2008 NCAA Wrestling Championships
St. Louis, Mo.
2008 Ohio State NCAA Qualifiers
125-Nikko Triggas (18-16)
133-No. 17 Reece Humphrey (24-9)
141-No. 7J Jaggers (25-6)
149-No. 7 Lance Palmer (23-8)
157-Jason Johnstone (16-17)
184-No. 2 Mike Pucillo (29-1)
285-No. 2 J.D. Bergman (29-2)
COLUMBUS, Ohio Seven members of the ninth-ranked Ohio State wrestling team will compete in the 2008 NCAA Wrestling Championships Thursday-Saturday at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.
After finishing in the Top 7 of their respective weight classes at the Big Ten championships March 8-9, Nikko Triggas (125), Reece Humphrey (133), J Jaggers (141), Lance Palmer (149), Jason Johnstone (157), Mike Pucillo (184) and J.D. Bergman (285) will wrestle before the crowd on the national stage.
2008 NCAA Championships Schedule
Noon ET – Session I
7:30 p.m. ET – Session II
11 a.m. ET – Session III
7 p.m. ET – Session IV
11 a.m. ET – Session V
8:05 p.m. ET – Parade of All-Americans
8:30 p.m. ET – Session VI
ESPNU/ESPN360.com will air the quarterfinals live at 11 a.m. ET Friday. Additionally, ESPNU will produce and syndicate live coverage of the semifinals beginning at 7 p.m. ET Friday. ESPNU will carry the medal rounds live at 11 a.m. ET Saturday. ESPN/ESPN360.com will air the championships live later that evening at 8:30 p.m. ET.
CHAMPIONSHIPS UPDATES, RESULTS
For the latest information on the NCAA championships, including bracket updates and tickets, log on to www.ncaasports.com.
61 PLUS 7
With 61 All-America honorees, Ohio State looks to expand its list to 68 after qualifying seven wrestlers to the NCAA championships.
Senior heavyweight J.D. Bergman is seeking his third All-America laurel after earning the coveted honor as a freshman in 2004 and as a junior last season.
Buckeyes hoping for their second All-America honor are redshirt-junior J Jaggers, sophomore Lance Palmer and redshirt-sophomore Mike Pucillo.
Redshirt-junior Jason Johnstone and freshman Nikko Triggas will compete for their first All-America selections.
THE MORE THE MERRIER
The seven Buckeye NCAA qualifiers are the most since 2003 when Ohio State also sent seven wrestlers to the national championships. The Buckeyes finished 15th that season.
For the fifth-consecutive season, Ohio State has qualified at least one freshman to the NCAA championships. The streak began in 2004 when J.D. Bergman advanced in the 197-pound weight class. Bergman would go on to finish third.
In 2005, T.J. Enright qualified at 133 pounds as a redshirt-freshman, while Kirk Nail was a heavyweight qualifier.
Reece Humphrey (133) and redshirt-freshmen J Jaggers (149) and Blake Maurer (164) were qualifiers in 2006.
Last season, the Buckeyes sent Lance Palmer (149) and redshirt-freshman Mike Pucillo (184) to the national championships and both earned All-America honors in their debut.
BUCKEYE FRESHMEN ALL-AMERICANS
Seven Buckeye freshmen have earned All-America honors in their first full-year of collegiate wrestling.
Jeff Golz (1979-80) was the first member of the Ohio State wrestling program to earn All-America laurels as a freshman in 1980. Rick Burton became an All-American in 1983, his lone year competing with the Scarlet and Gray. Kevin Randleman (1991-93) earned his first of three honors in 1991, while current assistant coach Tommy Rowlands (2001-04) compiled his first of four All-America laurels in 2001. Now-senior J.D. Bergman became a freshman All-American in 2004. Last year, current Buckeyes Lance Palmer and Mike Pucillo were added to the list.
GOING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
Buckeye head coach Tom Ryan recorded the best second-year win-loss total of any Ohio State head coach in the 87-year history of the program.
Ryan and the Buckeyes went 19-4 during the regular season, including a 6-2 mark in the Big Ten Conference. This ledger followed an 8-7 dual record and 4-4 mark in the league by Ryan and Ohio State in 2006-07.
All-Time Ohio State Second-Year Coaching Records
Coach Year Record Percentage
Al Haft 1922 3-3-0 .500
Bernard Mooney 1927 4-3-0 .571
Bernard Mooney 1946 2-3-0 .400
Casey Fredericks 1949 3-5-0 .375
Chris Ford 1978 7-11-0 .389
Russ Hellickson 1988 16-6-0 .727
Tom Ryan 2008 19-4-0 .826
A LOOK BACK AT BIG TENS
Ohio State finished fifth with 92.5 points in the 2008 Big Ten Championships March 8-9 in Williams Arena in Minneapolis, Minn.
Redshirt-sophomore Mike Pucillo was a conference champion as the No. 1-seed at 184 pounds, going 4-0 at the event. Pucillo now will seek his second All-America honor.
In all, the Buckeyes qualified seven wrestlers to the NCAA championships with Top 7 finishes in their respective weight classes. Finishing second in the heavyweight division was senior J.D. Bergman. It was Bergman’s third runner-up finish at the Big Ten championships in his five-year career with the Scarlet and Gray. In 2004 and 2007, Bergman finished second at 197 pounds.
In his best outing at the league championships, redshirt-junior J Jaggers was third at 141 pounds. Jaggers lost his first-round bout to No. 6-seed Manuel Rivera of Minnesota, but rebounded with four-consecutive wins for his Top 3 standing.
Redshirt-junior Jason Johnstone became an first-time NCAA qualifier when he finished fourth at 157 pounds.
Freshman Nikko Triggas and sophomore Lance Palmer were sixth at 125 and 149 pounds, respectively. Triggas will try to secure All-America honors in his first appearance at nationals like Palmer did in 2007.
At 133 pounds, redshirt-sophomore Reece Humphrey will make his second appearance at nationals following his seventh-place finish.
ALL-BIG TEN TEAM
Redshirt-sophomore Mike Pucillo was named to the 2008 All-Big Ten team following his championship performance at the conference championships March 8-9 in Williams Arena in Minneapolis, Minn.
THE WAITING GAME
Mike Pucillo, a redshirt-sophomore (184), was the Buckeyes’ first Big Ten champion since Tommy Rowlands, an OSU assistant coach, captured the heavyweight crown in 2004. Rowlands also was a Big Ten champion in 2002. During those same years, Rowlands went on to win national titles.
PEAKING AT JUST THE RIGHT TIME
Redshirt-junior J Jaggers enters the NCAA championships a winner of 10 of his last 11 matches. Prior to the conference championships, Jaggers was on a six-match win streak. After losing his first-round match at the Big Ten championships, Jaggers won four-consecutive bouts to finish third.
Jaggers’ regular-season 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 the 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 10 Top 20 wrestlers, including Strayer twice.
Ohio State finished the regular season with a 19-4 overall record and a 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 are the most 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 Big Ten champion Iowa, which went perfect in conference action (8-0) and had a 21-1 overall record.
IN THE RANKINGS
In the final edition of the USA Today/InterMat/NWCA Division I Coaches Polls (March 12), Ohio State is ninth.
Six Buckeyes are ranked in the Top 20 of the individual polls:
133-No. 17 Reece Humphrey
141-No. 7 J Jaggers
149-No. 7 Lance Palmer
184-No. 2 Mike Pucillo
285-No. 2 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 the NCAA championships with a 29-2 overall record, including a 22-1 dual mark and 7-1 ledger in tournament action. Bergman was the heavyweight champion at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational in December and later was runner-up at the Big Ten championships.
Pucillo begins his run at nationals with a 29-1 overall record and 21-0 mark in dual competition. Of his 29 wins, six have come via fall. He also has won by a technical fall six times and a major decision six times.
En route to his perfect dual record, Pucillo has defeated 10 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.
JOINING THE ELITE
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 125-35 career record, is one of just 16 Buckeyes who have reached the century mark.
With his 125 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 29-2 record in 2007-08, Bergman moved up a spot to 11th with a career winning percentage of .781, 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.
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. 125
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
ALL HE DOES IS WIN
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 29 victories (2 losses) 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
Total: 125-35 (.781)
ANOTHER DAY ON THE JOB
In the Buckeyes’ matchup against Chattanooga during the Chattanooga Duals Nov. 11, senior heavyweight 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.
A TREND WORTH REPEATING
For the second-consecutive year, a Buckeye 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.
J JAGGERS NAMED BIG TEN WRESTLER OF THE WEEK
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 (25-6) 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 beat a Top 20 wrestler. Of his eight wins over a ranked grappler, three came via fall.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
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 29-1 overall record and a perfect dual mark of 21-0, met Michigan’s Tyrel Todd for the second of three times this season Feb. 10. The second-ranked Todd handed Pucillo his lone loss of the regular 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.
The two wrestlers met for a third time in the final of the 2008 Big Ten Championships and again it was a close match, but Pucillo was able to come out on top, 4-3.
THE HALFWAY POINT
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.
CAREER BEST FOR JAGGERS
Redshirt-junior J Jaggers has recorded a career-best 10 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. He tallied his 10th fall in the Big Ten championships against No. 7-seed Keith Sulzer of Northwestern.
IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME
Ohio State broke 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.
Buckeye head coach Tom Ryan earned his 130th career win after Ohio State’s 24-11 victory 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).
In all, Ohio State defeated eight Top 25 teams in 2007-08. The Scarlet and Gray also beat No. 10 Wisconsin, No. 8 Penn State, No. 16 Indiana, No. 6 Michigan and No. 14 Edinboro.
Eight of Ohio State’s 19 victories were 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.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Ohio State outscored its opponents 661-279 during its 23 dual matches. The Buckeyes also held the advantage in five team scoring categories.
Ohio State recorded 74 decisions for 222 points compared to its opponents’ 56 decisions for 168 points. Thirty-three major decisions (132 points) were credited to the Buckeyes, while their challengers had 14 major decisions (56 points). Ohio State also had 14 technical falls for 70 points, while the competition had two technical falls for 10 points. The Buckeyes compiled 37 falls for 222 points compared to six falls for their opponents (36 points). Ohio State was credited with 18 points because of three opponent forfeits, while the opposition had six forfeit points.
POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE
Four current and former Buckeyes received their degrees at winter commencement March 16 at the Schottenstein Center on the Ohio State University campus.
Senior heavyweight J.D. Bergman, who is looking to garner his third All-America laurel at the 2008 NCAA Championships Thursday-Saturday, received his bachelor’s degree in communication.
Alex Picazo earned his bachelor’s degree in business, while Tommy Priestley received his bachelor’s degree in political science.
Chris Vondruska, who wrestled for Ohio State in 2007, received his master’s degree in education.
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.