After taking a 15-3 lead at the halfway mark, the No. 9 Ohio State wrestling team maintained its impressive performance and defeated Kent State, 27-6, Thursday night at the M.A.C. Center. With the win, the Buckeyes improve to 5-1 overall. The match vs. the Golden Flashes served as Ohio State’s final event of 2013. The Buckeyes will resume action Jan. 10 at Wisconsin, while their first home match of 2014 in St. John Arena is against Nebraska at 7 p.m. Jan. 24.
Redshirt freshman and 125 pounder Nick Roberts, polled No. 19 in the nation propelled Ohio State to a 5-0 lead after he shut out Del Vinas, 16-0. After two periods, Roberts took a commanding 9-0 lead over Vinas and added a pair of takedowns, back points and escape en route to his 19th win of the season.
Johnni DiJulius, the sixth-ranked 133-pounder in the nation, edged No. 19 Mack McGuire, 3-1, in the first tiebreaker. After a scoreless first period, DiJulius chose bottom and escaped to take a 1-0 lead. However, McGuire managed to accrue 1:17 of riding time to send the bout into overtime. As time expired in the extra session and both wrestlers still scoreless, McGuire chose top. It was not long after, DiJulius scored a reversal for a 3-1 lead and after preventing McGuire from escaping won his 16th match of the season.
With the Buckeyes winning, 8-0, redshirt junior and No. 3 Logan Stieber lifted Ohio State to a 12-0 advantage after recording a 10-0 major decision against No. 18 Tyler Small in the 141-pound match up. After owning a 9-0 lead heading into the third period, an escape in the third by Stieber gave the Buckeye his 10th win, all bonus point victories, of the season.
Up next, at 149 pounds, senior and No. 20 Ian Paddock was an 11-6 winner over 26th-ranked Mike DePalma. Paddock jumped out to a 5-0 lead after the first period on a takedown and 3-point nearfall. However, a trio of takedowns by DePalma in the second period cut Paddock’s lead to one at 7-6. Entering the final period with a 9-6 lead, Paddock sealed his 17th win of the season with a final takedown.
The Golden Flashes were able to get on the board behind No. 8 Ian Miller’s 11-4 win over redshirt junior Randy Languis in the 157-pound bout.
After a brief intermission, Kent State won its second-consecutive match of the evening when Tyler Buckwalter defeated Joe Grandominico, 9-5, at 165 pounds.
Ohio State answered the back-to-back setbacks with four consecutive victories from 174 pounds to heavyweight. In the 174-pound match up, Mark Martin beat No. 20 Caleb Marsh, 4-2. The Buckeye sophomore scored a takedown in the final seconds of the match to break a 2-2 tie and recorded his 17th win of the season. Not to be outdone, redshirt sophomore Kenny Courts, who is ranked 12th in the nation, won a dramatic 11-10 match vs. No. 17 Sam Wheeler. Up, 7-4, to start the third period, Courts gave up a reversal before escaping, putting the score at 8-6 in Courts’ favor. Wheeler tied the score on a takedown, but Courts escaped, holding on to a slim 9-8 advantage. Courts then scored a takedown, but Wheeler followed with a reversal, however it was not enough as Courts added his 18th victory of the season.
Fifth-ranked Nick Heflin was a 3-2 winner over Cole Baxter at 197 pounds. The Buckeye senior scored the winning takedown in the third period after both wrestlers were tied at one each. With Heflin up 3-1, Baxter scored an escape, but that was all he could managed. The win served as Heflin’s 10th of the season. Nick Tavanello’s 3-1 victory over Mimmo Lytle wrapped up the Buckeyes’ successful evening. After a scoreless first period, Tavanello chose bottom and escaped and with 10 seconds left in the period scored a takedown for a 3-0 lead. Lytle scored an escape in the third, but could not add any additional points as Tavanello won his 16th match of the season.