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Buckeyes Travel to Las Vegas Invitational Friday



Columbus, Ohio The No. 18 Ohio State wrestling team will look to rebound from a tough dual loss to No. 2 Iowa State when it takes to the road to compete in the Las Vegas Invitational at Primm, Nev. "We feel we should have won that meet with Iowa State," Russ Hellickson, OSU coach, said. "We have to use that feeling and compete well at Las Vegas. We were so close to beating a legit Top 4 team and we know we are capable of coming back from the loss." High-Rollers The Buckeyes will face some of the best competition in the collegiate ranks at Las Vegas. "I think that we will see about 50-percent of the top wrestlers in the nation at the event," Hellickson said. "The competition will be very tough and we will use this experience to gauge where we are as individuals." Scouting Las Vegas The event will be run as an individual competition with winning wrestlers advancing in the brackets. Each school is allowed one wrestler per weight class. If a wrestler places in the Top 8 in his weight class, he earns team points. The school that accumulates the most points will be crowned as the team champion. Hellickson expects to see some of the top teams from the west coast, the kind of teams his wrestlers are not accustomed to competing against. "This will be a good event for us because we do not normally wrestle some of the top teams from the west," Hellickson said. "I think that we can expect to see four or five of our [10] wrestlers place in the event with a few of them being finalists. If that happens, we would finish in the Top 10 out of the 45 teams there. Last Time Out The Buckeyes dropped their first dual meet and home meet of the season to No. 2 Iowa State, 22-16, at St. John Arena. The meet started in the 149-lb. weight class and No. 19 Keaton Anderson (So., Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington) gave OSU a 3-0 team lead when he defeated No. 7 Billy Maldanado, 5-4. OSU dropped the next four matches by major decisions before Nick Preston (Jr., Columbus, Ohio/DeSales) scored a 4-3 overtime victory to pull the Buckeyeswithin 10 points. No. 8 Tommy Rowlands (Fr., Columbus, Ohio/Bishop Ready) brought the crowd to its feet when he scored a pin-fall over No. 7 Mark Knauer at 6:59 in the match. No. 12 Kore Sharpley (Sr., Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights) won his match at the 125-lb weight class to bring the Buckeyes and Cyclones to 16-16 tie. OSU could not hold on, however, as it dropped its remaining two matches and fell 22-16. Hellickson on the OSU-ISU meet "We let it get away. We were capable of more than what we did out there. We wrestled some great matches but just did not get it done down the stretch. That was an awfully good wrestling team we competed against." Next Time Out OSU will again be on the road for its next competition. The Buckeyes will travel to Lincoln, Neb. Friday, Dec. 9, to tangle with the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks, Oregon State Beavers and the host Huskers of Nebraska. The event will begin at noon.
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