Illini Compete at UNI Open

Coach Mark Johnson's reserves competed at the UNI Open in Cedar Falls, Iowa, on Sunday.
Coach Mark Johnson's reserves competed at the UNI Open in Cedar Falls, Iowa, on Sunday.

Dec. 7, 2008

Final UNI Open Brackets Get Acrobat Reader

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - While many of Illinois' wrestlers were traveling home from the Las Vegas Invitational, 13 of Illinois' reserves traveled to the Northern Iowa Open at the UNI-Dome on Sunday in a tournament that included wrestlers from No. 1 Iowa, No. 2 Iowa State, No. 8 Minnesota and host No. 22 Northern Iowa. True-freshmen Eric Terrazas (149) and Dan Stelter (165), who were wrestling unattached, posted the best finish of the Illini in the tournament, both falling one win short of a top-5 finish.

Stelter, who was one of three Illini wrestling at 165 pounds, lost his first bout to Missouri's Todd Porter but immediately went to work in the wrestlebacks. He earned an 11-2 major decision over Missouri's Brad McCarter and scored a 4-3 win over Iowa State's Mike Finch. He then advanced via a medical forfeit by teammate Conrad Polz, who was injured in his one-point quarterfinal loss, but dropped a 7-4 decision to Iowa's Mike Fahrer in the round of 8.

Terrazas defeated Iowa's Derek Coorough, 5-3, in the first round, but was pinned by Wisconsin's Greg Burke in the second round. He thrived in the wrestlebacks, though, scoring a 17-2 first-period technical fall on Minnesota's Wes Richard and beating Brendon Parker-Risk (Iowa Central), 4-3 in overtime. He got a medical forfeit win over teammate Reese Taylor before dropping a 4-3 decision to Iowa State's Dalton Jensen to bow out of the tournament.

Also in that 165-pound bracket were Polz and Brian Reynolds. Polz notched a dominant 20-7 major decision over Minnesota's Joe Hill, but he dropped a 7-6 quarterfinal bout to Nebraska-Omaha's Ryan Pankoke, who eventually won the 165-pound weight class. Reynolds was 0-2 in the tournament.

In addition, sophomore John Deneen was 1-2 at 133 pounds, while redshirt-freshman Zeke Rowan and freshman Tyler LePretre each went 0-2. Also at 149, Taylor was 1-1 and redshirt-freshman Jake Beechy was 0-2. Freshman Kyle Dooley was 0-2 at 157, junior Jake Norman was 1-2 at 197, redshirt-freshman Martin Smith was 0-2 at 197 and freshman Pat Walker was 1-2 at heavyweight.

The Fighting Illini return to the mats on Saturday, Dec. 13, when they host Findlay and McKendree at Huff Hall at 1 p.m.