Top-seeded Jimmy Kennedy used a pair of major decisions to advance to the semifinals of the Big Ten Championships. He will meet Minnesota's fifth-seeded Mack Reiter in the semifinals.
March 8, 2008
Five Illini wrestlers advanced to the semifinals of the Big Ten Championships and Illinois is in third place as a team after session one held in front of 6,229 fans at Williams Arena on Saturday. No. 1 seeds Jimmy Kennedy and Mike Poeta, No. 3 seed Patrick Bond and No. 5 seeds Gabe Flores and Roger Smith-Bergsrud all won in the first session to remain in the championship bracket and all 10 Illini are alive in the tournament with five other Illinois grapplers are in the consolation bracket heading into session two, which begins at 6 p.m. Saturday.
The Illini started strong in the pigtail round, with Kennedy (133), Poeta (157), Smith-Bergsrud (165), No. 7 seed Ben Friedl (184) and Bond (197) winning their opening-round bouts, Friedl and Bond each earning major decisions. Flores (125) followed up those victories with a controlling upset win of his own, taking down No. 4 seed and fifth-ranked Brandon Precin (Northwestern), 6-0 in the 125-pound quarterfinals.
Kennedy followed with a 10-2 major decision over Penn State's eighth-seeded Tim Haas, but Michigan's top-seeded and fourth-ranked Kellen Russell earned a late escape against No. 8 seed and 15th-ranked Ryan Prater to get the 8-7 decision over the Illini rookie at 141.
At 149, Grant Paswall was pinned by Iowa's top-seeded and top-ranked Brent Metcalf, but Poeta fought back with a 15-3 thrashing of No. 8 seed John Fulger (Michigan St.) and Smith-Bergsrud got a 5-3 victory over Ohio State's fourth-seeded and No. 12 Colt Sponseller with a takedown 27 seconds into sudden-victory time.
But that's where things started to turn for the Illini as No. 5 seed and 15th-ranked John Dergo dropped a tough 5-3 decision to Northwestern's No. 5 seed and 12th-ranked Nick Hayes at 174, and No. 7 seed Ben Friedl took a 15-5 major decision loss from No. 2 seed and third-ranked Tyrel Todd (MICH).
Bond seemed to right the ship at 197 with an 11-3 major decision over Minnesota's sixth-seeded Justin Bronson, but No. 5 seed and 13th-ranked John Wise saw an early lead slip away in a 7-5 loss to fourth-seeded and sixth-ranked Matt Fields (IOWA).
The evening session comprises two rounds of consolation matches and the championship semifinals.
TEAM STANDINGS 1. Iowa 74.0 2. Minnesota 64.0 3. ILLINOIS 50.0 4. Michigan 46.0 5. Northwestern 39.5 6. Penn State 39.0 7. Wisconsin 29.0 8. Indiana 28.0 9. Ohio State 17.0 10. Michigan St. 12.0 11. Purdue 11.5 WEIGHT-BY-WEIGHT RESULTS 125: No. 5 seed, #8 Gabe Flores Quarterfinals: dec. No. 4 seed, #5 Brandon Precin (NU), 6-0 Up Next - Semifinals: No. 1 seed, #1 Jayson Ness (MINN) 133: No. 1 seed, #3 Jimmy Kennedy Pigtail: maj. dec. Eric Metzler (NU), 10-2 Quarterfinals: maj. dec. No. 8 seed Tim Haas (PSU), 10-2 Up Next - Semifinals: No. 5 seed, #9 Mack Reiter (MINN) 141: No. 8 seed, #15 Ryan Prater Quarterfinals: dec. by No. 1 seed, #4 Kellen Russell (MICH), 8-7 Up Next - Consolation Round 1: No. 2 seed, #5 Kyle Ruschell (WIS) 149: No. 8 seed Grant Paswall Quarterfinals: pinned by No. 1 seed, #1 Brent Metcalf (IOWA), 3:30 Up Next - Consolation Round 1: No. 7 seed, #11 Ryan Lang 157: No. 1 seed, #2 Mike Poeta Pigtail: dec. Andrew Nadhir (NU), 10-4 Quarterfinals: maj. dec. No. 8 seed John Fulger (MSU), 15-3 Up Next - Semifinals: No. 4 seed, #6 C.P. Schlatter 165: No. 5 seed Roger Smith-Bergsrud Pigtail: dec. Dominic Marella (NU), 6-2 Quarterfinals: dec. No. 4 seed, #12 Colt Sponseller (OSU), 5-3 (SV1) Up Next - Semifinals: No. 1 seed, #1 Mark Perry (IOWA) 174: No. 5 seed, #15 John Dergo Quarterfinals: dec. by No. 4-seed, #12 Nick Hayes (NU), 5-3 Up Next - Consolation Round 1: No. 6 seed, #16 Dave Erwin (PSU) 184: No. 7 seed Ben Friedl Pigtail: maj. dec. Adil Kolovic (NU), 11-2 Quarterfinals: maj. dec. by No. 2 seed, #3 Tyrel Todd (MICH), 15-5 Up Next - Consolation Round 1: Nick Palmieri (MSU) 197: No. 3 seed, #11 Patrick Bond Pigtail: maj. dec. Logan Brown (PUR), 14-6 Quarterfinals: maj. dec. No. 6 seed Justin Bronson (MINN), 11-3 Up Next - Semifinals: No. 2 seed, #3 Phil Davis (PSU) HWT: No. 5 seed, #13 John Wise Quarterfinals: dec. by No. 4 seed, #6 Matt Fields (IOWA), 7-5 Consolation Round 1: Bye Up Next - Consolation Quarterfinals: winner of Eddie Phillips (MICH)/Nate Everhart (IND)