Sophomore Jesse Delgado won the NCAA title at 125 pounds for first time in school history.
May 24, 2013
Sophomore Jesse Delgado capped off an incredible season after winning his first ever NCAA title at 125 pounds. Delgado defeated No. 4 seed Nico Megaludis 7-4 in the championship match to give the Illini their first ever national champion at that weight. With the win, the sophomore earned his second All- America honors and was on top of the podium for first time since Matt Lackey in 2003. Delgado also won the Big Ten 125 title, defeating top-seeded Matt McDonough (Iowa). For his efforts, he was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Championships. Delgado owned a 6-1 Big Ten dual record and scored 35 dual points for the Illini, the second most on the team this season.
Senior Conrad Polz earned his second consecutive All-America honor by placing a career-best fifth at the NCAA Championships. He finished a lifetime-best runner-up at the Big Ten Championships to automatically qualify for nationals. Polz finished with a record of 27-8 and recorded 38 dual team points, the most of an Illini on the season.
Senior Jordan Blanton ended his career as an Illini, earning his third All-America honor after placing seventh at the NCAA Championships. He was the first three-time All-American at Illinois since Mike Poeta achieved the feat in 2007-09. Blanton also out-performed his No. 6 seed at the Big Ten Championships, finishing fourth in the conference at 174 pounds. He finished his career with 29 pins, which is tied with B.J. Futrell for the third most in program history. He ended his collegiate career with a record of 115-43 which ranks as the 10th best in school history.
Senior B.J. Futrell moved up another weight class at 141 and went 19-1 on the season before missing the rest of season with a neck injury. Although, in his few months of competition, he became the school record holder in career pins with 38.
Polz Named to NWCA Academic Team
Senior Conrad Polz was recently named to the 2013 National Wrestling Coaches Associaton's All-Academic Team. This is the second time in his career he's been named to the list. The individual All-Academic is based on both academic performance and athletic complishments, and wrestlers can qualify one of two different ways: with a 3.2 cumulative GPA and having been an NCAA qualifier or winning 60% of matches; or with a 3.0 cumulative GPA and having earned NCAA All-America honors.
Perry Named AWN's Assistant Coach of the Year
The Amateur Wrestling News announced their post season awards as Illinois assistant coach Mark Perry was named the 2013 Division I Assistant Coach of the Year. This is the first time Perry has earned the award. Perry was an integral part in sophomore Jesse Delgado winning the NCAA title as Delgado followed him to Champaign from Cal Poly. Since Perry has been at Illinois, they've finished in the top-10 in the nation in back-to-back years.
Delgado Wins First NCAA Title
Illinois sophomore Jesse Delgado won the NCAA title at 125 pounds with his 7-4 decision over No.4 seed Nico Megaludis of Penn State. The Illini's title is the first ever at that weight in school history. Delgado is the first NCAA champion since Matt Lackey accomplished the feat in 2003. He finished the season with a 27-3 record and is the first Illini to win a Big Ten and NCAA title in the same year since Lackey in 2003. The squad finished ninth with 45.5 points and crowned three All-Americans including Conrad Polz (165) and Jordan Blanton (174).
Delgado Given Conference Honors
For his efforts at the Big Ten Championships, sophomore Jesse Delgado was named Outstanding Wrestler of the Championships. It was the first time an Illini wrestler has earned the title outright.
Delgado Wins Big Ten Title at 125
Third-seeded Jesse Delgado won his first career title with a 10-4 decision over top-seeded Iowa's Matt McDonough at the 2013 Big Ten Championships. The sophomore went undefeated at the event, defeating Eric Coufal (Nebraska) by a fall in 4:10, then took down No. 6 seed Camden Eppert (Purdue) with a 10-2 major decision. In the championship semifinals, Delgado defeated No. 2 Nico Megaludis (Penn State) by a 6-3 decision to advance to the final bout. The Illini grappler than defeated McDonough (Iowa) 10-4 for the crown.
Illini Place Fifth at Big Ten's
Sophomore Jesse Delgado dominated the field at the 2013 Big Ten Championships, winning his first conference title at 125. Delgado recorded a pin, major decision and two decisions to earn the first Big Ten title at 125 since 1945. Conrad Polz finished runner-up (165), Mario Gonzalez (197) placed third, while Daryl Thomas (133) and Jordan Blanton (174) took fourth. Tony Dallago (184) placed sixth while Caleb Ervin (149) finished eighth. Delgado, Thomas, Polz, Blanton, Dallago and Gonzalez qualified automatically for the NCAA Championships while Ervin notched an at-large bid to the national meet.
Full notes can be found above in the PDF.