Feb. 1, 2012
MADISON, Wis.-- The Wisconsin wrestling team (5-8, 0-6 Big Ten) continues its Big Ten season as it travels to Champaign-Urbana, Ill. to take on No. 8 Illinois on Friday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m. and then heads to Iowa City, Iowa, on Sunday, Feb. 5, for a dual meet against No. 5 Iowa at 1 p.m.
The No. 8 Illinois wrestling team (13-2, 5-2 Big Ten) has three-straight conference victories entering its dual against Wisconsin, and most recently knocked off No. 18 Northwestern and unranked Indiana this past weekend. The Illini squad features six individually ranked wrestlers, including No. 7 Jesse Delgado (125 lbs.) and No. 5 B.J. Futrell (133 lbs.).
125 #7 Jesse Delgado
133 #5 B.J. Futrell
14 Daryl Thomas
149 #19 Eric Terrazas
157 Jackson Morse
165 #9 Conrad Polz
174 #11 Jordan Blanton
184 Tony Dallago
197 #16 Mario Gonzalez
Hwt. Pat Walker
The No. 5 Iowa wrestling team (10-3, 5-2 Big Ten) enters the dual coming off of a tight 19-17 dual victory against then-No. 3 Minnesota. Prior to the victory, Iowa dropped two-straight Big Ten conference duals to then-No. 7 Ohio State and then-No. 3 Penn State. The Hawkeyes' squad features six individually ranked wrestlers, five of which are ranked in the Top 10 in their weight class.
125 #1 Matt McDonough
133 #4 Tony Ramos
141 #7 Montell Marion
149 Mike Kelly
157 Nick Moore/Derek St. John
165 #8 Mike Evans
174 #9 Ethan Lofthouse
184 Vinnie Wagner
197 Grant Gambrall
Hwt. Bobby Telford/#14 Blake Rasing
Last time out
On Sunday, Jan. 29, Wisconsin suffered its second shutout loss of the season to No. 7 Nebraska at the UW Field House. The Huskers defeated the Badgers, 36-0, with four victories by extra points.
The dual also marked UW's last home meet of the season and Senior Day for the Badgers' only senior, Ben Jordan. Jordan scored Wisconsin's only offensive points of the dual.
Senior Ben Jordan is the Badgers' only ranked wrestler, coming in at No. 12 at 165 lbs.
Jordan leading the way
Senior Ben Jordan holds the team's best record with a 20-6 record overall and 8-3 dual record. Jordan's only dual losses of the season came against Hofstra's No. 5 Paul Gillespie, Northwestern's Pierce Harger and Nebraska's No. 6 Robert Kokesh.
Jordan against ranked opponents
After losing three of his first four matches against ranked opponents, Jordan has since posted an 8-2 record against ranked wrestlers. Five of those wins came against wrestlers with a higher rank at the time, four of which occurred at the 2011 Midlands Championships.
Of the 14 different wrestlers that have started for UW this season, seven of them wrestled for their first time as a Badger this season, including freshmen Austin Hietpas (125/133 lbs.) and Frank Baer (149 lbs.), redshirt freshmen Thomas Glenn (141 lbs.), Alex Yde (165 lbs.), Frank Cousins (174 lbs.) and Timmy McCall (184 lbs.), and redshirt sophomore Scott Liegel (174 lbs.).
Jordan takes third at Midlands
The Wisconsin wrestling team took 18th place with 40 points at the 49th annual Midlands Championships. Three Badgers placed in the tournament, including senior Ben Jordan (third place) at 165 lbs., redshirt junior Cole Schmitt (seventh place) at 149 lbs., and unattached freshman Connor Medbery (seventh place) at heavyweight. Jordan claimed the third place title at 165 lbs. after defeating four-straight opponents on the final day of competition.
Top recruiting class
The Wisconsin wrestling team signed nine new wrestlers for the class of 2012, marking one of the program's top recruiting classes in UW wrestling history.
The class is composed of seven total ranked wrestlers, including three No. 1-ranked wrestlers, a No. 7, a No. 8, a No. 11 and a No. 20. Davis also recruited multiple wrestlers from three different high schools for this year's class.
2011-12 season outlook
The Badgers returns 10 letterwinners and welcome nine newcomers to its squad in 2011. Head coach Barry Davis returns for his 18th season at the helm of the Wisconsin wrestling program. Davis' staff features three new assistant coaches, Ryan Morningstar, Kyle Ruschell and Trevor Brandvold.
The Badgers return five starters from last year's squad, including NCAA qualifiers No. 16 Cole Schmitt (149 lbs.) and No. 17 Ben Jordan (165 lbs.).
Wisconsin will be without three of its 2011 All-America recipients, Tyler Graff (133 lbs.), Andrew Howe (165 lbs.) and Travis Rutt (184 lbs.), due to Olympic redshirt seasons, but returns two other 2011 NCAA qualifiers in redshirt juniors Cole Schmitt (149 lbs.) and Ben Jordan (165 lbs.).
UW faces a schedule that includes six ranked teams in the NWCA/USA Today Division I Team Coaches Poll, including top-ranked Penn State, No. 2-ranked Iowa and No. 4-ranked Minnesota. In total, the Badgers host five events at the UW Field House in Madison, Wis., including new Big Ten rival Nebraska on Jan. 29.
After competing in the Badger Duals in early November, the team will travel to Princeton, N.J. on Nov. 18 for its first dual meet against Princeton and Rider. Wisconsin then concludes the weekend on Nov. 20 in Long Island, N.Y., against Hofstra.
The Badgers open the month of December in Las Vegas at the Cliff Keen Invite, an event where in 2010 Howe claimed an individual title. The Badgers then travel to Ann Arbor, Mich. for their first Big Ten Conference dual against No. 7 Michigan on Dec. 11.
Wisconsin hosts its first home dual against No. 19 Northwestern on Jan. 8, and then returns to the UW Field House on Jan. 15 to take on 2011 NCAA Division I champion Penn State after facing Northern Iowa on Jan. 13.
UW concludes regular Big Ten competition in Iowa City, Iowa, with a dual against Iowa on Feb. 5.
The Big Ten Championships are slated for March 3-4 in West Lafayette, Ind., and the 2012 NCAA Championships will take place March 15-17 in St. Louis, Mo.