Coming off victories against Maryland and Rutgers, No. 2 Ohio State (8-0, 3-0 Big Ten) faces off against No. 14 Minnesota (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten) at 7 p.m. Friday at the Schottenstein Center.
Minnesota defeated Michigan State Sunday, and has seven wrestlers on InterMat’s top 20 individual class rankings. One potential matchup that would highlight the night involves No. 4 Ethan Lizak of Minnesota, who will likely wrestle against Ohio State’s No. 1 Nathan Tomasello at 125 pounds.
“That’s probably the premier matchup of the night,” Ohio State head coach Tom Ryan said.
Tomasello made his season debut against Maryland, winning 18-2 by technical fall, but sat out the Buckeyes’ next meet against Rutgers. He missed the first couple months of the season with a right knee injury.
Ohio State junior Te’Shan Campbell and Minnesota senior Nick Wanzek will square off at 165 pounds. They come in ranked 13th and 9th, respectively. Campbell lost to Rutgers’ No. 12 Richie Lewis by decision 5-2 in his last matchup.
Redshirt sophomore Ke-Shawn Hayes also lost by decision against Rutgers, when No. 12 Eleazar DeLuca got the best of him in a 12-7 decision. Hayes is No. 6 in the 149-pound division, and will likely face redshirt junior Steve Bleise Friday.
At 174 pounds, redshirt senior Bo Jordan looks to build off of his 3-0 win vs. Rutgers’ Joseph Grello. Friday’s meet marks the first of two meets at the Schottenstein Center. Usually the team’s home matches are at St. John Arena.
“I haven’t wrestled in the Schott a whole lot since I’ve been in college, but a few times, and did a lot in high school, so it’s good to get back in that venue,” Jordan said.
His brother, No. 6 Micah Jordan, will take on Minnesota’s No. 18 Jake Short at 157 pounds.
“[Short’s] like a veteran, he’s been in the sport a while, so I’ll be pumped up for that match,” Micah Jordan said.
Ohio State junior Joey McKenna will compete against Minnesota junior Tommy Thorn at 141 pounds. McKenna is coming off a win by major decision against Rutgers, and is a perfect 6-0 on the season. Both McKenna and Thorn are inside the top 11.
“Every single week I’ve seen his progression, and Joey McKenna with energy? Watch out,” Ryan said.
Ohio State sophomore Luke Pletcher will likely wrestle Minnesota sophomore Mitchell McKee at 133 pounds. The matchup between the two second-year wrestlers will be a chance for a pair of young up-and-comers to showcase their talents. Pletcher is already up to No. 2 and has yet to lose this season.
“They’ve seen each other before in high school. I don’t believe they’ve wrestled yet in college, but that will be a real big one for us at 133,” Ryan said.
Ohio State completes its lineup with junior Myles Martin at 184 pounds, redshirt sophomore Kollin Moore at 197 pounds and senior heavyweight Kyle Snyder.
Ohio State men’s wrestling team will finally be at full health, and is getting into the meat of its schedule, with dual meets coming up against No. 7 Iowa on Jan. 21 and No. 22 Purdue on Jan. 28 at the Jordan brothers’ former high school, St. Paris Graham High School in St. Paris, Ohio.