Sophomore John Dergo cruised to the 174-pound title at the Missouri Open.
Nov. 18, 2007
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Four Illinois wrestlers won titles and 14 Illini placed at the Missouri Open at Hearnes Fieldhouse Sunday. Sophomores Jimmy Kennedy (133) and John Dergo (174) defended their freshman division title from a year ago by prevailing in the open division, while top-seeded Roger Smith-Bergsrud (165) and second-seeded John Wise (HWT) each finish second. Freshmen Ryan Prater (141) and Grant Paswall (149) stormed through their brackets, combining for four pins, three technical falls and three major decisions on their way to fresh-soph division crowns.
Kennedy wrestled well, earning a 12-2 major decision over Josh Sampo (Lindenwood) before dispatching fifth-seeded Shawn Cordell 5-1. He then took out third-seeded Kyle Hutter (Old Dominion), 6-2, to earn his first career Missouri Open title in the open division. He took the 133-pound fresh-soph division title last year.
Dergo was even more dominating at 174, pinning Josh Bryant (McKendree) in 5:34 before earning a 12-4 major decision over Campsville's Chris Branam. Dergo then pulled a 10-1 major over Missouri's Ryan Sonderegger to reach the title bout, where he defeated another Tiger, James Williamson, 5-1.
Smith-Bergsrud was not able to make his seed hold at 165, earning a pair of one-point victories to reach the title match, where he dropped the match and finished second. Second-seeded John Wise made good on his seed by dropping a hard-fought 6-5 match to top-seeded Mark Ellis from Missouri.
Third-seeded Patrick Bond also equaled his seed by finishing third at 197. Bond defeated McKendree's Adam Hicks, 3-0, but dropped a 4-0 decision to Missouri's second-seeded Max Askren. Bond fought back with a 10-2 major decision over unattached Josh Ott and an 8-2 win over fourth-seeded David Mendoza (Old Dominion) to grab third place.
Ben Friedl finished fourth at 174 after an impressive rebound following a 3-1 loss to fifth-seeded Missouri wrestler Joey Garrity in the opening round. Friedl earned a 6-0 win, major decisions by the scores of 12-0 and 10-2 and a 4-3 decision over Garrity to reach the third-place bout where he dropped a 10-4 decision to Lindenwood's third-seeded Matt Cauley.
Dave Gleissner (184) notched a fifth-place finish by going 2-2 and defeating fourth-seeded Heath Jolley from Central Oklahoma, while heavyweight Mike Shaub finished fifth with a 3-3 record.
Illinois' freshmen also showed some promise with both Prater and Paswall grabbing titles and six rookies placing. Prater secured two pins, two major decisions and a technical fall while winning the 141-pound crown, while Paswall had a pair of pins, two technical falls and a major on his way to the 149-pound title. Heavyweight Joe Rizqallah impressed with three pins on his way to a second-place finish and Serge Urakhchin finished fourth at 125. Zeke Rowan was fifth at 133 and Martin Smith finished sixth at 197.
Up Next: Junior All-American Mike Poeta competes in the NWCA National All-Star Classic Monday in Eugene, Ore. Poeta will wrestle Wisconsin's Craig Henning in the 157-pound bout, with the meet starting at 9 p.m. (CT). The entire team next wrestles at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational Nov. 30-Dec. 1.