven points before beating the Hoosiers, 20-13.

After falling behind by as much as nine points on two occasions against No. 8 Penn State Jan. 25, the Buckeyes took their only lead for the 22-19 win courtesy of a pin in the final bout by redshirt-junior J Jaggers at 141 pounds.   

Ohio State gave up nine points in the first three matches against Hofstra at the 2008 NWCA Cliff Keen National Duals, but won the next five of seven bouts for a 25-16 victory.

Also at the National Duals, the Buckeyes were down early to Northwestern, 3-0, but prevailed, 19-17.

Down by a point in two separate instances to Big Ten Conference opponent Wisconsin (Dec. 10), Ohio State finished on top, 23-13.

On the road at Kent State, the Buckeyes trailed by six after the first two bouts before shutting out the Golden Flashes the rest of the way to win, 27-6.

Behind six points against Cumberland at the Chattanooga Duals Nov. 10, the Buckeyes came back to win, 39-16.
Ohio State has outscored its opponents 661-279 during its 23 dual matches. The Buckeyes also hold the advantage in five team scoring categories.

Ohio State has 74 decisions for 222 points compared to its opponents’ 56 decisions for 168 points. Thirty-three major decisions (132 points) have been credited to the Buckeyes, while their challengers have 14 major decisions (56 points). Ohio State also has 14 technical falls for 70 points, while the competition has two technical falls for 10 points. The Buckeyes have compiled 37 falls for 222 points compared to six falls for their opponents (36 points). Ohio State has been credited with 18 points because of three opponent forfeits, while the opposition has six forfeit points.

Members of the team served as tournament officials at the OURWAY Youth Tournament Feb. 10 in French Field House. Fifteen Buckeyes Ross Ambrose, Robel Campbell, Jason Cook, Eric DiAgosta, T.J. Enright, Will Livingston, Dominic Mehling, Corey Morrison, Sean Nemec, Tommy Priestley, Jeremy Sanders, Owen Schaefer, Zach Stolarsky, Nickolai Timbs, Bo Touris and Pat Zamaria   took part in the community service initiative that featured 450 youth wrestlers from the Central Ohio area.

Ohio State will travel to the 2008 NCAA Wrestling Championships, March 20-22, at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.