Mario Gonzalez and the Illini look for their first National Duals title on Sunday as the Orange and Blue wrestle Oklahoma State in the semifinals.
Feb. 16, 2012
#5 Illinois at NWCA National Duals Final Four
Feb. 19 // Gallagher-Iba Arena // 2 pm CT // Stillwater, Okla.
Semifinals, 2 pm
#4 Illinois vs. #1 Oklahoma State
#2 Iowa vs. #3 Minnesota
Finals, 6 pm
#5 Illinois (16-2, 6-2 Big Ten) Probable Starters
125 - No. 5, Jesse Delgado, 26-4, r-Fr.
133 - No. 4, B.J. Futrell, 24-3, r-Jr.
141 ---- Daryl Thomas, 13-10, r-Jr.
149 - No. 17, Eric Terrazas, 20-7, Sr.
157 ---- Jackson Morse, 10-10, So.
165 - No. 8, Conrad Polz, 17-2, r-Jr.
174 - No. 11, Jordan Blanton, 21-3, r-Jr.
184 ---- Tony Dallago, 18-8, r-So.
197 - No. 16, Mario Gonzalez, 18-6, r-So.
HWT ---- Pat Walker, 12-14, r-Jr.
Rankings are listed by W.I.N. Magazine
Junior B.J. Futrell is 24-3 and is currently riding a 12 match winning streak, a career best. He has pinned 10 of his opponents en route to setting a career-best in falls and leads the squad in the category. His 10 pins now tie for fifth most in a season in school history. Futrell is ranked No. 4 nationally by Intermat, W.I.N. Magazine and Amateur Wrestling News.
Junior Conrad Polz has made a giant impact for the Illini after returning from an injury which sidelined him for over two months. Besides the injury default, Polz is nearly undefeated this season, owning a 17-2 record. Polz immediately jumped back into the rankings, appearing as high at No. 8 by W.I.N. Magazine, a new career-best. The junior defeated his second ranked opponent this year as he moved past No. 6 Cody Yohn of Minnesota with a 4-2 decision.
Freshman Jesse Delgado's first season as an Illini has been impressive, compiling a 26-4 record, including a victory over No. 1 ranked 125-pounder Matt McDonough of Iowa in an 11-7 OT decision. Delgado owns eight technical falls on the season. He leads the team in the category. Delgado is ranked in the top-six by the three major rankings, No. 6 by Intermat and Amateur Wrestling News and No. 5 by W.I.N. Magazine.
Senior Eric Terrazas is having an record setting senior year, owning a 20-7 record this season. He was named the Big Ten Co-Wrestler of the Week on Jan. 11 after dominating at 149 pounds and led the Illini to a 3-0 record against Purdue, Lock Haven and then No. 8 Michigan. Terrazas beat two top-10 opponents in one weekend, the first of his career.
Who Wrestles Who
The University of Illinois wrestling team competes in the final four round of the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Dual Tournament on Sunday on the campus of Oklahoma State.
The tournament regional begins at 2 p.m. inside Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla. Illinois will be the #4 seed and face #1 Oklahoma State. Second-ranked Iowa will wrestle No. 3 Minnesota in the other semifinal dual. The winner of each semifinal will mee at 6 p.m. for the title. Consolation finals will also begin at 6 p.m.
How Does it Work
The National Duals began with 24 teams split into four regional tournaments for the first time in tournament history. The winner of each regional tournament advanced to this week's final four event to compete for the National Duals title. The Illini advanced to the final four by winning the Cornell Regional last Sunday, Feb. 12. The Illini defeated Oklahoma (21-18) in the semifinals and then moved past Cornell (19-16) in the regional finals.
Iowa advanced to the championship site by winning the Iowa State Regional while Minnesota won the Rutgers Regional and Oklahoma State won its host regional.
Illinois' History at the National Duals
Illinois has competed in the National Duals one time in school history in 2004-05. The Illini advanced to the finals of the tournament, eventually falling to #1 Oklahoma State 22-15 to take second place. Five Orange and Blue wrestlers won their respective matches against the Cowboys. The Illini defeated Minnesota, West Virginia and Oklahoma to advance to the finals of the tournament.
Delgado Earned Big Ten Wrestler of the Week
Jesse Delgado was named the Big Ten Wrestler of the Week on Feb. 14 after winning two bouts over top-10 opponents at National Duals. The freshman, then ranked 7th, contributed to Illini victories over No. 11 Oklahoma and No. 5 Cornell with a pin in 5:57 over #9 Jarrod Patterson of Oklahoma, and an 8-3 decision over Cornell's #6 Frank Perrelli. This marks the first career weekly honor for Delgado.
Gonzalez Named TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week
Mario Gonzalez was named the TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week on Feb. 14. The redshirt-sophomore, then ranked 16th, bumped up a weight class and delivered the winning match at heavyweight against Cornell's Maciej Jochym in a 8-2 decision. This marks the first career TheMat.com weekly honor for Gonzalez.
Complete dual notes available in the attached PDF.