Friedl Heads to NCAA Wrestling Semifinals
March 17, 2006
Oklahoma City - University of Illinois senior Pete Friedl (184) won his quarterfinal match to advance to the semifinals of the 2006 NCAA Championships. The Illini sent two to the quarterfinal round, but an upset of No. 3 seed Alex Tirapelle (157) by No. 11 seed Derek Zinck leaves the Illini with only one wrestler in the championship bracket. Tirapelle joins Kyle Ott (125) and Mike Poeta (165) in the wrestleback bracket. After three full sessions, Illinois stands in 17th place with 23.5 points. Tonight's semifinals will be aired live beginning at 6 p.m. on ESPNU.
In another dramatic meeting between Senior All-Americans Pete Friedl (Sr., Orland Park, Ill.) and Ben Wissel (Purdue), Friedl edged Wissel, 3-1 in sudden victory overtime. With no scoring in the first period, the two 184-pound seniors traded escapes in the second and third periods to send the match into overtime. Just as in the finals of the Midlands Tournament, Friedl scored a takedown in the closing seconds of sudden victory overtime to come away with the victory. Friedl will meet second-seeded Roger Kish (Minnesota) in the semifinals and gets a chance to avenge the loss he suffered at the Big Ten finals.
Tirapelle's (Sr., Clovis, Calif.) quest for a national championship at 157 pounds ended as he dropped a heartbreaker to No. 11 seed Derek Zinck (Lehigh), 3-2, in double overtime. Tirapelle's chances looked great as he took a 1-0 lead as well as riding time advantage into the closing minute of the third period, but Zinck scored a late takedown to send the match into overtime. With no scoring in sudden victory, the match headed into double overtime where Zinck scored an escape point in his 30 second tie-break period. With a chance to send the match into a third overtime, Tirapelle failed to escape as time expired.
In the wrestlebacks, Kyle Ott (125) and Mike Poeta (165) also advanced by each winning two matches. Gabe Flores (133), Donny Reynolds (174) and Tyrone Byrd (197) dropped their matches to eliminate themselves from the tournament.
NOTES: Ott (125), Tirapelle (157) and Poeta (165) are guaranteed a top-8 finish and All-America status if they win their consolation matches in tonight's session ... Friedl (184) moves up in the record books for career wins. He is now ranked third with 123 wins, five behind teammate Alex Tirapelle ... Tyrone Byrd breaks into the top-20 for career wins with 90 victories - he is 20th.
TELEVISION: ESPNU will be producing and syndicating live coverage of the semifinals beginning at 6 p.m. tonight. ESPN will air the championships live at 6:30 p.m. CST on Saturday, March 18.
125: No. 4 seed #4 Kyle Ott (Sr., Huber Heights, Ohio) 14-5 1st Round: Lost by dec. to Michael Sees (Bloomsburg), 8-5 Consolation 1st Round: Won by dec. William Simpson (Army), 3-2 Consolation 2nd Round: Won by dec. No. 7 seed Jeremy Mendoza (Arizona St.), 6-4 sv Consolation 3rd Round: Won by dec. Matthew Fisk (Lehigh), 7-2 Consolation Quarterfinals: No. 9 seed Chad Mendes (Cal Poly)