Seven Illini see season end with championships on the horizon

Senior+Travis+Piotrowski+wrestles+a+Purdue+opponent+during+the+Illinois%27+dual+against+Purdue+at+Huff+Hall+on+Feb.+16.

Ryan Ash

Senior Travis Piotrowski wrestles a Purdue opponent during the Illinois’ dual against Purdue at Huff Hall on Feb. 16.

By Andrew Medina, Staff Writer

The Big Ten Conference has canceled all remaining competitions for winter and spring sports. As a result, the remaining wrestling season has been canceled. The Big Ten Conference is taking precautions against the COVID-19 virus and encourages safety first. The University of Illinois stands by the Big Ten’s decision to cancel all remaining sporting events to ensure the safety of the athletes and administration.

The cancelations came just after the Big Ten Championships, where the Illini finished in 11th place, but just before the NCAA Championships, which seven Illini wrestlers qualified for. The Illini wrestling team has given a strong performance this entire season.

Redshirt freshman Justin Cardani ended his season with an overall record of 16-10 in the 125 lbs. weight class. Cardani’s dual meet record was 11-3, and he scored a total of 34 points for the Illini in those duals, which helped lead him to an at-large bid for the NCAA Championships.

In the 133 lbs. weight class, senior Travis Piotrowski had an overall record of 26-4, a single season high in wins for Piotrowski. He had a 14-0 dual meet record and scored 53 dual points. He placed fifth in this year’s Big Ten Championships and qualified for the NCAA Championships as well.

Redshirt junior Dylan Duncan finished this season with a record of 19-10 in the 141 lbs. weight class. Duncan’s dual meet record was 7-4, and he earned 29 dual points for the Illini. He placed seventh in the Big Ten Championships this season and qualified for the NCAA Championships.

Ryan Ash
Junior Dylan Duncan wrestles against a Purdue opponent at Huff Hall on Feb. 16.

Redshirt senior Mousa Jodeh wrestled in the 149 lbs. weight class and started for the Illini throughout the season.

Redshirt senior Eric Barone competed in the 157 lbs. weight class and secured an overall record of 15-13. He placed fourth at the Big Ten Championships this year and secured a spot to the NCAA Championships.

Redshirt freshman Danny Braunagel started for the Illini in the 165 lbs. weight class and finished his season with an overall record of 23-9. Braunagel’s dual meet record was 10-3 and he scored 36 dual points throughout the season. He finished sixth in the Big Ten Championships and qualified for the NCAA Championships.

Redshirt senior Joey Gunther finished this season with a record of 17-9 for the Illini. Gunther had a dual meet record of 8-5 and he scored 25 dual points this season. He placed eighth in this season’s Big Ten Championships, earning a spot in the NCAA championships.

In the 184 lbs. weight class, redshirt freshman Zac Braunagel ended the season with a record of 21-10. His dual meet record was 9-5 and he earned 35 dual points for the Illini.

Redshirt sophomore Matt Wroblewski started for the Illini in the 197 lbs. weight class and finished the season with a record of 10-13.

Freshman Luke Luffman finished his first season with the Illini with a 17-11 record as a heavyweight. Luffman had a dual meet record of 8-6 and he scored 28 dual points this season. He placed eighth in his first Big Ten Championships.

Illinois finished No. 20 in the overall NCAA rankings with a record of 20-4 and 80 points scored this season.

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