PARK RIDGE, IL - The preliminary seeds for the 2004 Big Ten Wrestling Championships were announced today by Conference officials. The pre-seeds are determined by a vote amongst the League's head wrestling coaches after consideration of regular-season results. The 2004 Big Ten Wrestling Championships will take place on Saturday, March 6, and Sunday, March 7, at St. John Arena on the campus of The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. The Championships bracket will be set on Friday, March 5.
Iowa leads the way with three No. 1 pre-seeds as Luke Eustice (125 lbs.), Cliff Moore (141 lbs.) and Tyler Nixt (174 lbs.) earned the top spots in their respective divisions. Moore is the defending Big Ten champion at 141 lbs., while Nixt was a runner-up in 2003.
Michigan, Illinois and Ohio State each have a pair of No. 1 preliminary seeds entering the Championships. The Wolverines and Illini tied in Big Ten dual standings this season with 7-1 League records. Michigan's Foley Dowd (133 lbs.) and Ryan Churella (149 lbs.) are among the top seeds, along with Illinois' Alex Tirapelle (157 lbs.) and Brian Glynn (184 lbs.). Tirapelle was ranked No. 1 in the nation in his weight class according to Intermat last week, as was Ohio State's Tommy Rowlands, the League's No. 1 pre-seed in the heavyweight division. John Clark (165 lbs.) is the Buckeyes' other No. 1 pre-seed.
Minnesota's Damion Hahn, the defending Big Ten champion at 197-lbs., rounds out the list of top pre-seeds. Hahn will lead the Golden Gophers in their attempt to record a fourth-consecutive Big Ten Championships crown. Minnesota (126.5 points) held off Iowa (121 points) last year to capture the 2003 team title.
Tickets may be purchased by contacting the Ohio State Athletic Ticket Office at 1-800-GO BUCKS or on-line at www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com. The Ohio State Athletic Ticket Office is located in the southeast rotunda of the Jerome Schottenstein Center and is open Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET.
The complete list of pre-seeds follows.
2004 BIG TEN WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS PRELIMINARY SEEDS