Delgado to Wrestle for Second Straight National Title
March 21, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - No. 1 Jesse Delgado (125) won his championship semifinal match against Northern Iowa's No. 5 Dylan Peters 9-6 to advance to tomorrow's final. Delgado will wrestle for his second straight national title tomorrow night on ESPN starting at 7 p.m. CT. The Illini are currently in 10th place with 37 points after two days of competition.
"Jesse had a great day getting back to the finals for the second year in a row and having two really tough wins," said head coach Jim Heffernan. "He's super excited for the opportunity to win again. Everyone else battled hard and gave themselves the opportunity to get in the placing matches. Mario showed incredible courage competing with his injury. Tony wrestled well too, losing only to the number one and three seeds. It's been a pleasure having Tony and Mario as a part of our program and the will both be missed."
No. 1 Jesse Delgado took on No. 5 Dylan Peters (Northern Iowa) in Friday night's championship semifinals. Delgado scored first with a takedown, but was taken down after allowing Peters to escape. Delgado escaped and responded with a takedown of his own to take a 5-3 lead after one period. The defending national champion started the second period on bottom and quickly escaped, then took down Peters to increase his lead. Peters managed to escape before the period was over, making the score 8-4 going into the final period. Peters escaped from the bottom position and was awarded one point on a stalling call against Delgado, but the Illini earned the one-point riding time advantage to win the bout 9-6 and advance to the finals for the second straight year. Delgado will take on Cornell's Nahshon Garrett in the championship finals, marking the the third career matchup between the two wrestlers. Delgado is ahead 2-0 in the series, with wins over Garrett in last year's national semifinals and this season at the Grapple at the Garden in December.
Tony Dallago squared off against No. 3 Robert Kokesh of Nebraska in the fourth consolation round. Kokesh notched to takedowns in the first, followed by an escape from the bottom position in the send to make the score 5-1 going into the final period. Dallago quickly escaped from the bottom position, but Kokesh scored a late takedown and earned the one-point riding time advantage to claim the 8-2 victory. Dallago, a four-time NCAA qualifier, just missed earning his first-career All-America honor.
Mario Gonzalez took on No. 11 Nathan Burak of Iowa in the fourth consolation round. Gonzalez scored first with a takedown, but Burak was able to quickly escape. Burak scored the only points of the second period with an escape from the bottom position and a takedown, making the score 4-2 going into the final period. Burak rode Gonzalez the entire third period to earn the one-point riding time advantage and win the 5-2 decision. Gonzalez just missed earning his first-career All-America honor.
Team Scores After Day 2 of NCAA Championships
125: No. 1 Jesse Delgado, Jr., Gilroy, Calif.
133: No. 14 Zane Richards, r-Fr., Carbondale, Ill.
141: Steven Rodrigues, r-So., Mount Kisco, N.Y.
157: No. 16 Zac Brunson, r-Fr., Eugene, Ore.
165: No. 12 Jackson Morse, r-Jr., Alto, Mich.
174: Tony Dallago, r-Sr., Harrisburg, Pa.
184: Nikko Reyes, r-Fr., Fresno, Calif.
197: Mario Gonzalez, r-Sr., Aurora, Ill.