Senior Pat Walker was one of two Illini to win a title at the Northern Iowa Open.
Dec. 8, 2012
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Two Illini wrestlers captured titles at the Northern Iowa Open on Saturday while 10 others finished in the top five of their respective weight classes. Redshirt-senior B.J. Futrell (141) and senior Pat Walker (HWT) both earned tournament titles during their second open of the season.
"Overall we wrestled alright," assistant coach Jeremy Hunter said. "B.J. had a great tournament. He still has room for improvement but he dominated most of the guys here. Pat had a great off season and has been training hard, which has lead to his great start to the year. The results as a team were there, but it wasn't what we wanted. There is a lot of stuff we need to work on to get better. This helped us for the Midlands in a few weeks. We had decent competition, but it showed us what we truly need to focus on moving forward."
Futrell went 5-0 on Saturday, winning his first two matches with pins over Scott Moody of Iowa State in 3:51 and Rylan Lubeck of Wisconsin in 5:30. He then defeated Purdue's Nick Lawrence by a 12-5 decision, Gunnar Wolfensperger of Northern Iowa 10-4 and took the tournament title by defeating Joey Lazor of Northern Iowa 8-2.
Walker also went undefeated, capturing two wins by falls, two by decisions and took the open title by defeating Cody Krumwiede of Northern Iowa in a 8-0 major decision. The senior now has five pins so far this season and has won 13 total matches, both being a new career best.
Four other Illini took second, including All-Americans Jesse Delgado (125) and Conrad Polz (165). Delgado won his first four matches by tech fall, major decision, a pin and a decision to move into the championship bout, but fell to Iowa State's Connor Clarke by a 6-1 decision. Polz advanced to the first-place match by pinning three opponents, which gives the senior four pins on the year, a new career best. The Orland Park, Ill., native fell to Iowa State's Michael Moreno 3-1 in the championship bout. Freshman Zane Richards (133) and Matt Nora (157) also placed runner-up.
In other action, redshirt-sophomore Logan Arlis (133), redshirt-freshman Caleb Ervin (141), redshirt-freshman Steven Rodrigues (141) and freshman Zac Brunson (157) each took third. Redshirt-freshman Jeff Koepke (184) placed fourth and redshirt-freshman Christopher Lopez (HWT) finished fifth.
Three other Illini competed in the Dan Gable Open in Oshkosh, Wisc., as John Fahy (149) and Jake Kaminsky (157) wrestled unattached and won titles in their respective weight classes while Brian Cullen (133) placed third. All three wrestlers won at least one match by fall.
The Fighting Illini will have two weekends off before they travel north to Evanston, Ill., to compete in the 50th Ken Kraft Midlands Championships from Dec. 29-30.
Illinois Placewinners - UNI Open
1. B.J. Futrell (141), Pat Walker (HWT)
2. Jesse Delgado (125), Conrad Polz (165), Zane Richards (133), Matt Nora (157)
3. Logan Arlis (133), Caleb Ervin (141), Steven Rodrigues (141), Zac Brunson (157)
4. Jeff Koepke (184)
5. Christopher Lopez (HWT)