Illini Send Three to Semifinals at B1G Championships
March 9, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The Fighting Illini advanced three wrestlers to the semifinals at the 2013 Big Ten Championships after session one at Assembly Hall on Saturday. No. 3 seed Jesse Delgado (125), No. 6 seed Jordan Blanton (174) and No. 2 seed Conrad Polz (165) all advanced in the championship bracket, while Illinois' remaining seven wrestlers are still competing in the consolation bracket. The Illini sit in fifth place with 33.0 team points.
Delgado started the Illini's action with a pin in 4:10 over Nebraska's Eric Coufal then earned a 10-2 major decision over No. 6 Camden Eppert of Purdue to reach the semifinals. After receiving a first-round bye, Polz followed with a 8-2 decision over No. 7 seed Ryan LeBlanc from Indiana. At 174, Blanton majored No. 11 Jordan Wohlfert of Michigan State 10-0 and then defeated No. 3 Robert Kokesh of Nebraska by an 8-2 decision to reach tonight's action.
Delgado will face No. 2 seed Nico Megaludis, the only Big Ten opponent the Illini grappler dropped a bout to during the conference season this year. At 165, Polz will wrestle No. 3 Taylor Massa of Michigan as the duo meet for the first time this year. Blanton will take on No. 2 Mike Evans of Iowa in the semifinals. The two have met with Evans winning by a 2-1 decision earlier in the season.
Steven Rodrigues (141), Caleb Ervin (149), Matt Nora (157), Tony Dallago (184) and Mario Gonzalez (197) dropped their first bouts of the day. Rodrigues dropped a 3-1 decision to No. 7 Pat Greco of Northwestern while Nora was defeated by No. 2 Jason Welch of Northwestern by a 7-2 decision. Ervin, Dallago and Gonzalez had first-round byes but Ervin was pinned by No. 3 Dylan Ness in 4:06 while No. 3 Josh Ihnen (Nebraska) took down the 184 pounder by a 7-5 decision. Gonzalez was defeated by No. 6 Nathan Burak (Iowa) by a 3-2 decision.
This year is the 99th edition of the Big Ten Wrestling Championships. Session II resumes at 5 p.m. CT tonight with a round of consolation matches, followed by a combined round of semifinals and consolation matches. Get all the information for the conference championships on the championship central page here.
Team Standings After Session 1