Seven Champions Crowned at Eastern Michigan Open
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The season-opening Eastern Michigan Open was full of Scarlet and Gray on Saturday, as seven Buckeyes were crowned champions, three finished in second place, one was a third-place finisher and one came in fifth.
The list of Ohio State champions was led by seniors Johnni DiJulius and Mark Martin, but followed closely by a young group of Buckeyes that are quickly turning heads. Four of the seven champions were either freshmen or redshirt freshmen, namely Micah Jordan (redshirt freshman), Cody Burcher (redshirt freshman), Jake Ryan (redshirt freshman) and Myles Martin (true freshman). Nick Tavanello also took home the 285 lb. championship with a win over teammate Thomas Haines.
"A strong start to the season," said head coach Tom Ryan. "I think our overall depth was what stood out. The environment in the room right now is exactly what a man needs to really grow and learn. We must continue to learn and grow as we gear up for more challenging competition."
DiJulius (133 lbs.), a redshirt senior who three time previously has qualified for the NCAA Tournament, started out his final season with four wins, giving him 101 in his career. All of his victories were by decision, the final one coming over Anthony Tutolo of Kent State in the championship match.
Jordan, a four-time Ohio State high school state champion who was 31-3 last year in open tournaments while redshirting, was dominant at 141 lbs. in his run to the title, picking up three pins and a tech fall before winning the championship match by medical default of fellow Buckeye Hayes. His fastest fall came in 4:06 over Malik Amine of Michigan.
Burcher, who wrestled in 18 matches during open tournaments last year, was the 149 lb. champion thanks to an overtime victory in the semifinals (7-5) over Austin Thompson and Michigan State and then a tight 3-1 decision over Isaac Reinemann of Illinois in the finals. Burcher also picked up a fall (1:58) and major decision on the day, winning a total of six matches.
Ryan, at 157 lbs., also won six matches on Saturday, three via bonus points. His preliminary round match was a tech fall (16-1), followed by a decision in the first round, major decision in the second round, technical fall in the quarterfinals and decisions in both the semifinals and finals. Ryan ousted Carver James of Illinois in the finals, 12-6.
Martin, one of the top-ranked recruits nationally last year, won five matches at 174 lbs. and looked good doing it, picking up a tech fall in the opening round, fall in the quarterfinals, major decision in the semifinals and then gutting out a 7-5 decision over Nate Jackson of Indiana in the finals.
Mark Martin (197 lbs.), a senior, was 4-0 on the day and won all four of his matches via bonus points. Tech falls in the first and second round sent him into the quarterfinals where he then picked up a 12-3 major decision over Dominic Carfagno of Bloomsburg. In the semifinals, he racked up 13 points for a major decision over Jimmy Szep of Central Michigan. Martin won by medical forfeit over fellow Buckeye Moore in the finals.
Tavanello (285 lbs.), a NCAA at-large selection last year who missed a large portion of the season due to injury, looked to be in good form as he won his opening round match by technical fall (16-1) and then pinned Rider's Mike Siwiec in just 1:27 to move into the quarterfinals. From there, he won by major decision over Terrence Cheeks of Edinboro, by fall over Jacob Aven of Purdue in the semifinals and completed his day by edging fellow Buckeyes Haines in the finals, 5-3.
The home dual match schedule for the 2015-16 Buckeyes gets underway on Friday when No. 5 Ohio State hosts Virginia. Prior to the match, the team will unveil championship banners for Logan Stieber and Nathan Tomasello as well as the 2015 NCAA team national championship.
EASTERN MICHIGAN OPEN
Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015
Ohio State Highlights
Champions: DiJulius (133), M. Jordan (141), Burcher (149), Ryan (157), Myles Martin (174), Mark Martin (197), Tavanello (285).
Second Place: Hayes (141), Haines (285), Moore (197).
Third Place: Courts (184)
Fifth: O'Hara (197)
Buckeye vs. Buckeye finals: 141 lbs., 285 lbs., 197 lbs.