Wrestling Takes On Big Ten Foes


Feb. 8, 2001

The seventh-ranked University of Illinois wrestling team (9-2, 3-2 Big Ten) will travel to West Lafayette, Ind., on Friday, Feb. 9 to take on No. 21 Purdue (8-5, 2-4 Big Ten) at 6 p.m. Illinois will then travel to Madison, Wis., and take on the University of Wisconsin (9-7-1, 1-3 Big Ten) on Sunday, Feb. 11 at 1 p.m.

Projected Starting Lineups

Illinois (9-2, 3-2 Big Ten)
Wt.WrestlerOverall RecordDual Record
125Ryan Escobar20-9 9-2
133Dave Stoltz1-2 0-1
or Kelly Madden15-8 3-1
141Mike Castillo 17-710-1
149Adam Tirapelle20-110-1
157Griff Powell18-9 7-3
165Matt Lackey 21-610-1
174Ben King13-5 6-3
184Nate Patrick25-211-0
197Pat Quirk 21-6 8-3
HwtJohn Lockhart 22-510-1

Purdue (8-5, 2-4 Big Ten) Big Ten

Wt.WrestlerOverall RecordDual Record
125Jason Silverstein 16-6 3-3
133Evan Robinson 17-5 3-3
141Paul Sacquitne2-12 0-4
149Brad Harper 13-8 2-2
orDan Jankowski8-7 0-2
157Clovis Crane14-7 3-0
orOscar Santiago13-5 1-2
165Kirk Moore12-8 2-4
174Ryan Lange24-6 5-1
184Jared Williams3-6 1-5
197Jon Bush15-6 2-4
HwtJacob Vercelli16-6 4-1

Wisconsin (9-7-1, 1-3 Big Ten)

Wt.WrestlerOverall RecordDual Record
125Tony Black20-713-4
133Kevin Black 18-911-6
141Grant Hoerr 22-712-5
149Cory McNellis 5-12 2-6
orP.J. Dowling 8-9 2-6
157Adam Turner10-12 4-6
orNate Erdman1-6 1-6
165Donny Pritzlaff 30-117-0
174Ryan Lewis6-173-12
184Ralph DeNisco20-1111-6
197Jareck Horton 8-11 1-7
orJoe Terrill 7-12 2-7
HwtJustin Staebler 15-9 6-7
orDave Neumyer11-5 2-1

This weekend's duals will feature several matches between ranked opponents.

At Purdue

No. 19 Ryan Escobar of Illinois vs. No. 17 Jason Silverstein of Purdue Silverstein has won two of three matches between the two. Escobar won 4-2 at last year's dual while Silverstein won 12-3 at the Big Ten championships and 5-4 at the NCAA championships.

No. 13 Ben King of Illinois vs. No. 20 Ryan Lange of Purdue This will be there first meeting

No. 6 John Lockhart of Illinois vs. No. 18 Jacob Vercelli of Purdue Lockhart has won the two meetings with Vercelli. Lockhart won 4-2 in last year's season-ending dual, then faced Vercelli in the first round of the Big Ten championship and won 8-3.

At Wisconsin

No. 19 Ryan Escobar of Illinois vs. No. 15 Tony Black of Wisconsin Escobar has won the two matches between the two. He earned a 9-7 decision at last year's dual and a 11-10 decision at this year's Missouri Open.

No. 20 Mike Castillo of Illinois vs. No. 13 Grant Hoerr of Wisconsin Castillo faced Hoerr at the Missouri Open earlier this season and Hoerr earned a 5-4 win.

No. 6 Matt Lackey of Illinois vs. No. 1 Don Pritzlaff of Wisconsin Lackey has not faced Pritzlaff.

No. 6 John Lockhart of Illinois vs. No. 20 Justin Staebler of Wisconsin Lockhart faced Staebler at the Missouri Open earlier this season and came away with a 2-1 win.

Illinois leads the all-time series with Purdue by a count of 40-26-2 dating back to the first meeting in 1916. The Illini have won the last two meeting in the series including a 30-3 win last season in Champaign. The last time Illinois traveled to Purdue was in 1999 when the Illini posted a 24-15 win. The last Purdue win in the series was during the 1997-98 season in Champaign by a score of 18-12. The last time the Boilermakers defeated the Illini in West Lafayette was Mark Johnson's first year as head coach of the Illini. Purdue won 26-10. Johnson has a 4-3 record against the Boilers.

The Illini also lead the all-time series with Wisconsin by a count of 29-25-2 dating back to the first meeting in 1915. Illinois won the last meeting between the two schools, a 32-7 decision last season in Champaign. That dual marked the only time Mark Johnson has faced the Badgers in his eight-year Illini career. The last Badger win came the year prior to Johnson's arrival when Wisconsin shut out the Illini 44-0 in 1992.

The next action for the Fighting Illini after this weekend's road duals will be the final dual of the season against Ohio State on Sunday, Feb. 18 at 1 p.m. Illinois will honor its eight seniors at that dual, they are: Mike Castillo, Ryan Escobar, LaDaryl Hale, Ben King, Jon Lanning, Nate Patrick, Pat Quirk and Adam Tirapelle.

The Illini dropped a 22-12 decision to top-ranked Minnesota Sunday, Feb. 4, at Huff Hall in Champaign. No. 9 Matt Lackey got the Illini on the board first with an upset win over No. 3 Brad Pike at 165 pounds. The Illini?s No. 9 Ben King then dropped a 7-2 decision to unranked Jacob Volkmann in an early pivotal match. After a Nate Patrick win at 184 for Illinois, No. 10 Pat Quirk was pinned by No. 8 Owen Elzen in the third period with the match tied 2-2. The Illini then dropped the next four decisions, one in overtime, two by one-point decisions and one major decision. The Illini won the final two matches of the dual with No. 2 Adam Tirapelle beating No. 3 Jared Lawrence 3-2 in a 2000 149-pound Big Ten championship rematch also won by Tirapelle and Griff Powell upset fifth-ranked Luke Becker 3-1 in overtime.

The Fighting Illini are ranked seventh in the latest InterMat NCAA Division I wrestling rankings. Nine Illini individuals are also ranked, they are: Ryan Escobar, 19th (125), Mike Castillo, 20th (141), Adam Tirapelle, 2nd (149), Griff Powell, 18th (157), Matt Lackey, 6th (165), Ben King, 13th (174), Nate Patrick, 2nd (184), Pat Quirk, 12th (197) and John Lockhart, 6th (Heavyweight).

Several Illini are climbing the career wins and pins charts. Adam Tirapelle is 20-1 on the season and has amassed 116 career wins. He currently needs only five more wins to tie Ernest Benion as the Illini career wins leader and six 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 Carl Perry.

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 25-2 with eight falls and has moved into sixth on the list with 20 career pins.

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 a 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.