Feb. 2, 2001
The eighth-ranked University of Illinois wrestling team (9-1, 3-1 Big Ten)
host the top-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers (13-1, 2-0 Big Ten) on Sunday,
Feb. 4 at Huff Hall in Champaign. The Illini enter the dual with a 15-dual
home win streak dating back to the 1997-98 season. The last home loss for
the Illini was a 26-12 decision to No. 2 Iowa.
Projected Starting Lineups
|Wt.||Wrestler||Overall Record||Dual Record|
|133||Brett Lawrence||18-4|| 9-3|
|157||Luke Becker|| 22-4||11-3|
|165||Brad Pike|| 24-3||13-1|
|174||Jacob Volkmann||21-9|| 2-4|
|184||Damion Hahn|| 22-2||12-1|
|197||Owen Elzen||16-1|| 9-1|
|Hwt||Garrett Lowney|| 8-0|| 5-0|
Minnesota leads the all-time series with the Illini by a count of 22-20-2
dating back to the first meeting in 1926. The Golden Gophers have won the
last eight meetings between the two schools and Minnesota is the only Big
Ten school head coach Mark Johnson has not defeated while at Illinois (0-7).
The last Illini win in the series came during the 1984-85 season when the
Illini prevailed 21-6. The last time Illinois defeated Minnesota in
Champaign was during the 1963-64 season, a span of 34 years, by a score of
Mark Johnson is in his ninth season as head coach of the Fighting Illini
with a record of 101-25-2 (.799). Johnson has a career record of 121-30-3
(.795) in 11 years and is already the all-time leader in career coaching
victories at Illinois. Johnson accomplished the feat with a 32-3 win over
Penn State last Sunday, surpassing B.R. Patterson's total of 100 career
wins. Johnson notched 101 wins in just under nine seasons while Patterson's
total came during the span of 18 years.
J Robinson is in his 15th season at Minnesota and has a career record of
215-81-3. He has helped crown 17 Big Ten champions, 46 All-Americans and has
been named Big Ten Coach of the Year four times, 1989, 1994, 1997 and 1999.
The next action for the Fighting Illini will be on the road at Purdue on
Friday, Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. and at Wisconsin on Sunday, Feb. 11 at 1 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT:
The fifth-ranked University of Illinois wrestling team defeated Penn State
32-3 Sunday afternoon in University Park, Pa. The Illini earned a pin from
John Lockhart and a major decision from Ryan Escobar for the impressive win.
THE RATING GAME:
The Fighting Illini are ranked eighth in the latest InterMat NCAA Division I
wrestling rankings. Eight Illini individuals are also ranked, they are: Ryan
Escobar, 17th (125), Mike Castillo, 20th (141), Adam Tirapelle, 2nd (149),
Matt Lackey, 9th (165), Ben King, 9th (174), Nate Patrick, 2nd (184), Pat
Quirk, 10th (197) and John Lockhart, 6th (Heavyweight).
CLIMBING THE CHARTS:
Several Illini are climbing the career wins and pins charts. Adam Tirapelle
is 19-1 on the season and has amassed 115 career wins. He currently needs
only six more wins to tie Ernest Benion as the Illini career wins leader and
seven 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 21 wins this season giving him 98 for his
career which ranks eighth all-time, tied with 2000 NCAA 141-pound champion
Tirapelle has also tied Keith Healy as the Illini's all-time career pins
leader. He has eight falls this season and his next pin will place alone
atop the list. Nate Patrick is also making a push on the chart. The senior
is currently 24-2 with eight falls and has moved into sixth on the list with
20 career pins.
The Illini Sports Network will air the today's 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 be tape-delayed broadcast
locally on WDWS AM 1400 beginning at 4:30 p.m.
ANOTHER MARK IN THE BOOK:
The Illini's success on the mat this season has moved head coach Mark
Johnson atop the Illini recordbook for career coaching wins. Johnson moved
past B.R. Patterson with last Sunday's 32-3 win over Penn State, moving
Johnson's record to 101-25-1 in under nine complete seasons. Patterson
ammased a record of 100-113-12 from 1951-68, a span of 18 years.
A BATTLE OF RANKS:
Today's dual will feature several matches between ranked opponents. No. 17
Ryan Escobar of Illinois will face No. 3 Leroy Vega of Minnesota at 125
pounds. Vega has won the previous two meetings, 11-7 at the Las Vegas
Invitational and 4-3 at the Big Ten Championships. The Illini's Mike
Castillo, who checks in with his first ranking of the season at No. 20, will
face No. 6 Chad Erikson at 141 pounds. Erikson has recorded pins in both
meetings between the two. There will be a Big Ten Championship rematch at
149 pounds. Illinois' Adam Tirapelle, ranked No. 2, beat No. 3 Jared
Lawrence 4-2 for last year's title. At 165 pounds, No. 9 Matt Lackey will
face No. 3 Brad Pike of Minnesota, the two have not faced each other. No. 2
Nate Patrick of Illinois will face No. 4 Damion Hahn at 184 pounds. Patrick
defeated Hahn 4-3 at the Midlands in their only meeting. At 197 pounds, No.
10 Pat Quirk looks to even up his record against No. 8 Owen Elzen. Quirk won
4-2 at last year's Las Vegas Invitational while Elzen won 6-5 and 3-2 at the
Big Ten Championships. At heavyweight, No. 6 John Lockhart of Illinois will
face No. 2 Garrett Lowney for the first time.