#7 Illini Travels to Midlands Championships

Senior Eric Terrazas has had most success at Midlands among the current Illini team finishing third in 2010.
Senior Eric Terrazas has had most success at Midlands among the current Illini team finishing third in 2010.

Dec. 27, 2011

Printable Midlands Championships NotesGet Acrobat Reader

#7 Illinois at Midlands Championships
Dec. 29-30 // Welsh-Ryan Arena // Evanston, Ill.

#7 Illinois (7-1, 0-1) Probable Starters
125 6/4/8, Jesse Delgado, 12-1, r-Fr.
133 7/6/5, B.J. Futrell, 9-2, r-Jr.
141 -/-/-, Daryl Thomas, 7-4, r-Jr.
149 6/6/10, Eric Terrazas, 12-1, Sr.
157 -/-/-, Kyle Dooley, 3-3, r-Jr.
165 -/10/-, Jackson Morse, 5-2, So.
174 9/7/3, Jordan Blanton, 11-1, r-Jr.
184 -/-/-, Tony Dallago, 9-3, r-So.
197 14/9/16, Mario Gonzalez, 9-1, r-So.
HWT -/-/-, Pat Walker, 9-6, r-Jr.

Rankings are listed in Intermat, W.I.N., AWN format

Midlands Championships Session Times
Thursday, Dec. 29
Session 1 - 9:30 AM - 4 PM
Session 2 - 7 PM - 10 PM

Friday, Dec. 30
Session 3 - Noon - 3 PM
Session 4 (1st/3rd/5th place) - 7:20 PM - 9:30 PM

Live Radio
Midlands will be streamed live on Takedown Radio

Same-day delay: Dec. 30, 9 PM CT
Play-by-play: Tim Johnson
Analysis: Jake Herbert

Quick Hits • Freshman Jesse Delgado begins his first season as an Illini recording an impressive 12-1 record, including a victory over No. 1 ranked 125-pounder Matt McDonough of Iowa in an 11-7 OT decision. Eight of the 12 victories are from technical falls as the Salinas, Calif., native is tied for second in the nation and leads the team in the category. Delgado is ranked No. 6 by Intermat, No. 4 by W.I.N. Magazine and No. 8 by Amateur Wrestling News.

• Junior B.J. Futrell is 9-2 heading into the last open tournament of the regular season. Out of the nine matches, he has pinned six of his opponents en route to tying his career-best in falls. Futrell is ranked in the top seven nationally, including No. 7 by Intermat, No. 6 by W.I.N. Magazine and No. 5 by Amateur Wrestling News.

• At 149, senior Eric Terrazas begins his final season by starting 12-1 in duals thus far, including three technical falls, three major decisions and seven decisions. Terrazas is ranked a career-high No. 6 and 10 by all three major rankings.

• Junior Jordan Blanton is ranked in the top 10 by all three major rankings. He is 11-1 thus far, with six wins coming from pins. In 2010, Blanton out-performed his No. 10 seed at the NCAA tournament to earn his first career All-America honor.

No. 7 Illinois travels to Evanston, Ill., for the 49th annual Midlands Championships on Dec. 29-30. The Illini also will face Northwestern in a dual at home on Jan. 27. The Illini have had great success at Midlands, finishing in the top 10 at the event in each of the last 15 years and winning the tournament three straight years from 2003-05. No. 6 Eric Terrazas has had the most success at Midlands among the current Illini team, having finished third in 2010. No. 7 B.J. Futrell is the only other Illini to have placed at Midlands, finishing second at 133 last season.

Jesse Delgado was named the No. 1 top contender, essentially a pre-seed, at 125 pounds at Midlands, while Terrazas was seeded No. 3 at 149. B.J. Futrell (133) and Jordan Blanton (174) are slotted at No. 4 in the top contender listings while Tony Dallago (184) and Mario Gonzalez (197) earned the No. 8 spot, released on Dec. 21 by the tournament committee.

As usual, Midlands will feature a great deal of top teams and individuals. Using the Dec. 13 NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll, three of the top 10 and 10 of the top 25 teams in the country will be at Midlands. And using the Dec. 21 Amateur Wrestling News individual rankings, there are 74 ranked wrestlers among the 29 teams entered in Midlands, including four No. 1-ranked wrestlers, five wrestlers ranked No. 2 and 47 top-10 wrestlers. Those numbers don't count any individuals entering the tournament without their team counting the event as a competition date.

The Illinois wrestling team started their home schedule with a victory as they took down UT-Chattanooga 30-6 to improve to 7-1 on the season. Eight of the ten Illini won their matches, including Jesse Delgado, Daryl Thomas, Eric Terrazas, Guy Kirby, Jackson Morse, Jordan Blanton, Tony Dallago and Mario Gonzalez. Delgado recorded a technical fall and Dallago logged a pin in their respective matches to help boost the Orange and Blue over the Mocs at Huff Hall.

Illinois has 10 wrestlers listed in their probable lineup this week. The 10 wrestlers have combined for 83 wins in 104 matches this season, including 17 major decisions, 28 technical falls and 30 pins.

Freshman Jesse Delgado upset No. 1 Matt McDonough at 125 pounds in overtime however it wasn't enough as Illinois fell to Iowa, 20-13. The Illini kept the dual close with three others winning their bouts, including Eric Terrazas, Tony Dallago and Mario Gonzalez. Terrazas started the dual with a 8-4 decision while Dallago recorded a 17-8 major decision and Gonzalez posted a 11-9 decision.

The 2011-12 Fighting Illini have proved themselves to be a team of pinners, already having notched 38 pins. Juniors B.J. Futrell and Jordan Blanton lead the squad with six falls.