Second-seeded John Dergo went 2-0 on the first day of the NCAA Championships to reach the quarterfinals.
March 18, 2010
OMAHA, Neb. - Second-seeded John Dergo (184 pounds) and tenth-seeded Jordan Blanton (174) both went 2-0 on the first day of the NCAA Championships to reach Friday's quarterfinal round as the Illini placed at least two wrestlers into the quarterfinals for the 16th straight year. Senior 197-pounder Patrick Bond also stayed alive with a 6-4 win over Indiana's Matt Powless in the consolation first round as all three Illini wrestlers remain in the tournament.
In the evening session, Blanton was the first Illini to wrestle as he took on Central Michigan's seventh-seeded Ben Bennett. Blanton had a couple of good shots early in the match, getting a leg both times, but Bennett fought them off to stalemates. The two went scoreless through the first period and Bennett started down in the second. Blanton rode him for 54 seconds before Bennett scrambled out to go up 1-0. A great scramble late in the period didn't yield any points and Blanton started down in the third. Blanton came out the back for a reversal but Bennett escaped to tie the match 2-2. Blanton kept pushing the pace and scrambled through for a takedown before riding out Bennett to add the riding-time point for a 5-2 win. He'll face Iowa's second-seeded Jay Borschel in Friday's quarterfinals.
Dergo got a quick takedown against UNC Greensboro's Andrew Saunders and rode him for over a minute before cutting him loose. Dergo fired through a double-leg takedown for another takedown and rode him out for a 4-1 lead after a period. Dergo started down and escaped quickly to go up 5-1 before blocking a shot by Saunders and circling for a takedown. He hooked in a tilt and got three near-fall points to increase his lead to 10-1 and added two more back points before cutting Saunders loose. Dergo took him down once more before riding him out for the 14-2 lead after two periods. Saunders started down in the third and got out after Dergo couldn't turn him again. Saunders shot but Dergo sprawled out to fend it off then shot off the restart for another takedown and a 16-3 lead. He took down Saunders and cut him again before Dergo finished the final takedown for the 21-5 technical fall in 6:27. He'll face seventh-seeded Joe LeBlanc from Wyoming in Friday's quarterfinals.
Finishing up Thursday's action, Bond looked to stay alive in the consolation bracket against Indiana's Matt Powless. Bond was active off the start and finished a double-leg with 2:39 left in the first. Bond rode him nearly the rest of the period before Powless got out, started down in the second and escaped quickly to tie the match 2-2 with Bond holding 2:22 of riding time. After no further scoring in the second period, Bond started down in the third and Powless cut him loose, looking for a takedown. Bond gave up a stalling point before blocking an attempted inside trip by Powless and re-shot for the decisive takedown. Bond gave up another stalling point but added the riding-time point with nearly three minutes of riding time for the 6-4 win.
Earlier in the day, Blanton wrestled a scoreless first period against Iowa State's Duke Burk and Burk started down in the second. Burk escaped in 41 seconds but Blanton blocked and shot and turned the corner for the takedown with 30 seconds left before riding out Burk for the 2-1 lead. Blanton went down I the third and got out quickly to go up 3-1 with 1:09 of riding time. Blanton kept fighting off shots from Burk before Burk finally gained control with two seconds left to tie the match at 3. But Blanton's riding time advantage gave him the deciding point in a 4-3 win. He moves on to face seventh-seeded Ben Bennett of Central Michigan, who defeated Lehigh's Robert Hamlin in the first set of tiebreaks.
Dergo and Pittsburgh's Zac Thomusseit also were scoreless in the first period and Dergo started down in the second. Dergo got out in 17 seconds to go up 1-0 then finally got a leg on the edge, dragged Thomusseit back in and covered him for the takedown and a 3-0 lead. Thomusseit started down in the third and escaped before shooting, but Dergo blocked it and circled for the takedown and a 5-1 lead. He rode out Thomusseit to add the riding-time point for a 6-1 win. He will face Andrew Saunders from UNC Greensboro in the second round.
Bond continued the trend, wrestling a scoreless first period against Pittsburgh's Matt Wilps. Wilps started down in the second period and escaped in 23 seconds for a 1-0 lead. After no further scoring, Bond started the third period in the down position and wasn't able to escape as Wilps took a 2-0 win. Bond will face Indiana's Matt Powless in the consolation first round in the evening session.
Friday morning's session begins at 9:30 a.m. with quarterfinals on four mats and consolation matches on four mats.
174: Jordan Blanton (No. 10 seed), So., Richmond, Ill., 21-7
First Round: Dec. Duke Burk (Iowa State), 4-3
Second Round: Dec. No. 7 seed Ben Bennett (Central Michigan), 5-2
Quarterfinals: vs. No. 2 seed Jay Borschel (Iowa)
184: John Dergo (No. 2 seed), Sr., Morris, Ill., 32-2
First Round: Dec. Zac Thomusseit (Pittsburgh), 6-1
Second Round: Tech. fall over Andrew Saunders (UNC Greensboro), 21-5 (6:27)
Quarterfinals: vs. No. 7 seed Joe LeBlanc (Wyoming)
197: Patrick Bond (No. 11 seed), Sr., Chesapeake, Va., 22-13
First Round: Dec. by Matt Wilps (Pittsburgh), 2-0
Consolation First Round: Dec. Matt Powless (Indiana), 6-4
Consolation Second Round: vs. Riley Orozco (Cal State Bakersfield)