Sophomore Tony Dallago is one of five returning NCAA qualifiers for the Illini.
Nov. 11, 2011
#8 Illinois at Wrestle for a Cure Duals
Saturday, Nov. 12 // Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center // Harrisburg, Pa.
#8 Illinois vs. North Carolina - 9 a.m. CT
#8 Illinois vs. #24 Kent State - 1 p.m. CT
#8 Illinois vs. The Citadel - 3 p.m. CT
#8 Illinois vs. Utah Valley - 7:05 p.m. CT
Junior B.J. Futrell had an career season at 133 pounds last year after recovering from a shoulder injury that cut his 2009-10 season short. Futrell earning his first career All-America honor after placing fourth at the Big Ten Championships. He finished the year 28-10 and topped four top-10 foes: Scotti Sentes (Central Michigan), Devin Carter (Virginia Tech) [twice] and Tony Ramos (Iowa).
Junior Jordan Blanton returns this season after redshirting in 2010-11 and opens the season ranked either No. 3 or 4 by all three major rankings. Blanton holds down the No. 3 spot at 174 in Intermat and W.I.N. Magazine and is No. 4 by Amateur Wrestling News. Recorded a 10-3 record last season before sustaining an a back injury. In 2010, Blanton out-performed his No. 10 seed at the NCAA tournament to earn his first career All-America honor.
Senior Eric Terrazas will start at 149 for the fourth-straight year after finishing 26-11 a year ago. This summer Terrazas placed second at University Nationals and competed at the 2011 World Team Trials. He also place third at Midlands, winning eight straight matches, including a victory over a top-10 opponent. He went 5-3 in Big Ten duals and qualified automatically for his first career NCAA Championships by placying fifth at the Big Ten Championships.
#8 Illinois (0-0, 0-0) Probable Wrestlers
125 17/15/- Jesse Delgado, 4-0, r-Fr.
133 3/3/4 B.J. Futrell, 4-0, r-Jr.
141 -/-/- Daryl Thomas, 5-2, r-Jr.
OR -/-/- Tucker Armstrong, 3-2, r-Fr.
149 10/8/7 Eric Terrazas, 5-0, Sr.
157 -/-/- Kyle Dooley, 3-1, r-Jr.
OR 20/16/- Jackson Morse, 0-0, So.
165 -/-/- Conrad Polz, 5-0, r-Jr.
174 3/3/4 Jordan Blanton, 4-0, r-Jr.
184 -/-/- Tony Dallago, 3-1, r-So.
197 17/16/16 Mario Gonzalez, 4-0, r-So.
HWT -/-/- Pat Walker, 5-2, r-Jr.
Rankings are listed in Intermat, W.I.N., AWN format
RECORDS AGAINST THE FIELD
The Illini hold a 4-1 record over North Carolina, with the last meeting coming in 1985. The Orange and Blue were victorious in the only meeting against Kent State in taking a 19-15 match in 2008. This will be the first time the Illini have competed against The Citadel and Utah Valley.
SELECT ILLINI TO MSU OPEN
The Illini will send 12 wrestlers to compete in the Michigan State open this weekend. There will be an open division and a freshman/sophomore division held at the event, which is one of the largest tournaments in the nation.
ILLINI DOMINATE LORAS OPEN
Six Illini wrestlers won titles at the Loras Open last Saturday with 10 others placing in the top six in their respective weight classes. The Illini racked up 21 pins and 13 technical falls during the season opening tournament. Freshman Jesse Delgado took the title at 125 pounds, junior B.J. Futrell placed first at 133, senior Eric Terrazas earned the top spot at 149, junior Conrad Polz won the title at 165 and junior Jordan Blanton and sophomore Mario Gonzalez took titles at 174,197, respectively.
PINS COME EARLY FOR ILLINI,br> The 2011-12 starting squad began their year recording 21 pins at the Loras Open last Saturday highlighted by junior Conrad Polz (165) with the fastest pin of the tournament in a time of 30 seconds. Teammates Daryl Thomas (141) and Mario Gonzalez (197) both recorded three pins during the event.
TWO SELECTED FOR ALL-STAR CLASSIC
Juniors B.J. Futrell and Jordan Blanton were selected to compete in the 2011 NWCA All-Star Classic presented by The Marines on Monday, Nov. 21. Futrell will face Oklahoma State's Jordan Oliver while Blanton will compete against Ohio State's Nick Heflin. The competition will start at 7:30 p.m. at the Walls Fargo Arena in Tempe, Ariz. Arizona State will host the tournament.
ILLINI IN THE RANKINGS
The Fighting Illini are ranked No. 8 in the first NWCA/USA Today Division I team coaches' poll, released by the National Wrestling Coaches Association. It marks the third time in the last four years that the Illini have been ranked in the top 10 to start the season, along with the No. 10 ranking to open the 2010-11 year.
2011-12 SCHEDULE IS COMPETITIVE
The schedule in 2011-12 looks a bit different, with the Loras Open, Wrestle for a Cure Duals and Midlands being the only tournaments that the Illini will participate in other than the postseason events. But Heffernan has arranged dual with eight teams that finished in the top-25 at the 2011 NCAA Championships. The Illini begin their action packed season on the road for the first month of competition, squaring off with Kent State, which finished 17th at the end of the 2011 season, Utah Valley, Lehigh, a program that finished eighth a year ago and Clarion. Illinois will travel to Iowa to face the Hawkeyes, who finished third at the 2011 NCAA Championships last year, before returning to Huff Hall for their home-opener with UT- Chattanooga on Dec. 18. The Illini will also host Big Ten foes Minnesota, after the Gophers finished seventh at last years national championships, Michigan State, Northwestern and Wisconsin.
ILLINI RETURN FIVE NCAA QUALIFIERS
Illinois returns five wrestlers which qualified for the 2011 NCAA Championships, including B.J. Futrell at 133, Jordan Blanton at 174, Eric Terrazas at 149, Jackson Morse at 157 and Tony Dallago at 184. Futrell leads this year's quad after finishing eighth at the national tournament.
FUTRELL NOTCHES ALL-AMERICAN STATUS
Sophomore 133-pounder B.J. Futrell took eighth as he was one of two Illini to post All-American status for the fourth-straight season. Futrell breezed through his first two rounds but dropped a 10-1 major decision to No. 2 seed Andrew Hochstrasser (Boise State). He beat Virginia Tech's ninth-seeded Devin Carter but fell in consecutive matches to Central Michigan's No. 11 Scotti Sentes and Hofstra's No. 5 Lou Ruggirello to place eighth.
ILLINI PLACE SIXTH AT BIG TENS
The No. 19 Fighting Illini placed sixth as a team at the 2011 Big Ten Championships. Six Illinois wrestlers placed at the tournament and five qualified automatically for the NCAA Championships.B.J. Futrell (133) took fourth place, Eric Terrazas (149) finished fifth, Conrad Polz (165) took sixth, Jackson Morse (157) placed seventh, with Futrell, Kennedy, Terrazas and Dallago qualifying automatically for the NCAA Championships.