Coach Mark Johnson's reserves competed at the UNI Open in Cedar Falls, Iowa, on Sunday.
Dec. 7, 2008
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.