Poeta Wins Missouri Open Title
University of Illinois redshirt-freshman wrestler Mke Poeta won the Missouri Open title at 157 pounds, Sunday, as the Illini opened the 2005 season on a high note. The Illini had 13 wrestlers place in the tournament despite missing their four All-Americans from the lineup.
Poeta (Highland Park, Ill.) won four straight matches at 157 pounds, taking advantage of a forfeit by Mike Chandler of Missouri in the finals to win his second consecutive Missouri Open title.
For the second straight year, junior 174-pounder Donny Reynolds (Frankfort, Ill.) finished in second place, this time losing to No. 1-ranked Ben Askren of Missouri, 25-10. Senior Tyrone Byrd (Clinton, Ill.) battled through the championship bracket for a second-place finish at 197, dropping a 3-1 decision to No. 1-seed Brady Richardson of Indiana. At 149 pounds, redshirt-freshman Troy Tirapelle (Clovis, Calif.) recovered from an early loss to win five matches in a row and earn a third place finish with a 5-2 decision over Chris Seta of Campbellsville University.
Junior heavyweight Matt Weight (Batavia, Ill.) placed third with his 7-2 decision over Brad Farmer of Oklahoma. Junior Matt Winterhalter (Durand, Ill.) finished the day in fourth place at 174 pounds, while 141-pound junior Joel Karr (Clinton, Ill.) placed fifth. Senior heavyweight Matt Fletcher (Peru, Ill.) took sixth.
The Illini also saw great success in the freshman division as Nick Guida (Allentown, Pa.) won five straight matches at 174 pounds, downing No. 2 seed Matt Cauley of Lindenwood University to win his first collegiate title. Clint Arlis (Batavia, Ill.), 149 pounds and heavyweight John Wise (Pittsfield, Ill.) placed second, while 184-pounder Jake Norman (Batavia, Ill.) placed fourth and heavyweight Andy Greenawalt (Naperville, Ill.) placed fifth.
The Illini return to action on Dec. 2-3 as they travel to the Las Vegas Invitational.