#5 Illini Hit the Road for Northern Iowa Open
Illini compete in fourth open meet of the season
Redshirt-senior B.J. Futrell has started his final season as one to remember, becoming the new school record holder in career pins. Futrell recently set the school record, and currently has 34 falls and counting. He is ranked No. 3 by W.I.N. Magazine. Futrell finished sixth at the NCAA Championships and earned his second career All-America honor. Futrell placed third at the Big Ten Championships and finished the season with a 30-9 record.
Sophomore Jesse Delgado will return as the starter at 125 after having a standout 2011-12 season. The Gilroy, Calif., native earned his first career All-America honor by placing seventh at the 2012 NCAA Championships and finished third at the Big Ten Championships. Delgado also went 6-2 during the Big Ten dual season and was the only wrestler to defeat No. 1 Matt McDonough of Iowa. Delgado also recorded eight tech falls last season and led the team in the category.
Currently, the Illini are ranked in every weight class but two, including 125 pounder Delgado being ranked the highest at No. 2 in the country. The squad will look to Caleb Ervin to add success at the 149 spot, as the redshirt-freshman has had early success this season, winning the Harris Open title a few weeks ago. Two Orange and Blue grapplers are in the ranks for the first time in their career, including 133 pounder Daryl Thomas (No. 10) and heavyweight Pat Walker (No. 15).
#5 ILLINOIS at Northern Iowa Open
Dec. 8 // UNI DOME // Cedar Falls, Iowa
All-Session reserved school block tickets for the 2013 Big Ten Wrestling Championships are on sale now. The Illini will host the championships in Assembly Hall on March 9-10. Fans have until Friday, Feb. 8 to place their reserved All-Session tickets within their school block. For more information on tickets, contact the Illinois Ticket Office at 1-866-Illini-1.
The Illini return to action after a week off, heading to Cedar Falls, Iowa for the University of Northern Iowa Open on Saturday. Wrestling is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. CT in the UNI Dome.
Two-time All-American B.J. Futrell became Illinois all-time school record holder in career pins after going 3-0 at the Journeyman Duals. Futrell now has 34 total falls and counting in his career, passing Adam Tirapelle (1998-01) who recorded 33.
Daryl Thomas earned Big Ten Wrestler of the Week honors on Nov. 27 after going undefeated and defeating two top-20 opponents at the Journeyman Duals. The 133 pounder earned a 22-7 tech fall in 5:45 over No. 14 Garrett Grey of Princeton before taking down No. 15 Geoffrey Alexander of Maryland 7-3.
The No. 5 Fighting Illini wrestling team began their dual season impressively as Illinois went 3-0 at the Journeyman Duals in Troy, N.Y. Illinois moved past Princeton 46-0, No. 15 Maryland 31-6 and No. 24 Binghamton 39-10 to finish the day undefeated.