Patrick, Lockhart Key UI Win Over Penn State
Sophomore 184-pounder Nate Patrick earned a major decision in the final and deciding match of the night to lead No. 8 Illinois to a 20-14 win over No. 10 Penn State (10-4, 3-2) tonight at Huff Hall. Patrick entered the final match with Illinois leading 16-14. A Penn State win would have given the meet to the Nittany Lions.
Penn State earned back-to-back decisions at 165 and 174 to force a deciding final match. Prior to that, the Fighting Illini gained the lead thanks to wins by junior 141-pounder Carl Perry and sophomore 149-pounder Adam Tirapelle. Perry, who is ranked sixth, dominated his match over Mark Bost, recording two near falls and four takedowns to earn a major decision, 17-4. Tirapelle decisioned Biff Walizer, 8-3, to put the Illini up by five.
Freshman John Lockhart, a native of Mahomet, Ill., made his second straight start at heavyweight and earned a hard-fought 2-1 decision over Mark Janus to give UI an early 6-0 lead. Lockhart made his second straight start for UI senior Karl Roesler, who is recovering from a minor hip injury.
"It was really great to wrestle in front of the home fans," said Lockhart. "I haven't wrestled here since the IHSA tournament (in 1997). I was a little nervous. It just feels good to be a part of the team and to be a part of this win."
UI's 157-pound freshman Griff Powell took advantage of a break in the PSU lineup to gain an important win. Penn State's Clint Musser, who is ranked third in the weight class, failed to make weight before the meet. Powell, who is unranked, then defeated Musser's replacement 5-4 to earn three team points.
"This was a very good victory for us tonight," said UI head coach Mark Johnson. "I'm happy for John Lockhart. He stepped up for us when we needed him. Nate Patrick also came through and sealed the win. We beat a talented Penn State team with no seniors in our lineup. Everyone is talking about us competing with (No. 3) Iowa, but we can't do that if we don't first get by Penn State tonight."
The Fighting Illini (11-2, 5-2) will host No. 3 Iowa in the last home meet of the year Sunday, Feb. 14, at 1 p.m. The meet will be held at Huff Hall.
Feb. 12, 1999
Wght Result (Ill.-PSU)