Three Illini Advance to Championship Quarterfinals
Three of nine qualifiers from the University of Illinois have advanced to Friday morning's championship quarterfinals at the 1999 NCAA Wrestling Championships, being held today through Saturday at Penn State University.
Junior 141-pounder Carl Perry, sophomore 149-pounder Adam Tirapelle and senior heavyweight Karl Roesler all went undefeated on the first day of the tournament. In all, eight Illini are still alive after the first day with five competing in the consolation bracket.
"Really, it was a good first day for us," said UI head coach Mark Johnson. "We have three in the quarters and all but one guy still wrestling. Two of our losses today were against higher seeded guys in overtime, but you really need to win those close ones to take a step forward in the tournament."
Junior All-American Carl Perry, who placed seventh in the nation last year at 126 pounds, defeated ninth-seeded Scott Schatzman of Northwestern, 6-3, in the second round to move into Friday morning's quarterfinals. He will now face top-seeded Mark Angle of Clarion. Perry lost to Angle in a close 6-5 decision earlier this season at the Las Vegas Invitational.
Sophomore 149-pounder Adam Tirapelle also went 2-0 on the day. The seventh-seed, Tirapelle dominated 10th-seeded Cole Sanderson of Iowa State in the second round and won with a 12-3 major decision. Sanderson had beaten Tirapelle Dec. 29 at the Midlands Classic. Tirapelle will now face second-seeded Reggie Wright of Oklahoma State.
"I was kind of looking for a little revenge because I lost to him at Midlands, and I didn't feel that I wrestled very well and was mad about it," said Tirapelle. "Now, I fell as good as I have all year and am wrestling well.
"I've watched Wright wrestle a little. He is really athletic, a lot like (top-ranked) T.J. Williams of Iowa, but I definitely know that I'm in his class. I'm looking forward to facing him."
Fifth-seeded senior heavyweight Karl Roesler used a three-point near fall to down 12th-seeded Mike Russow of Eastern Illinois in the second round. Roesler, the only Illini to draw a preliminary match, went 3-0 on the day. He will face fourth-seeded Mat Orndorff of Oregon State in the quarterfinals.
Three other Illini also wrestled in the championship bracket Thursday night. Bill Zeman (165), Nate Patrick (184) and Pat Quirk (197) all lost to higher seeded wrestlers in the second round and will now wrestle in the second round of the wrestlebacks Friday morning. Zeman, who is unseeded, lost a close decision to fifth-seeded Rodney Jones of Oklahoma, falling 3-1 in sudden death overtime.
After losing their first round matches, three Illini competed in Thursday night's consolation first round. Steve Doerrer (125) and Griff Powell (157) both advanced to Friday. Freshman David Stoltz (133) lost in the consolation bracket and is eliminated from the tourney.
Championships Bracket Round Two