#5 Illini Set for Home Opener Against Purdue
Jan. 9, 2013
#5 Illinois vs. Purdue
#5 Illinois (4-0, 0-0) Probable Wrestlers
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.
Series Record Against the Boilers
Multiple Home Opener Promotions
Also, be sure to pick up your Ultimate Fan Punch Card at all entrances of Huff Hall prior to the dual or at the promotions table for your chance to win a free hotdog and drink at the Big Ten Championships. If Illini fans attend and punch their card at all four home duals, they will be able to redeem their prize at the concession stands in Assembly Hall.
Illini fans are also reminded to stick around after the dual is over for your chance to get team autographs.
Weekend Matchups to Watch
#5 Illinois vs Purdue
197: #5 Mario Gonzalez (ILL) vs. #18 Braden Atwood (PUR)
#5 Illini Down UT-CHATTANOOGA, 29-10