Mario Gonzalez and the Fighting Illini will take on UT-Chattanooga on Sunday.
Jan. 4, 2013
#5 Illinois vs. UT-Chattanooga
Sunday, Jan. 6 // Maclellan Gym // Chattanooga, Tenn.
5 Illinois (3-0, 0-0) Probable Starters
125: Jesse Delgado, 12-1, So. (5/3)
133: Daryl Thomas, 16-3, Sr. (11/8)
OR Logan Arlis, 14-6, r-So
141: B.J. Futrell, 18-1, Sr. (3/3)
149: Caleb Ervin, 16-4, r-Fr.
157: Matt Nora, 8-4, r-Fr.
165: Conrad Polz, 11-3, Sr. (8/7)
174: Jordan Blanton, 14-2, Sr. (8/4)
184: Tony Dallago, 11-4, r-Jr. (19/11)
197: Mario Gonzalez, 6-1, r-Jr. (12/5)
HWT: Chris Lopez, 10-5, r-Fr.
Rankings are listed in Intermat, W.I.N., format
The Illinois/UT-Chattanooga dual will be streamed live through Chattanooga's website HERE.
Live scoring will be available for the dual through trackwrestling.com. It can be found on the schedule page on Fighting Illini wrestling or HERE.
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. The respective finishes are career-bests for three Illini while two tie their personal best at the championship.
Redshirt-senior B.J. Futrell has started his final season as one to remember, tying his career-best second place finish at the Midlands Championships last weekend. He's also the new school record holder in career pins. Futrell recently set the school record, and currently has 37 falls and counting. He is ranked No. 3 by W.I.N. Magazine. Also, Futrell has won titles at the Northern Iowa Open and Harold Nichols Cyclone Open early this season.
Sophomore Jesse Delgado returns as the starter at 125 after having a standout 2011-12 season. The Gilroy, Calif., native advanced to the finals of the 2012 Midlands Championships and placed second, a career-best finish. Last season he earned his first career All-America honor by placing seventh at the 2012 NCAA Championships and finished third at the Big Ten Championships. Delgado also went 6-2 during the Big Ten dual season and was the only wrestler to defeat No. 1 Matt McDonough of Iowa.
Currently, the Illini are ranked in every weight class but two, including 125 pounder Delgado and 141 pounder Futrell being ranked the highest at No. 3 in the country. The squad will look to Caleb Ervin to add success at the 149 spot, as the redshirt-freshman has had early success this season, winning the Harris Open title and finishing third at the Northern Iowa Open. Illinois'133 pounder Daryl Thomas (No. 8) is in the ranks for the first time in his career.
#5 Illini Travel to UT-Chattanooga
No. 5 Illinois travels to UT-Chattanooga on Sunday with the dual starting at 1 p.m. The Illini defeated the Mocs 30-6 in last year's meeting and currently hold a 9-0 record against Chattanooga all-time.
#5 Illini Win Midlands Title
The Illini 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. Jesse Delgado (125), B.J. Futrell (141), Jordan Blanton (174), Conrad Polz (165) and Mario Gonzalez (197) placed in the top seven.
Weekend Matchups to Watch
There are a number of interesting matchups in their dual with Chattanooga. Here's a look at a few key bouts:
#5 ILLINOIS vs. UT-CHATTANOOGA
197: #5 Mario Gonzalez (ILL) vs. Nikolas Brown (UT-CHAT)
Gonzalez will face Brown who was the Southern Conference Wrestler of the Week after pinning Stanford's Alen Yen to clinch a win over the No. 12 ranked Cardinal. Gonzalez defeated Brown last season by a 4-3 decision and is currently 6-1 on the season.
125: #3 Jesse Delgado (ILL) vs. #7 Nick Soto (UT-CHAT)
Delgado will take on Soto who qualified for last year's NCAA Championships, was the 2012 SoCon Champion at 133 and tied for the most wins on the team at 25. Delgado is currently 11-2 on the year, and most currently advanced to the finals of the Midlands Championships.