Illini Go 5-2 During First Session at NCAAs
March 15, 2012
St. Louis, Mo.- Fourth-seeded Jesse Delgado (125) and B.J. Futrell (133) along with No. 7 Jordan Blanton (174), Tony Dallago (184) and No. 7 Mario Gonzalez (197) all won their first-round matches at the 2012 NCAA Championships at the Scottrade Center on Thursday. The Illini went 5-2 in the session as Eric Terrazas (149) and Conrad Polz (165) dropped their opening matches. Action continues Thursday at 6:30 p.m. CT with the second round in the championship bracket and first round of consolation matches.
Futrell started his third NCAA Championships with a bang as the redshirt-junior pinned Chattanooga's Nick Soto in 4:13 to move into tonight's session. Futrell scored a takedown late in the first period and then added nine nearfall points to extend the lead to 11-0 at the end of the first. In the second, Futrell added a reversal while Soto escaped to make the score 13-1, however Futrell got the Moc on his back for his 11th victory by pin this season. He will take on Wyoming's Zach Zehner in Thursday's night's second round.
Delgado won his first match at the national tournament after moving past Jerome Robinson (Old Dominion) 6-1 to advance to tonight's second round match against Camden Eppert of Purdue. The freshman posted a takedown in the first period to lead 2-0 after the first. After starting down for the second, Delgado got the escape to push the lead to 3-0 after the second. Robinson got his only points after he escaped in the third period, however Delgado's late takedown in the third and the riding time point gave the Orange and Blue grappler the victory.
Polz gave up a takedown midway through the first period and trailed Patrick Graham (Oklahoma) early 2-0. The Illini recorded an escape but gave up another takedown and was down 4-1 after the first period. Polz started down and got the escape to bring the score to 4-2 after the second. In the third, Graham scored an escape, takedown and the riding time point to give the Sooner the 8-3 lead. Polz will compete in the wrestleback bracket against the winner of the Mark Lewandowski (Buffalo) and Zach Toal (Missouri) bout later tonight.
Blanton wrestled very well in his opening match against Turtogtokh Luvsandorj (The Citadel), recording two takedowns after the first period to go up 4-2. The Illini started down for the second and recorded the one point escape and added another takedown to push the score to 7-2 heading into the last period. Blanton recorded another takedown to Luvsandorj's escape to make the score 9-3, before the Illini grappler pinned the Bulldog at the 6:28 mark. Blanton will take on Indiana's Ryan LeBlanc in the second session.
Dallago was on the offensive side of the fence during his entire match against Navy's Luke Rebertus. The redshirt-sophomore scored an early takedown, a four-point nearfall due to injury, and an escape to go up 7-2 after the first period. Dallago then posted another takedown to Rebertus' escape and added the riding time to defeat the Midshipmen wrestler 10-4. The Illini grappler will face No. 2 Robert Hamlin (Lehigh) later on tonight.
Gonzalez kept to his winning ways after the Big Ten Champion won his sixth match in a row when he defeated Derek Stanley (Army) to move into tonight's second session. The Orange and Blue wrestler tried scoring on Stanley in the first period with a single leg, but couldn't get the leg for the trip and the two points. The two were scoreless after the first, but Gonzalez scored the first points of the match after an escape was awarded. In the third, Gonzalez was on the offensive side, winning the match 6-1 to advance to the second session against Minnesota's Sonny Yohn.
Terrazas dropped his bout to No. 5 Kent State's Ian Miller and moves into the consolation bracket against No. 12 Ivan Lopouchanski (Purdue).
125: No. 4 seed Jesse Delgado, Fr., Salinas, Calif., 31-6
133: No. 4 seed B.J. Futrell, r-Jr., Park Forest, Ill., 28-6
149: Eric Terrazas, Sr., Wheaton, Ill., 23-12
165: No. 9 seed Conrad Polz, r-Jr., Orland Park, Ill., 20-6
174: No. 7 seed Jordan Blanton, r-Jr., Richmond, Ill., 26-6
184: Tony Dallago, r-So., Harrisburg, Pa., 23-11
197: No. 7 seed Mario Gonzalez, r-So., Aurora, Ill., 24-7