Illini Hosts Dual Wrestling Meet


Jan. 18, 2001

The fifth-ranked University of Illinois wrestling team will host Northwestern on Friday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m. at Huff Hall to open the 2001 Big Ten dual season. The Illini will then host No. 23 Indiana on Sunday, Jan. 21, at 1 p.m. to close out the weekend.

Probable Illini Lineup:

Wt.WrestlerOverall RecordDual RecordFalls
125Ryan Escobar17-76-0 4
133Kelly Madden 8-71-1 1
Chad Hay13-73-1 1
141Mike Castillo 13-66-0 3
149Adam Tirapelle16-06-0 6
157Griff Powell15-74-1 1
165Matt Lackey16-6 5-1 1
174Ben King 11-3 4-1 0
John Sears2-5 0-1 0
184Nate Patrick 20-2 6-0 7
197Pat Quirk18-4 5-1 2
HwtJohn Lockhart18-4 6-0 5

The fifth-ranked University of Illinois wrestling team picked up four dual victories in North Carolina last week. The Illini defeated UNC-Greensboro 47-0 last Thursday, Jan. 11, then topped Ohio University (37-3), Princeton (37-6) and North Carolina State (33-6) at the N.C. State Duals in Raleigh, N.C. on Saturday, Jan. 13.

The Fighting Illini are ranked fifth in the latest InterMat NCAA Division I wrestling rankings. Eight Illini individuals are also ranked, they are: Ryan Escobar, 18th (125), Adam Tirapelle, 1st (149), Griff Powell, 19th (157), Matt Lackey, 9th (165), Ben King, 7th (174), Nate Patrick, 2nd (184), Pat Quirk, 8th (197) and John Lockhart, 7th (Heavyweight).

Several Illini are climbing the career wins and pins charts.Adam Tirapelle is 16-0 on the season and has amassed 112 career wins and is currently tied with Illini national champion Eric Siebert. A win tonight and Tirapelle will claim sole possession of third place. He currently needs nine more wins to tie Ernest Benion as the Illini career wins leader and 10 to take possession. At his current pace he will gain the record at the Big Ten tournament in Evanston on March 3-4. Pat Quirk has also cracked the top 10 in career wins. He has 18 wins this season giving him 95 for his career which ranks ninth all-time. Next up on his sites is 2000 national champion Carl Perry with 98.

Tirapelle is also closing in on the all-time career pins mark. He has six falls this season and has upped his career mark to 29, only two off Keith Healy's record of 31.Tirapelle has recorded three pins in his last five matches moving past Larry TenPas' mark of 26 career pins. Nate Patrick is also making a push on the chart. The senior is currently 20-2 with seven falls and has moved into a tie with Eric Siebert for sixth on the list with 19 pins. Patrick leads the team this season with his seven pins, including three in his last four matches. Heavyweight John Lockhart has also posted three falls in has last four matches, pushing Carl Perry's career mark of 11 pins out of the top 10.

The Illini Sports Network will air the Feb. 4 Big Ten dual between No. 5 Illinois and No. 3 Minnesota live over the internet at www.fightingillini.com. Nationally-recognized wrestling commentator Tim Johnson will call the action and 2000 141-pound NCAA champion Carl Perry will provide expert analysis. The dual will then be tape-delayed broadcast locally on WDWS AM 1400 beginning at 4:30 p.m. that evening. The dual is set to start at 1 p.m. at Huff Hall in Champaign.

The Illini's success on the mat this season has moved head coach Mark Johnson to within two dual wins of becoming the all-time winningest wrestling coach in Illinois history. Johnson, who began the season 92-24-1 and currently has 98 wins, needs only two more dual victories to tie B.R. Patterson's mark of 100 wins. Patterson's accomplishment occured from 1951-68, a span of 18 years, while Johnson, with the wins expected to come this season, will have surpassed that total in half that time. He is currently in his ninth season with the Illini and has a career mark 118-29-3.