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No. 4 Ohio State earns 18-13 win over No. 14 Virginia Tech in Columbus

by Dan Wallenburg, Ohio State Athletics, and Virginia Tech Athletics

Malik Heinzelman (Ohio State) after victory over Eddie Ventresca (Virginia Tech)
Malik Heinzelman (Ohio State) after victory over Eddie Ventresca (Virginia Tech). Photo courtesy of Ohio State Athletics


COLUMBUS, Ohio – No. 4 Ohio State (1-0) earned an 18-13 win over No. 14 Virginia Tech (0-1) Friday in the opening dual competition of the season for both teams at the Covelli Center (Attendance: 3,800).

How it Happened

149 | No. 27 Caleb Henson (VT) def. No. 2 Sammy Sasso (OSU) | D, 5-3

The match started with Sasso recording a takedown with about 20 seconds left in the first period for a 2-0 lead. The lead increased to 3-0 with a Sasso escape to start the second. Henson scored with an escape early in the third and tied the match (3-3) with a takedown with less than 25 seconds left. In sudden victory, Henson scored the takedown to win by decision, 5-3.


157 | No. 22 Paddy Gallagher (OSU) def. Clayton Ulrey (VT) | D, 14-8

Ulrey scored first with a takedown after which Gallagher quickly escaped. After another takedown, Ulrey led 4-1. Gallagher then scored a reversal to make it 4-3. After a Gallagher escape to start the second, it was tied at 4-all. Ulrey then added a takedown followed by a Gallagher escape to make it 6-5 VT. Gallagher then scored a takedown and added four back points to take an 11-6 lead into the third. Gallagher finished off the match for a 14-8 win by decision.


165 | No. 6 Carson Kharchla (OSU) def. No. 29 Connor Brady (VT) | D, 3-1

A takedown near the end of the first put Kharchla on the board for the 2-0 lead. Brady escaped to start the second and Kharchla did as well opening the third to lead 3-1 and the win by decision.


174 | No. 2 Mekhi Lewis (VT) def. No. 6 Ethan Smith (OSU) | D, 3-2

A Lewis takedown followed by a Smith escape put the Hokies up a point after the first. Smith tied it with an escape to start the second. Lewis took a 3-2 lead with an escape opening the third. The score held for the Virginia Tech win by decision.


184 | No. 4 Kaleb Romero (OSU) def. No. 9 Hunter Bolen (VT) | D, 4-2

Romero scored the takedown 40 seconds into the first for the 2-0 lead. Bolen escaped to end the period down 2-1. Bolen tied it at 2-all with an escape opening the second and the score held with one period left. Romero escaped quickly for a point and the lead. A penalty point for stalling made it 4-2 Romero for the win by decision.


197 | No. 14 Gavin Hoffman (OSU) def. Andy Smith (VT) | D, 4-1

After the intermission, Hoffman got things restarted with a takedown about 30 seconds into the first period for a 2-0 lead. After an injury stoppage for Smith, Hoffman chose down and escaped for a 3-0 advantage after three minutes. Smith escaped early in the second followed by a Hoffman escape to open the third to make it 4-1 Buckeyes. That score held for the Hoffman win by decision.


285 | No. 7 Tate Orndorff (OSU) vs. No. 18 Hunter Catka (VT) | D, 3-1

Catka took a 1-0 lead on an escape to start the second after a scoreless first period. Tate escaped as well in the third and scored the winning takedown in the final seconds to earn the win by decision, 3-1.


125 | No. 11 Malik Heinselman (OSU) def. No. 25 Eddie Ventresca (VT) | D, 3-2

There was no score after the first. Heinselman escaped in the second and then added a takedown followed by a Ventresca escape for a 3-1 Ohio State lead. Ventresca escaped to cut the lead to one, 3-2. The score held for the Heinselman win by decision, 3-2.


133 | No. 19 Sam Latona (VT) def. No. 11 Jesse Mendez (OSU) | D, 3-2

After a scoreless first, Mendez escaped to start the second for a 1-0 lead. Latona scored a takedown followed by a Mendez escape to tie it at 2-all going into the third. Latona escaped to take a 3-2 lead in the third to win by decision, 3-2.


141 | No. 16 Tom Cook (VT) def. Nic Bouzakis (OSU) | MD, 14-6

Bouzakis scored early in the first with a takedown. Cook recorded the escape and a takedown for a 3-1 lead. Bouzakis then scored a reversal followed by a Cook escape to tie it 4-all. Cook went up 6-4 with a late takedown for a 6-4 leading heading into the second. Bouzakis escaped and Cook added a takedown to make it 8-5 Hokies with two minutes to go. Cook added an escape and a takedown early in the third and finished off the match to win by major decision, 14-6


Ohio State 18, Virginia Tech 13

149 | No. 27 Caleb Henson (VT) def. No. 2 Sammy Sasso (OSU) | D, 5-3

157 | No. 22 Paddy Gallagher (OSU) def. Clayton Ulrey (VT) | D, 14-8

165 | No. 6 Carson Kharchla (OSU) def. No. 29 Connor Brady (VT) | D, 3-1

174 | No. 2 Mekhi Lewis (VT) def. No. 6 Ethan Smith (OSU) | D, 3-2

184 | No. 4 Kaleb Romero (OSU) def. No. 9 Hunter Bolen (VT) | D, 4-2

197 | No. 14 Gavin Hoffman (OSU) def. Andy Smith (VT) | D, 4-1

285 | No. 7 Tate Orndorff (OSU) def. No. 18 Hunter Catka (VT) | D, 3-1

125 | No. 11 Malik Heinselman (OSU) def. No. 25 Eddie Ventresca (VT) | D, 3-2

133 | No. 19 Sam Latona (VT) def. No. 11 Jesse Mendez (OSU) | D, 3-2

141 | No. 16 Tom Crook (VT) def. Nic Bouzakis (OSU) | MD, 18-14
Next Up:

No. 4 Ohio State is back at the Covelli Center Nov. 18 vs. Columbia. Match time is 7 p.m. with B1G+ providing the live stream.

Virginia Tech release

Hokies fall in dual season opener



BLACKSBURG – The Virginia Tech wrestling team won four bouts against No. 4 Ohio State but fell short, 13-18. The Hokies were highlighted by wins from returning national finalist No. 2 Mekhi Lewis and upset wins from No. 19 Sam Latona, No. 16 Tom Crook, and a big victory for No. 29 Caleb Henson.


Hokies' freshman sensation, No. 29 Caleb Henson, started the dual with an electric upset victory over No. 2 Sammy Sasso begin the top-10 dual at 149-pounds. Henson was furious on his attacks in the first, but gave up a takedown in the opening period with under :30 on the clock. An escape for Henson in the second closed the gap for the freshman. Henson continued to pepper attacks throughout the period but couldn't finish as time expired in the second period. Sasso selected bottom to begin the third period and earned an escape to increase his lead 3-1. Henson continued on the attack and finished an attack on the edge to tie the bout with :20 remaining and to push the match to sudden victory. Henson went to work early with a single leg leading to a Sasso counter to a scramble. Henson secured the victory in his first collegiate start as he continued to finish with a counter through the middle.


Picking up the second Hokies' win was returning national finalist No. 2 Mekhi Lewis over No. 6 Ethan Smith. It was a tactical match by both wrestlers with Lewis securing the lone takedown of the bout in the first period. Smith secured an escape after the Lewis takedown to close the gap 2-1 as the opening period expired. Both wrestlers would trade escapes in the ensuing periods with Lewis' takedown being the deciding factor to take the bout 3-2 at 174-pounds.


At 133-pounds, redshirt junior Sam Latona – ranked No. 19 in the country – secured the second Hokie upset of the evening, dispatching highly-heralded freshman No. 11 Jesse Mendez by decision, 3-2. Latona secured the lone takedown of the bout in the opening period in the final minute of the first period. Both picked up escapes at the start of the second and third period to keep the match within a point. Latona continued on the attack through the match, but couldn't secure the finish. Latona rebounded from his 4-1 outing last weekend to secure his first ranked victory of the season.


Capping off the Hokies' night at 141-pounds was freshman No. 16 Tom Crook over fellow freshman, Nic Bouzakis – the No. 3 recruit from the 2022 Class – with a dominant 14-6 major decision. Bouzakis scored the first score of the bout but it was all Crook, racking up six takedowns throughout the bout. Crook follows his dominating performance from last week's Southeast Open where he went 4-0 en route to winning his first title.


The No. 10 Hokies return to action on November 20 at the Keystone Classic in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


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