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    Wrestling Set For Big Ten Championships
    174-pounder Ben King has a team-high 12-match win streak with three of his last four wins coming against ranked wrestlers.

    174-pounder Ben King has a team-high 12-match win streak with three of his last four wins coming against ranked wrestlers.

    March 2, 2000

    BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
    The fifth-ranked University of Illinois wrestling team will travel to West Lafayette, Ind., for the 86th annual Big Ten Wrestling Championships. The championships will be held March 4-5 at Mackey Arena on the campus of Purdue University.

    The Fighting Illini enter this year's championship after compiling a 14-1 dual record, matching the 1997 team for best single-season dual mark record under head coach Mark Johnson. That squad went on to finish third at the Big Ten Championships. The Illini rank second in the Big Ten in team championships with 16. The last Illinois team to win the title was in 1952. Iowa leads the Big Ten with 28 team championships. Illinois has also crowned 55 individual Big Ten champions which ranks sixth. The last Illinois individual champion was 158-pounder Ernest Benion in 1997.

    SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
    The following is a breakdown of the daily sessions at this year's Big Ten Wrestling Championships.

    Saturday, March 4
    10 a.m. EST Session I begins
    7 p.m. EST Session II begins

    Sunday, March 5
    11 a.m. EST Session III begins
    3 p.m. EST Finals begin

    THE COACH
    Head coach Mark Johnson is in his eighth season as head coach of the Fighting Illini, with a record of 92-24-1 (.791) at Illinois.

    • Has a career record of 112-29-3 (.788) in 10 years
    • Third-winningest coach in Illinois history, behind B.R. Patterson (99 wins) and H.E. Kenney (94 wins)
    • 1977 Michigan graduate and two-time All-American at 177 pounds
    • 1980 U.S. Olympic team member
    • 1995 NCAA Division I Coach of the Year
    • Has coached three national champions, 15 All-Americans and 54 Big Ten placewinners at Illinois

    THE JOHNSON LEDGER

    YearDual Big TenNCAA
    19939-4EighthT-23rd
    19947-5-1NinthT-37th
    199513-2Fourth9th
    199611-6Fourth12th
    199714-1Third9th
    199811-3Sixth7th
    199913-2Fourth12th
    200014-1

    The Lineup

    Wt.WrestlerOverall RecordCollegiate Record
    125Ryan Escobar23-923-8
    133Dave Stoltz16-1216-11
    141Carl Perry18-417-4
    149Adam Tirapelle31-229-2
    157Griff Powell21-720-7
    165Bill Zeman21-921-9
    174Ben King16-715-7
    184Nate Patrick30-330-3
    197Pat Quirk25-624-6
    HwtJohn Lockhart25-425-2

    THE RATING GAME
    The Fighting Illini are ranked sixth in the latest InterMat NCAA Division I wrestling rankings and fifth by the National Wrestling Coaches Association. Nine Illini individuals are also ranked, they are: Ryan Escobar, 9th (125), Carl Perry, 9th (141), Adam Tirapelle, 5th (149), Griff Powell, 14th (157), Bill Zeman, 17th (165), Ben King, 13th (174), Nate Patrick, 5th (184), Pat Quirk, 10th (197) and John Lockhart, 5th (Heavyweight).

    IT'S GOOD TO BE THE KING
    Illinois 174-pounder Ben King has been the Illini's hottest wrestler of late. He has a team-high 12-match win streak and three of his last four wins have come against ranked wrestlers. King earned a 2-1 double-overtime win over No. 14 Will Hill of Michigan State, an 11-8 decision over No. 15 Gabe McMahan of Iowa and a 9-3 decision over No. 7 Mark Bybee of Northwestern. His efforts have been noticed nationally as the previously unranked King checks in at No. 13 in the individual rankings this week.

    FALL GUY:
    Adam Tirapelle tied assistant coach Karl Roesler for fourth place on the Fighting Illini's career pins list with his fall over Nick Scacco of Northwestern. With his next pin - his 14th of the season - he will tie the third-place mark of Bob Norman, who had 22 career pins.

    PERRY CRACKS LIST
    Senior 141-pounder Carl Perry moved into eighth-place on the Illini's career wins list. Perry has 90 career victories and with one more win - his 19th win of the season - he will tie Seth Brady for seventh on the list with 91 victories.

    HOT PURSUIT
    Perry is being pursued by Adam Tirapelle and Bill Zeman in career wins. Tirapelle is the team leader in wins with 31, giving him 88 for his career. Bill Zeman is only three behind with 85 career wins.

    HOT TICKET
    The 2000 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, to be held at Kiel Center, March 16-18, in St. Louis, Missouri, has sold the most all-session tickets in the 69-year history of the event. With 15,015 all-session tickets sold and three-day championship ticket sales over 90,090, the University of Missouri and St. Louis Sports Commission have surpassed the previous record set in 1997 at the University of Northern Iowa. The Kiel Center, which will seat 19,854 for wrestling, is the largest venue ever to host the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. Approximately 2,000 general public seats are still available. For information on all-session and Saturday-only tickets, fans may call 800/916-9642.

    CLUB 30
    Illinois juniors Adam Tirapelle and Nate Patrick have each earned 30 or more wins this season. Those win totals mark the 23rd and 24th time in Illini history an individual has had 30 or more wins in a single season. Tirapelle joined the club last year with the 34 victories and is one of seven others (Steve Marianetti, Eric Siebert, Kevin Puebla, Ernest Benion, Lindsey Durlacher and Jevon Herman) to have accomplished this feat twice in their careers. With 30 or more wins next season, Tirapelle will become the only Illini to have ever made the list three times. Patrick just fell short with 29 wins last season.

    RANKED ROOKIES
    Illinois' recruiting class of Mark Jayne (Elyria, Ohio, St. Edward High School) and Paul Collum (Romeoville High School) are the top-ranked senior wrestlers in their respective weight classes according to Wrestling USA magazine. Jayne, a two-time Ohio state champion, is first at 125 pounds while Collum, a two-time Illinois state champ, is tops at 130.

    Career Wins

    No.Wrestler (Wt.)Wins
    1.Ernest Benion (158)121
    2.Steve Marianetti (134/150)120
    3.Eric Siebert (150)112
    4.Jevon Herman (177)110
    5.Kevin Puebla (126)104
    6.Jon Llewellyn (Hwt)97
    7. Seth Brady (Hwt)91
    8.Carl Perry (141)90
    9.Adam Tirapelle (149)88
    Jon Vaughn (134/142)88
    Karl Roesler (190/Hwt)88
    11.Kirk Azinger (142/150)86
    Lindsey Durlacher (118)86
    13.Bill Zeman (165)85

    Career Pins

    No.WrestlerYearsPins
    1.Keith Healy1984-8831
    2.Larry TenPas1953-5626
    3.Bob Norman1956-5822
    4.Karl Roesler1995-9921
    Adam Tirapelle1997-21
    6.Eric Siebert1994-9819
    Bill Zeman1997-17
    Nate Patrick1998-11
    Carl Perry1996-10
    John Lockhart1998- 9

    Career Coaching Wins

    No.CoachYearsRecord
    1.B.R. Patterson1951-6899-111-12
    2.H.E. Kenney1929-43, 4794-30-3
    3.Mark Johnson1993-92-24-1
    4.Ron Clinton1984-9247-87
    5.Paul Prehn1920-2842-5
    6.Tom Porter1974-7838-49-2
    7.Greg Johnson1979-8337-52-2
    8.Glenn Law1944-5030-15-2
    9.Jack Robinson1969-7328-49-1
    10.Walter Evans1915-177-2-2
    11.A. Elston1912-132-2
    12.T. Paulsen19141-0
    13.R.N. Fargo19110-1
    88 year total520-421-24 (.551)

    A look at the Illini's starting lineup, weight-by-weight:

    125 Pounds

    Ryan Escobar
    23-9 overall, 10-3 duals
    5-6 Jr. El Dorado, Calif.
    • Ranked No. 9 at 125 pounds by InterMat
    • Escobar had a 5-3 record in Big Ten duals this season and was 6-4 against
    Big Ten competition
    • Has recorded six falls
    • Has won five of his last six matches
    Transfer from Southern Oregon State College. Was the NAIA national champion at 125, and a two-time NAIA All-American. Has two years of eligibility remaining, and a redshirt year. Steve Tirapelle's (Illini All-American Adam Tirapelle's father) Godson.

    133 Pounds

    Dave Stoltz
    16-12 overall, 5-6 duals
    5-4 So. Arlington Heights, Ill.
    • Unranked
    • Stoltz had a 4-4 record in Big Ten duals this season and was 5-6 against
    Big Ten competition
    • Has a four-match losing streak
    Last Season: The Illini's regular starter at 133 pounds. Finished with a 16-17 record with one fall. Earned seventh place at the Big Ten Championships. Qualified for the NCAA Championships.
    1997-98: Redshirt season. Finished with an 11-3 record while competing unattached at 126 pounds.
    High School: IHSA state champion in 1995. 1996 Greco Junior National Champion. 1997 Greco Junior National runner-up.

    141 Pounds

    Carl Perry
    18-4 overall, 11-2 duals
    5-6 Sr. Chesapeake, Va.
    • Ranked No. 9 at 141 pounds by InterMat
    • Perry had a 6-2 record in Big Ten duals this season and was 9-2 against
    Big Ten competition
    • Has a two-match wn streak
    • Currently has 90 career wins which ranks eighth on the Illini's all-time career wins list.
    Last Season: Illini starter at 141 where he compiled a 27-12 record including a 6-3 mark in Big Ten duals. Qualified for the NCAA Championship for the third consecutive year after a third-place finish at the Big Ten Championships.
    1997-98: Earned All-America honors by placing seventh at the 1998 NCAA Championships at 126 pounds. Went 6-2 at the NCAA Championships. Reached the NCAA meet after finishing seventh at the Big Ten Championships. Finished 25-9 with two pins.
    1996-97: Named to Amateur Wrestling News' second team All-Rookie Team . Only true freshman to wrestle for the Illini during the season. Started at 126 pounds and finished with a record of 20-6.

    149 Pounds

    Adam Tirapelle
    31-2 overall, 14-1 duals
    5-6 Jr. Clovis, Calif.
    • Ranked No. 5 at 149 pounds by InterMat
    • Had a 7-1 record in Big Ten duals this season and was 8-2 against Big Ten competition
    • Has 13 pins this season after only recording eight falls in his first two seasons. He now has 21 career pins tying Karl Roesler for fourth on the Illini's all-time career pins list. With his next pin - his 14th of the season - he will tie Bob Norman who registered 22 falls from 1956-58
    Last Season: Joined the Illini's single-season 30-win club compiling a 34-8 record. The 34 wins tied Kevin Puebla and Steve Marianetti for fifth on Illinois' single-season all-time wins list. Finished the season with a 6-3 record in Big Ten duals and placed third at the Big Ten Championships. Opened the NCAA Championships with three consecutive wins and earned All-America honors with a third-place finish.
    1997-98: Qualified for the NCAA Championships and finished with a 2-2 record. Placed fourth at the Big Ten Championships. Finished season with a 23-8 record with four pins.

    157 Pounds

    Griff Powell
    21-7 overall, 9-4 duals
    5-7 So. Morton Grove, Ill.
    • Ranked No. 14 at 157 pounds by InterMat
    • Powell had a 5-3 record in Big Ten duals this season and was 6-4 against
    Big Ten competition
    • Currently has a two-match win streak
    Last Season: Was the Illini's regular starter at 157 pounds. Compiled a 27-14 record with one pin including a 6-3 mark in Big Ten duals. His 5-4 decision over Iowa's Jaime Heidt clinched the Illini's 20-16 dual win over Iowa, snapping a a streak of 32 duals losses to the Hawkeyes dating back to Dec. 17, 1960. Placed seventh at the Big Ten Championships and advanced to the NCAA Championships. Posted a 2-2 record at the NCAA Championships.
    1997-98: Redshirt season. Competed unattached at 150 pounds at the St. Louis Open, Northern Open and Miami Open. Ended season with a 12-3 record with one pin. Won the title at the Miami Open. Placed third at the St. Louis Open in the fresh/soph division. Over the summer, he placed seventh at the Junior World Team Trials.

    165 Pounds

    Bill Zeman
    21-9 overall, 8-4 duals
    5-9 Sr. Countryside, Ill.
    • Ranked No. 17 at 165 pounds by InterMat
    • Zeman had a 5-2 record in Big Ten duals this season and was 9-4 against
    Big Ten competition
    • Has a two-match win streak
    Last Season: The Illini's regular starter at 165 pounds. Compiled a 25-14 record including a 6-3 Big Ten dual record. Finished third at the Big Ten Championships. Went 2-2 at the NCAA Championships.
    1997-98: Qualified for his first NCAA Championships and finished with a 1-2 record. Finished seventh at the Big Ten Championships.
    1996-97: Named to Amateur Wrestling News' fourth-team All-Rookie Team . Was the starter at 167 pounds and posted a record of 15-13. Placed seventh at the Big Ten Championships. Won three matches by falls.
    1995-96: Redshirt season. Posted 9-4 record competing unattached. Won frosh/soph division at St. Louis Open.

    174 Pounds

    Ben King
    16-7 overall, 13-1 duals
    5-10 Jr. Western Springs, Ill.
    • Ranked No. 13 at 174 pounds by InterMat
    • King had a 8-0 record in Big Ten duals this season (after going 0-8 in Big Ten duals last year) and was 8-2 against Big Ten competiton
    • Currently enjoying a 12-match win streak which is the longest string on the team
    Last Season: The Illini's regular starter at 174 pounds. Opened the season with a eight-match win streak and was 12-2 after his first 14 matches. Won the St. Louis Open and finished third at the Las Vegas Invitational. Finished the season with a 13-17 record.
    1997-98: Proved to be one of Illinois' most improved wrestlers in his freshman season. Finished with a 20-14 record as the starter at 167 pounds. Qualified for the NCAA Championships and finished 2-2 at the tournament. Placed seventh at the Big Ten Championships. Recorded one fall on the year.
    1996-97: Redshirt season. Finished 2-1 at the St. Louis Open while competing unattached in the Frosh./Soph. Division.

    184 Pounds

    Nate Patrick
    30-3 overall, 14-1 duals
    5-10 Jr. Naperville, Ill.
    • Ranked No. 5 at 184 pounds by InterMat
    • Patrick had a 7-1 record in Big Ten duals this season and was 10-1 against Big Ten competition
    • Has a five-match win streak
    • Second on the team with eight pins. Posted six consecutive falls in dual action. The pins came against Marquette, So. Illinois, Air Force, Fresno State, San Fransicso and Indiana.
    Last Season: The Illini's regular starter at 184 pounds. Posted a 6-3 mark in Big Ten dual competition. Went 1-3 at the Big Ten Championships and was a wild-card selection for the NCAA Championships. Posted a 3-2 mark at the NCAA Championships.
    1997-98: Missed the entire season after tearing his ACL in preseason workouts.
    1996-97: Redshirt season. Competed unattached at the St. Louis Open, where he finished third in the Freshman/Sophomore Division. Competed at the Northern Open, where he went 3-2.

    197 Pounds

    Pat Quirk
    25-6 overall, 11-4 duals
    5-11 Jr. Clarendon Hills, Ill.
    • Ranked No. 10 at 197 pounds by InterMat
    • Quirk had a 5-3 record in Big Ten duals this season and was 10-3 against
    Big Ten competition
    • Has a three-match win streak
    Last Season: The Illini's regular starter at 197 pounds. Compiled a record of 24-11 including a 5-4 record in Big Ten duals. Finished fourth at the Big Ten Championships. Advanced to the NCAA Championships a posted a 3-2 record.
    1997-98: Finished third at the Big Ten Championships at 190 pounds. Qualified for the NCAA Championships and finished with a record of 1-2 at the tournament. Placed fourth at the Midlands Classic. Finished the season with a record of 23-13.
    1996-97: Redshirt season. Competed unattached at the St. Louis Open at 190 pounds and finished second in the Frosh./Soph. Division. Placed fourth at the 1997 Espoir National Tournament.

    Heavyweight

    John Lockhart
    21-3 overall, 9-1 duals
    6-2 So. Mahomet, Ill.
    • Ranked No. 5 at heavyweight by InterMat
    • Lockhart has a 7-1 record in Big Ten duals this season and was 10-1 against Big Ten competition
    • Has a two-match win streak
    • Earned titles at both the St. Louis Open and Las Vegas Invitational
    Last Season: Compiled a 25-6 record wrestling behind two-time All-American Karl Roesler. Stepped in for the injured Roesler and picked up three key dual wins over wrestlers from Wisconsin, Penn State and Iowa. Placed sixth at both the UNI Open and the Midlands. Earned first-place honors at the Miami Open. Named Academic All-Big Ten.
    1997-98: Redshirt season. Placed fifth at 1998 Junior World Team Trials. Competed unattached at the St. Louis Open, Northern Open and Miami Open and finished year with an 8-3 record. Won the fresh/soph division title at the St. Louis Open. Placed second at the Miami Open.

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