Tirapelle, Quirk and Lockhart Vye for National Wrestling Titles


March 16, 2001

Iowa City, Iowa.-The seventh-ranked University of Illinois wrestling team advanced four wrestlers into semifinal action Friday night at the 71st Annual NCAA wrestling championships in Iowa City, Iowa, and came away with three victories while crowning four All-Americans. Adam Tirapelle advance into tomorrow's title match with a 6-0 win over Minnesota's Jared Lawrence, avenging a loss in this year's Big Ten title match. Pat Quirk followed at 197 pounds with a 8-4 decision over Mike Fickell of Penn and John Lockhart also avenged a Big Ten heavyweight title match loss with a 2-1 double overtime win over Olympic Bronze medalist Garrett Lowney of Minnesota.

Matt Lackey was the Illini's lone semifinalist who failed to advance into the title match. He faced top-ranked Donny Pritzlaff of Wisconsin and dropped a narrow 6-3 decision.

Tirapelle was impressive in his run to the title match. He pinned Michigan's Mike Kulczycki at 1:55 to advance to the semifinals to face Lawrence of Minnesota. Tirapelle scored a takedown in the first period and started the second down and built a 3-0 lead with an escape at 1:50. He then added a takedown in the period's waning moments to lead 5-0. He added a point for riding time for the 6-0 final.

Quirk faced the No. 2 seed and defending national champion in the quarterfinals. He trailed 1-0 early in the second but scored two takedowns to lead 4-2 at the end of two periods. The wrestlers started the third in the neutral position and Quirk registered two more takedowns for the 8-4 final. He then advanced to face the No. 11 seed Mike Fickell of Penn. Quirk defeated Fickell at last year's championship by a score of 13-8 in a match to earn All-America status. The result was the same this year with Quirk registering the only offense with three takedowns, an escape and a stall point for his 8-3 win.

Lockhart's trek to the title match has been the longest. The junior used two overtimes in his first-round match, a single overtime in his second round match, a slim one-point victory in the semifinals and used a two overtime victory to advance into the finals. In his semifinal win over Lowney, both wrestlers failed to score in the first then exchanged escapes to tie 1-1 in regulation. The key to the overtime was the coin toss which rolled on edge and circled the mat and appeared to be in Lowney's favor, but tipped to Lockhart to set the stage, Lockhart would have choice if the match entered a second overtime. Lockhart choose down and needed only two seconds to secure the win.

Tirapelle, the third seed, will face No. 4 Dave Esposito of Lehigh in the 149-pound title, No. 7 Quirk will face top seeded Mark Munoz of Oklahoma State and Lockhart, the four seed will square off with No. 2 Tommy Rowlands of Ohio State.

Wrestlebacks will continue at 8 a.m. on Sunday with the finals slated to start at 12:30 p.m.

71st NCAA Wrestling Championships Second Day Results March 16, 2001 Carver-Hawkeye Arena Iowa City, Iowa

Top 10 Team Scores: 1. Iowa 112.00 2. Minnesota 109.50 3. Oklahoma State 106.00 4. Illinois 76.50 5. Oklahoma 74.00 6. Iowa State 44.50 7. Michigan 33.50 Nebraska 33.50 9. Wisconsin 32.50 10. Lehigh 30.50

Illinois Second Day Results:

125 Pounds- Quarterfinal: No. 3 Leroy Vega (Minnesota) defeated No. 11 Ryan Escobar (Illinois), 13-3 Wrestleback: No. 7 Chris Williams (Michigan State) defeated No. 11 Ryan Escobar (Illinois), 4-1 Escobar eliminated

141 Pounds- Wrestlebacks: Robert Sessley (Ohio State) defeated Mike Castillo (Illinois), 6-3 Castillo eliminated

149 Pounds- Quarterfinal: No. 3 Adam Tirapelle (Illinois) pinned No. 11 Mike Kulczycki (Michigan), 1:55 Semifinal: No. 3 Adam Tirapelle (Illinois) defeated No. 2 Jared Lawrence (Minnesota), 6-0 Title: No. 3 Adam Tirapelle (Illinois) vs. Dave Esposito (Lehigh)

157 Pounds- Wrestleback: Nathan Vasquez (Fresno State) defeated Griff Powell (Illinois), 5-3 (ot) Powell eliminated

165 Pounds- Quarterfinal: No. 5 Matt Lackey (Illinois) defeated No. 4 Robbie Waller (Oklahoma), 3-1 (ot) Semifinal: No. 1 Donny Pritzlaff (Wisconsin) defeated No. 5 Matt Lackey (Illinois), 6-3

174 Pounds- Wrestleback: Ben King (Illinois) defeated Dustin Kawa (NC State), 10-8 Wrestleback: Jim Stanec (Cornell) defeated Ben King (Illinois), 9-4 King eliminated

184 Pounds- Quarterfinal: No. 7 Andy Hrovat (Michigan) defeated No. 2 Nate Patrick (Illinois), 3-1 (2ot) Wrestlebacks: No. 9 Cash Edwards (Boise State) defeated No. 2 Nate Patrick, injury default Patrick eliminated

197 Pounds- Quarterfinal: No. 7 Pat Quirk (Illinois) defeated No. 2 Brad Vering (Nebraska), 8-4 Semifinal: No. 7 Pat Quirk (Illinois) defeated No. 11 Mike Fickell (Penn), 8-4 Final: No. 7 Pat Quirk (Illinois) vs. No. 1 Mark Munoz (Oklahoma State)

Heavyweight- Quarterfinal: No. 4 John Lockhart (Illinois) defeated No. 5 Matt Brink (Michigan), 3-2 Semifinal: No. 4 John Lockhart (Illinois) defeated No. 1 Garrett Lowney (Minnesota), 2-1 (2ot) Final: No. 4 John Lockhart (Illinois) vs. No. 2 Tommy Rowlands