Recap by Curt Heinrichs
As Head Coach Tom Ryan told me in an interview previewing the dual, Ohio State’ s match with Penn State last Sunday did indeed come down to bonus points. The young wrestling Buckeyes were able to keep the defending NCAA champion Nittany Lions within striking distance throughout the match, but were outscored 29-18 at the conclusion of the dual meet.
The Senior Day festivities (honoring seniors Nikko Triggas, CJ Magrum, and Peter Capone) kicked off the day and followed shortly with #13 continuing a tough weekend with a loss to #2 ranked returning All-American and NCAA finalist Nico Megaludis. Megaludus won by a score of 9-1 and was able to put the Nittany Lions on top 4-0 with his major decision.
Following the quick start from Cael Sanderson’s PSU team, defending National Champion #1 ranked Logan Stieber and brother #2 ranked Hunter Stieber were able to make good on Ryan’s prediction that the Buckeyes would need bonus points out of each Stieber to have a chance at knocking off Penn State. Logan was able to pin Jordan Conaway and Hunter stuck Derek Reber, both in the 1st period of their respective matches, to give the Scarlet and Gray a 12-4 lead.
Returning All-American Cam Tessari has been up and down this season, but was able to earn a signature win for the 2012-2013 season, upsetting #7 ranked Andrew Alton. Tessari (a high school teammate of the Stiebers) utilized an impressive ride of Alton to earn the 1 point bonus for riding time.
Alton’s brother Dylan took to the mat at 157 lbs toting a #5 ranking in the country against the Buckeyes’ #19 Josh Demas. Alton took a close 4-3 decision, but the bout ended in controversy as it appeared that Demas had a cradle locked up, which would have given Demas 2 points and the match. Alton’s win cut the Buckeye lead to 15-7.
Buckeye freshman 165 lber Mark Martin was unable to derail the David Taylor Express, surrendering a pin at the end of the 1st period to the Ohio native, who wrestled at Graham High School before wrestling for Sanderson at Penn State.
Nick Heflin scored a mild upset when he knocked off PSU’s #5 ranked Matt Brown with a late takedown to earn the 3-2 decision. Heflin improved his record to 12-2 on the season with the win over Brown, the 2nd 3-2 decision in favor of Heflin on the weekend.
In another match where Coach Tom Ryan said the Buckeyes needed to avoid giving up bonus points (the other being at 165), senior CJ Magrum was unable to fight off a pin from defending NCAA champ Ed Ruth as Ruth gave the Nittany Lions the lead 19-18, a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Former NCAA champion Quentin Wright was able to earn a major decision over Buckeye Kenny Courts at 197 lbs before Jimmy Lawson took an injury default win over Buckeye Peter Capone to put a close to the dual meet. Heading into the heavyweight match, the Buckeyes were losing by a deficit of 5 points and a pin by Capone would have won the match. It wasn’t to be as Capone was losing before injuring a shoulder. The injury default gave the Nittany Lions 6 points and made the final score 29-18 in favor of Penn State.
The Wrestling Buckeyes ended the Big Ten Dual Season with a 5-3 record, good enough for 4th place in the conference. The Buckeyes will next be in action at the NWCA National Duals in Minneapolis on the 22nd and 23rd of February.