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    Illini Win Midlands Championships
    B.J. Futrell and the Illini won the Midlands Championships, totaling 99.5 points.


    B.J. Futrell and the Illini won the Midlands Championships, totaling 99.5 points.

    Dec. 30, 2012

    Final Midlands BracketsGet Acrobat Reader

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- The Fighting Illini wrestling team won the 2012 Midlands Championships after totaling 99.5 points and placing five wrestlers during the two day tournament. This is the first time Illinois has won the Midlands championships since the 2005-06 season. Five wrestlers placed in the top seven, including Jesse Delgado (125) and B.J. Futrell (141) finishing second, Jordan Blanton (174) third, and Conrad Polz (165) and Mario Gonzalez (197) placing fifth.

    "It's always nice to win," head coach Jim Heffernan said. "More importantly, these guys had to fight to win every match we could. It was great experience for everyone. Jordan, Conrad and Mario faced adversity and the pressure to win. The fact that all of them won is a good thing."

    Delgado started the day against Central Michigan's Christian Cullinan and pinned him in 3:28 to advance to the finals. During his first Midlands championship bout, Delgado wrestled against No. 2 Jarrod Garnett of Virginia Tech. In the first, Delgado had multiple shots into Garnett's leg but were eventually called as stalemates, making the score 0-0 heading into the second. Delgado chose down and escaped to making the score 1-0 after the second period. Garnett started down in the third and escaped to tie the score 1-1. Delgado had the Hokie in a cradle but Garnett scrambled out into a stalemate to push the bout into overtime. The Illini grappler had Garnett in a single leg on the edge of the mat, but was put onto his back and fell 5-1 to place second.

    Futrell moved into the finals of the Midlands by moving past No. 2 Devin Carter (Unt. Virginia Tech) by an 8-5 decision earlier this afternoon. In the finals, the senior took on the defending tournament champion and No. 1 seed Kendric Maple of Oklahoma. Futrell warded off a single leg before Maple got in on a double leg shot. Both were pushed off the mat for a scoreless first period. Maple chose down in the second and immediately scored a reversal on Futrell for the only points of the period. In the third, Maple scored a takedown to push the score to 4-0 and collected the riding time point. Futrell escaped, but time ran out as Maple defeated the Illini wrestler 5-1.

    The top-seeded Blanton finished third for the second consecutive year. The 174-pounder dropped his only match of the tournament in the championship quarterfinals against Lehigh's Nate Brown. The Richmond, Ill., native fought back to take third place by moving past John-Martin Cannon (Buffalo) by a 5-3 SV1 decision.

    The fifth-place finishes for both Polz and Gonzalez are career-bests for the duo. Polz came into the championships as the fifth seed as Gonzalez grabbed the fourth seed. The 165-pounder Polz defeated No. 8 Mark Lewandowski of Buffalo, 3-1 in the final match while Gonzalez moved past Kevin Beazley (Unt. - Old Dominion), 7-3 to take fifth place.

    "It's good to have that kind of depth to win championships," Heffernan said. "The guys who placed, really did some good things. It was a total team effort."

    The Illini will begin the 2013 year when they compete against the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga on Sunday, Jan. 6.

    TEAM RESULTS (out of 48)
    1. ILLINOIS 99.5
    2. Virginia Tech 97.5
    3. Oklahoma 85.0

    125: Jesse Delgado (No. 4 seed), So., Gilroy, Calif.
    1st round: BYE
    2nd round: Major dec. Tim Lambert (Nebraska), 12-4
    3rd round: Dec. Thomas Gilman (Unt-Iowa), 7-2
    Quarterfinals: Dec. Trent Sprenkle (North Dakota), 5-3
    Semifinals: Pinned No. 8 Christian Cullinan (Central Michigan), 3:28
    Finals: Dec. by No. 2 Jarrod Garnett (Virginia Tech), 5-1
    Delgado-2nd

    133: Daryl Thomas (No. 9 seed), Sr., Edwardsville, Ill.
    1st round: BYE
    2nd round: Dec. by Laike Gardner (Lehigh), 5-3 SV1
    Consolation 2nd round: Major dec. Geoffrey Alexander (Maryland), 13-3
    Consolation round of 16: Major dec. Joe Moita (Columbia), 14-5
    Consolation round of 16: Major dec. Joe Waltko (Clarion), 12-4
    Consolation round of 8: Dec. Tyler Keselring (Central Michigan), 5-4
    Consolation round of 8: Pinned by AJ Shopp (Edinboro), 2:42
    Thomas eliminated

    133: Logan Arlis, R-So., Batavia, Ill.
    1st round: BYE
    2nd round: Pinned by Tyler Graff (Wisconsin), 2:27
    Consolation 1st round: BYE
    Consolation 2nd round: BYE
    Consolation round of 16: Dec. Grant Pizzo (Michigan), 10-4
    Consolation quarterfinals: Dec. by Jimmy Morris (Rider), 10-6
    Arlis eliminated

    133: Zane Richards (Unt.), R-Fr., Carbondale, Ill.
    1st round: Dec. Vinny Pizzuto (Eastern Michigan), 8-6
    2nd round: Dec. Garrison White (Unt. Northwestern), 12-6
    Round of 16: Tech fall by No. 2 Daniel Dennis (Unt.) 7-3
    Consolation round of 16: Dec. Rossi Bruno (Michigan), 10-3
    Consolation round of 8: Major by Randy Cruz (Lehigh), 13-4
    Richards eliminated

    141: Steven Rodrigues, R-Fr., Mount Kisco, N.Y.
    1st round: Dec. Matt Garelli (Stanford), 7-3
    2nd round: Dec. by Tyler Small (Unt. Kent State), 5-0
    Consolation round 1: BYE
    Consolation round 2: Dec. by Scott Mattingly (Central Michigan), 10-6
    Rodrigues eliminated

    141: B.J. Futrell (No. 3 seed), Sr., Park Forest, Ill.
    1st round: BYE
    2nd round: Major dec. Eric Roach (Indiana), 19-6
    Round of 16: M FOR over Gustavo Martinez (Grandview)
    Quarterfinals: Dec. Mike Mangrum (Oregon State), 11-6
    Semifinals: Dec. No. 2 Devin Carter (Unt. Virginia Tech), 8-5
    Final: Dec. by No. 1 Kendric Maple (Oklahoma), 5-1
    Futrell-2nd

    149: Caleb Ervin, R-Fr., Morganfield, Ky.
    1st round: Major dec. Joey Kielbalsa (Unt. Central Michigan), 9-0
    2nd round: Pinned Max Mayfield (Iowa State), 4:00
    Round of 16: Dec. by No. 2 Donnie Vinson (Binghamton), 6-1
    Consolation round of 16: Dec. Donnie Corby (Central Michigan), 6-2
    Consolation round of 8: Dec. by Bart Reiter (Northern Iowa). 9-2
    Ervin eliminated

    157: Zach Brunson (Unt.), Fr., Eugene, Ore.
    1st round: Dec. Dakota Cooley (Central Michigan), 5-1
    2nd round: Dec. by No. 5 RJ Pena (Oregon State), 9-3
    Consolation 1st round: Dec. Connor Brennan (Unt. - Rider), 6-4
    Consolation 2nd round: Dec. No. 12 Dillon Bara (UW-Parkside), 15-8
    Consolation round of 16: Dec. Garrett Schaner (Stanford), 9-4
    Consolation round of 8: Tech fall by No. 7 Matt Lester (Oklahoma), 15-0, 3:29
    Brunson eliminated

    165: Conrad Polz (No. 5 seed), Sr., Orland Park, Ill.
    1st round: BYE
    2nd round: Major dec. Brian Brill (Lehigh), 11-2
    Round of 16: Dec. No. 12 Mike Ottinger (Central Michigan), 7-5
    Quarterfinals: Dec. by No. 4 Steven Monk (North Dakota State), 9-2
    Consolation round of 8: Dec. Taylor Massa (Michigan), 3-1 SV1
    Consolation quarterfinals: Dec. by No. 2 Pete Yates (Virginia Tech), 8-6
    Fifth place match: Dec. No. 8 Mark Lewandowski (Buffalo), 3-1
    Polz-5th

    165: Jackson Morse (Unt.), R-So., Alto, Mich.
    1st round: BYE
    2nd round: Dec. No. 10 John Greisheimer (Edinboro), 10-7
    Round of 16: Dec. No. 7 Tyler Whilps (Pittsburgh), 11-5
    Quarterfinals: Dec. by No. 2 Pete Yates (Virginia Tech), 7-6
    Consolation round of 8: Dec. by Mark Lewandowski (Buffalo), 2-1
    Morse eliminated

    174: Jordan Blanton (No. 1 seed), Sr., Richmond, Ill.
    1st round: BYE
    2nd round: Pinned Craig Kelliher (Central Michigan), 6:25
    Round of 16: Major dec. Cameron Croy (Harvard), 12-4
    Quarterfinals: Dec. by No. 9 Nate Brown (Lehigh), 3-2
    Consolation round of 8: Dec. Scott Liegel (Wisconsin), 7-4
    Consolation quarterfinals: Tech fall Craig Keliher (Central Michigan) 23-8 7:00
    Consolation semifinals: Dec. No. 3 Lee Munster (Northwestern), 3-1 SV1
    Third place match: Dec. No. 6 John-Martin Cannon, 5-3 SV1
    Blanton-3rd

    184: Jeff Koepke, R-Fr., Prospect Heights, Ill.
    1st round: Dec. by Cody Reed (Binghamton), 12-5
    Consolation 1st round: BYE
    Consolation 2nd round: Dec. by Jack Dechow (Unt. - Old Dominion), 7-3
    Koepke eliminated

    184: Tony Dallago (No. 6 seed), R-Jr., Harrisburg, Pa.
    1st round: BYE
    2nd round: Dec. Jack Dechow (Unt. - Old Dominion), 8-6
    Round of 16: Dec. by No. 11 Vic Avery (Unt. - Edinboro), 8-6
    Consolation round of 16: Luke Sheridan (Indiana)
    Consolation round of 8: Pinned Jordan Thomas (Michigan), 0:47
    Consolation round of 8: Dec. by Ryan Loder (Northern Iowa), 6-0
    Dallago eliminated

    197: Mario Gonzalez (No. 4 seed), R-Jr., Aurora, Ill.
    1st round: BYE
    2nd round: Dec. Brad Johnson (Oklahoma), 10-3
    Round of 16: Dec. Jackson Lewis (Central Michigan), 7-4
    Quarterfinals: Major dec. Kevin Beazley (Unt. - Old Dominion), 11-2
    Semifinals: Tech fall by No. 1 Dustin Kilgore (Kent State), 19-4 7:00
    Fifth-place match: Dec. Kevin Beazley (Unt. - Old Dominion), 7-3
    Gonzalez-5th

    HWT: Chris Lopez, R-Fr., Chicago, Ill.
    1st round: Dec. Chris Penny (Unt. - Virginia Tech), 2-1
    2nd round: Major dec. by No. 3 Zac Thomusseit (Pittsburgh), 8-0
    Consolation round of 16: Dec. by Blayne Beale (Northern Iowa), 3-0
    Lopez eliminated

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