By University of Illinois Athletics

Final B1G Brackets

BLOOMINGTON, IND. – No. 1 Isaiah Martinez defeated No. 2 Logan Massa (Michigan) 10-4 in the 165-pound title bout to win his third career Big Ten title on Sunday at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. Winning two titles at 157 pounds before moving up to 165 pounds this season, the Illini redshirt junior becomes the third Illini grappler to win three conference crowns in their career.

2017-B1G-Isaiah-Martinez

“Each of the championships were unique in their own way because the competitors in front of me were different every year, but this one feels good,” said Martinez of the three Big Ten titles. “Legacy is everything. That’s what drives me to pursue excellence in everything I do. It’s what kind of legacy do I want to leave behind as an athlete, as a wrestler and as an Illini. I want to be the greatest to ever do it. That’s what drives me.”

The Illini finished sixth overall at Big Ten Championships with 88.5 points, while putting seven individuals on the podium and qualifying six for NCAA Championships. Travis Piotrowski (125), Zane Richards (133), Kyle Langenderfer (157), Isaiah Martinez (165), Zac Brunson (174) and Emery Parker (184) each earned automatic bids to the national meet, while at-large bids will be announced on Wednesday, March 8.

The three-time champion worked off Massa’s early aggression in the first period to break the match open with a takedown and four-point near fall, nearly pinning the Michigan wrestler in the process. Martinez controlled the rest of the match, never letting Massa to get closer than four points, and capped off the victory with a late takedown in the third period.

“He got caught being overaggressive and I capitalized on his overexposure, which is a massive lead in a one-versus-two match,” explained Martinez. “After that, I may have been more passive than I should have been. I was waiting for him to make a mistake, but really didn’t take many more attempts after that.”

Martinez joins Bob Emmons (1931-33) and John Llewellyn (1989-91) as the only Illini wrestlers to win three Big Ten titles in their career. He’s also just the fifth Illini to win a Big Ten title at two different weight classes.

Martinez reached the final with three victories, two coming with bonus points. The 165-pounder started the championships with a 24-13 major decision, and then added a pin of No. 8 seed Drew Hughes (0:58) to reach in the quaterfinals. On Saturday night, Martinez advanced to the final with an 8-5 victory over No. 4 seed Vincenzo Joseph of Penn State.

Six other Illini wrestlers reached the podium on Sunday, as Zac Brunson (4th/174), Zane Richards (4th/133), Travis Piotrowski (4th/125), Emery Parker (5th/184), Kyle Langenderfer (8th/157) and Eric Barone (8th/149) each placed for the Orange and Blue.

In arguably the most impressive performance for the Illini this weekend, unseeded true freshman Travis Piotrowski placed fourth at 125 pounds. After dropping a tough 10-8 decision in sudden victory to start the tournament, Piotrowski rolled off four straight victories, including two in overtime, to wrestle back to the third place match where he lost to the No. 3 seed Ethan Lizak (Minnesota).

“For me it was just about enjoying the moment and being out there,” said the Illini freshman. “Coach Perry told me let it fly, and that’s what I did. I just let it all out there and didn’t hold anything back.”

With the fourth-place finish, Piotrowski becomes the first Illini true freshman to advance to NCAA Championships since Jackson Morse in 2011.

“It’s a big confidence booster for me,” said Piotrowski. “It helps me build my confidence and show what I’m capable of. This is just the beginning. I have so much I can still improve on heading into NCAA Championships this year and going forward.”

Senior Zane Richards placed fourth in his final Big Ten Championships, going 4-2 on the weekend. Both losses came at the hands of No. 5 seed Stevan Micic, first in the quarters and again with a sudden-victory pin (7:59) with one second left in the overtime period. It’s Richards fourth time placing at the conference championships.

Zac Brunson was the third lllini to earn a fourth place finish with a 3-2 record on the weekend, including a 3-2 decision against No. 5 seed Alex Meyer (Iowa) in the consolation semifinals before losing to No. 4 seed Myles Amine (Michigan) in the third-place match.

Emery Parker earned a fifth-place finish in his first Big Ten Championships. The redshirt sophomore went 4-2 this weekend with two pins in wrestlebacks to reach the consolation semifinal round. Parker lost to top-seed Bo Nickal in the consolation semifinals on Sunday before winning by injury default against No. 3 seed Nate Jackson (Indiana) in the fifth place match.

Eric Barone and Kyle Langenderfer (157 pounds) also placed for the Illini, placing eighth after dropping their seventh-place matches this afternoon.

Up next, the Fighting Illini will await the NCAA Championships selection show on March 8 at 5 p.m. central time. Six Illini earned automatic bids to the field this weekend, while the rest of the Illini will wait to see if they receive at-large bids to the national meet. NCAA Championships will be held March 16-18 in St. Louis, Missouri at the Scottrade Center.

Illini Championships Notes:

Isaiah Martinez won his third Big Ten title, becoming just the third Illini wrestler to do so. Bob Emmons (1931-33) and John Llewellyn (1989-91) also won three conference titles at Illinois.
Six Illini clinched automatic bids to NCAA Championships this weekend: Travis Piotrowski (125), Zane Richards (133), Kyle Langenderfer (157), Isaiah Martinez (165), Zac Brunson (174) and Emery Parker (184).
Travis Piotrowski’s becomes the first Illini true freshman to clinch a bid to NCAA Championships since Jackson Morse did so in 2011.
Zane Richards and Zac Brunson both moved up Illinois’ all-time wins list this weekend. Richards’ four victories move the senior into a tie for 15th on Illinois’ all-time list with 107 career victories, while Brunson’s four wins puts him in a tie for 22nd place all-time with 103 victories.
Brunson’s opening round pin (0:16) of Braxton Cody (Northwestern) on Saturday tied the Big Ten Championships record for fastest pin. The 16 seconds ties Robert Kokesh’s pin of Taylor Massa (Michigan) in the 174-pound quarterfinals in 2015.
The fall is Brunson’s 19th of his career, putting him one pin outside of the top-10 on Illinois’ all-time list. Troy Tirapelle (2006-09) is 10th in school history with 20 pins.
Emery Parker (5th/184), Travis Piotrowski (4th/125) and Eric Barone (8th/149) placed at Big Ten Championships in their first appearance at the conference meet.

Team Scores:

1.Ohio State – 139.5
2.Penn State – 130.0
3.Iowa – 112.5
4.Nebraska – 102.5
5.Minnesota – 93.0
6.ILLINOIS – 88.5
7.Michigan – 83.0
8.Rutgers – 67.5
Wisconsin – 67.5
10.Michigan State – 38.5
11.Maryland – 32.0
12.Purdue – 26.0
13.Indiana – 24.5
14.Northwestern – 18.0

Individual Match-By-Match Results:

125 – Travis Piotrowski (18-13) placed 4th and scored 14.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Conor Youtsey (Michigan) 6-6 won in sudden victory – 1 over Travis Piotrowski (Illinois) 18-13 (SV-1 10-8)
Cons. Round 1 – Travis Piotrowski (Illinois) 18-13 won by major decision over Brandon Paetzell (Rutgers) 14-10 (MD 8-0)
Cons. Round 2 – Travis Piotrowski (Illinois) 18-13 won by fall over Johnny Jimenez (Wisconsin) 15-10 (Fall 7:34)
Cons. Round 3 – Travis Piotrowski (Illinois) 18-13 won in tie breaker – 1 over Ben Thornton (Purdue) 26-15 (TB-1 5-4)
Cons. Semi – Travis Piotrowski (Illinois) 18-13 won by decision over Conor Youtsey (Michigan) 6-6 (Dec 1-0)
3rd Place Match – Ethan Lizak (Minnesota) 26-6 won by major decision over Travis Piotrowski (Illinois) 18-13 (MD 10-1)

133 – Zane Richards (25-4) placed 4th and scored 14.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Zane Richards (Illinois) 25-4 won by major decision over Garrett Pepple (Indiana) 9-14 (MD 16-7)
Quarterfinal – Stevan Micic (Michigan) 24-5 won by major decision over Zane Richards (Illinois) 25-4 (MD 12-4)
Cons. Round 2 – Zane Richards (Illinois) 25-4 won by tech fall over Jason Ipsarides (Northwestern) 11-13 (TF-1.5 3:10 (20-4))
Cons. Round 3 – Zane Richards (Illinois) 25-4 won in sudden victory – 1 over Scott Delvecchio (Rutgers) 20-13 (SV-1 5-3)
Cons. Semi – Zane Richards (Illinois) 25-4 won by decision over Mitch McKee (Minnesota) 19-17 (Dec 10-4)
3rd Place Match – Stevan Micic (Michigan) 24-5 won by fall over Zane Richards (Illinois) 25-4 (Fall 7:59)

141 – Mousa Jodeh (10-18) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Tommy Thorn (Minnesota) 17-7 won by fall over Mousa Jodeh (Illinois) 10-18 (Fall 2:19)
Cons. Round 1 – Cole Weaver (Indiana) 10-17 won by decision over Mousa Jodeh (Illinois) 10-18 (Dec 3-1)

149 – Eric Barone (10-11) placed 8th and scored 3.50 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Eric Barone (Illinois) 10-11 received a bye () (Bye)
Quarterfinal – Brandon Sorensen (Iowa) 26-4 won by decision over Eric Barone (Illinois) 10-11 (Dec 2-0)
Cons. Round 2 – Eric Barone (Illinois) 10-11 won by decision over Nate Limmex (Purdue) 12-15 (Dec 6-2)
Cons. Round 3 – Zac Hall (Michigan) 17-10 won by decision over Eric Barone (Illinois) 10-11 (Dec 7-1)
7th Place Match – Shayne Oster (Northwestern) 12-12 won by decision over Eric Barone (Illinois) 10-11 (Dec 5-3)

157 – Kyle Langenderfer (23-8) placed 8th and scored 5.50 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Kyle Langenderfer (Illinois) 23-8 won by major decision over Austin Thompson (Michigan State) 21-16 (MD 17-3)
Quarterfinal – Jake Short (Minnesota) 23-12 won by major decision over Kyle Langenderfer (Illinois) 23-8 (MD 11-2)
Cons. Round 2 – Kyle Langenderfer (Illinois) 23-8 won in sudden victory – 1 over Jake Ryan (Ohio State) 11-10 (SV-1 3-1)
Cons. Round 3 – Alex Griffin (Purdue) 24-13 won by decision over Kyle Langenderfer (Illinois) 23-8 (Dec 8-4)
7th Place Match – John Van Brill (Rutgers) 23-9 won by decision over Kyle Langenderfer (Illinois) 23-8 (Dec 7-0)

165 – Isaiah Martinez (27-0) placed 1st and scored 22.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Isaiah Martinez (Illinois) 27-0 won by major decision over Johnny Sebastian (Northwestern) 22-8 (MD 24-13)
Quarterfinal – Isaiah Martinez (Illinois) 27-0 won by fall over Drew Hughes (Michigan State) 26-8 (Fall 0:58)
Semifinal – Isaiah Martinez (Illinois) 27-0 won by decision over Vincenzo Joseph (Penn State) 17-4 (Dec 8-5)
1st Place Match – Isaiah Martinez (Illinois) 27-0 won by decision over Logan Massa (Michigan) 27-2 (Dec 10-4)

174 – Zach Brunson (28-8) placed 4th and scored 13.50 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Zach Brunson (Illinois) 28-8 won by fall over Braxton Cody (Northwestern) 0-14 (Fall 0:16)
Quarterfinal – Zach Brunson (Illinois) 28-8 won by decision over Ryan Christensen (Wisconsin) 20-17 (Dec 7-1)
Semifinal – Mark Hall (Penn State) 26-3 won by decision over Zach Brunson (Illinois) 28-8 (Dec 4-2)
Cons. Semi – Zach Brunson (Illinois) 28-8 won by decision over Alex Meyer (Iowa) 24-7 (Dec 3-2)
3rd Place Match – Myles Amine (Michigan) 26-5 won by tech fall over Zach Brunson (Illinois) 28-8 (TF-1.5 5:56 (19-4))

184 – Emery Parker (28-8) placed 5th and scored 16.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Emery Parker (Illinois) 28-8 won by major decision over Tanner Lynde (Purdue) 15-17 (MD 16-8)
Quarterfinal – Nathan Jackson (Indiana) 30-5 won by decision over Emery Parker (Illinois) 28-8 (Dec 6-4)
Cons. Round 2 – Emery Parker (Illinois) 28-8 won by fall over Shwan Shadaia (Michigan State) 10-14 (Fall 2:57)
Cons. Round 3 – Emery Parker (Illinois) 28-8 won by fall over Bobby Steveson (Minnesota) 13-16 (Fall 5:36)
Cons. Semi – Bo Nickal (Penn State) 21-1 won by decision over Emery Parker (Illinois) 28-8 (Dec 8-2)
5th Place Match – Emery Parker (Illinois) 28-8 won by medical forfeit over Nathan Jackson (Indiana) 30-5 (M. For.)

197 – Andre Lee (10-15) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Christian Brunner (Purdue) 23-15 won by decision over Andre Lee (Illinois) 10-15 (Dec 5-2)
Cons. Round 1 – Jackson Striggow (Michigan) 12-12 won by decision over Andre Lee (Illinois) 10-15 (Dec 5-1)

285 – Brooks Black (11-7) place is unknown and scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Brooks Black (Illinois) 11-7 received a bye () (Bye)
Quarterfinal – Nick Nevills (Penn State) 20-3 won by fall over Brooks Black (Illinois) 11-7 (Fall 4:46)
Cons. Round 2 – Collin Jensen (Nebraska) 28-11 won by injury default over Brooks Black (Illinois) 11-7 (Inj. 0:11)

More Illinois B1G Coverage:
Isaiah Martinez Advances to B1G Final
Martinez, Brunson Advance to Saturday Night Semifinals