By University of Illinois Athletics

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. – Redshirt sophomore Dylan Duncan and redshirt junior Eric Barone each won their quarterfinal matches at 133 and 157-pounds, respectively, to advance to tomorrow’s semifinal bouts in Session III of the 56th Annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships. This makes it back-to-back trips to the semifinals for Duncan after reaching the 133-pound semi match last season. This will be Barone’s first career appearance in the semifinals at Midlands. Five Illini will also wrestle in the consolation brackets at Midlands tomorrow. The Illini will enter the third session in eighth place out of 35 competing teams at the tournament with 47.5 points. Session III will begin at 12 p.m. CT, and tournament action can be streamed with a subscription to BTN + or FloWrestling.

No. 15 nationally and Midlands No. 3 seed Dylan Duncan heads into the semis after defeating Colin Valdivez of Big Ten Foe Northwestern in the 133-pound quarterfinals. Duncan struck first in the match with a takedown to take a 2-0 lead. After Valdivez scored on an escape, Duncan recorded another takedown to give Duncan a 4-1 advantage. Valdivez received points for a reversal and then a caution against Duncan to cut Duncan’s lead to 4-3 at the end of the first. Duncan was able to break away from Valdivez in the second period, receiving a point for a penalty on Valdivez and then adding a takedown to jump out to a 7-3 advantage. Duncan added a two-point reversal in the final period and would go on to win a 9-6 decision over Valdivez. Duncan will take on another Big Ten opponent in the semis in Austin DeSanto of Iowa, who is ranked No. 11 nationally and the No. 2 seed in the tournament.

National No. 12 and Midlands No. 5 seed Eric Barone would later go on to join Duncan as the second Illini wrestler in the semis by defeating Mike D’ Angelo in the 157-pound quarterfinal bout. Like Duncan in his quarterfinal match, Barone got on the board first with a takedown in the first period to give him a 2-0 advantage. D’ Angelo recorded an escape to put the score at 2-1 in favor of Barone heading into the second period. The wrestlers scored the same way in the second period as the did in the opening period, with D’ Angelo picking up a point on an escape followed by Barone taking the lead with another takedown, making the score 4-2 heading into the third. Barone broke the match open in the final period, outscoring D’ Angelo 6-1 with two takedowns, an escape and a point for riding time to win the match in a decisive 10-3 decision. Barone will also square off against a Big Ten opponent, as he will challenge Nationally ranked No. 2 and tournament No. 1 seed Ryan Deakin of Northwestern.

Junior Travis Piotrowski (125), unattached freshman Justin Cardani, redshirt juniors Joey Gunther (165) and Carver James (174), and redshirt senior Andre Lee were defeated in their quarterfinal matchups. The 5 UI wrestlers will continue on tomorrow in their respective consolation brackets. Session III will feature the semifinal match, the consolation rounds and the seventh place match. Session IV will begin at 7:05 p.m. tomorrow night and will showcase the first, third and fifth place matches.

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Full Illinois Results:

Illini Semifinalists

133: #15 Dylan Duncan (r-So.) // 3-0

Champ. Round 1 – Dylan Duncan (Illinois) received a bye () (Bye)
Champ. Round 2 – Dylan Duncan (Illinois) won by decision over Lukus Stricker (Harvard) (Dec 6-2)
Champ. Round 3 – Dylan Duncan (Illinois) won by decision over Bobby Jordan (Johnson & Wales) (Dec 11-5)
Quarterfinal – Dylan Duncan (Illinois) won by decision over Colin Valdivez (Northwestern) (Dec 9-6)

157: #12 Eric Barone (r-Jr.) // 3-0

Champ. Round 1 – Eric Barone (Illinois) received a bye () (Bye)
Champ. Round 2 – Eric Barone (Illinois) won by decision over Joe Oliva (Penn) (Dec 9-8)
Champ. Round 3 – Eric Barone (Illinois) won by decision over Adam Whitesell (Maryland) (Dec 6-0)
Quarterfinal – Eric Barone (Illinois) won by decision over Mike D`Angelo (Unattached) (Dec 10-3)

Illinois in Consolation Brackets:

125: #12 Travis Piotrowski (Jr.) // 2-1

Champ. Round 1 – Travis Piotrowski (Illinois) received a bye () (Bye)
Champ. Round 2 – Travis Piotrowski (Illinois) won by decision over Ryan Hetrick (Army West Point) (Dec 8-1)
Champ. Round 3 – Travis Piotrowski (Illinois) won by decision over Jacob Schwarm (Northern Iowa) (Dec 5-1)
Quarterfinal – Pat Glory (Princeton) won by tech fall over Travis Piotrowski (Illinois) (TF 17-1)

125: Justin Cardani (Unattached) (Fr.) // 3-1

Champ. Round 1 – Justin Cardani (Illinois – UNAT) won by injury default over Ryan Millhof (Arizona State) (Inj. 3:56)
Champ. Round 2 – Justin Cardani (Illinois – UNAT) won by decision over Perez Perez (Iowa) (Dec 4-2)
Champ. Round 3 – Justin Cardani (Illinois – UNAT) won by decision over Brandon Courtney (Arizona State) (Dec 8-7)
Quarterfinal – Connor Brown (Wisconsin) won by decision over Justin Cardani (Illinois – UNAT) (Dec 7-0)

165: #16 Joey Gunther (r-Jr.) // 3-1

Champ. Round 1 – Joey Gunther (Illinois) won by major decision over Neil Antrassian (Penn) (Maj 13-4)
Champ. Round 2 – Joey Gunther (Illinois) won by major decision over Dillion Hoey (Indiana) (Maj 8-0)
Champ. Round 3 – Joey Gunther (Illinois) won by decision over Phil Spadafora (Maryland) (Dec 9-7)
Quarterfinal – Joshua Shields (Arizona State) won by tech fall over Joey Gunther (Illinois) (TF 17-2)

174: Carver James (r-Jr.) // 2-1

Champ. Round 1 – Carver James (Illinois) received a bye () (Bye)
Champ. Round 2 – Carver James (Illinois) won by major decision over Brian Krasowski (Penn) (Maj 14-4)
Champ. Round 3 – Carver James (Illinois) won by medical forfeit over Joe Grello (Rutgers) (MFF)
Quarterfinal – Taylor Lujan (Northern Iowa) won by fall over Carver James (Illinois) (Fall 5:37)

197: Andre Lee (r-Jr.) // 3-1

Champ. Round 1 – Andre Lee (Illinois) won by major decision over Austin McNeill (Campbell) (Maj 12-2)
Champ. Round 2 – Andre Lee (Illinois) won by fall over Tyler Hall (Penn) (Fall 4:28)
Champ. Round 3 – Andre Lee (Illinois) won by decision over Martin Mueller (South Dakota State) (Dec 10-5)
Quarterfinal – Patrick Brucki (Princeton) won by decision over Andre Lee (Illinois) (Dec 10-5)

133: Abdullah Assaf (r-Fr.) // 2-2

Champ. Round 1 – Noah Gonser (Campbell) won by decision over Abdullah Assaf (Illinois) (Dec 13-8)
Cons. Round 1 – Abdullah Assaf (Illinois) received a bye () (Bye)
Cons. Round 2 – Abdullah Assaf (Illinois) won by fall over Lukus Stricker (Harvard) (Fall 1:56)
Cons. Round 3 – Abdullah Assaf (Illinois) won by major decision over David Campbell (Bucknell) (Maj 12-4)
Cons. Round 4 – Josiah Kline (Arizona State) won by decision over Abdullah Assaf (Illinois) (Dec 15-9)
Abdullah Assaf is eliminated.

149: Christian Kanzler (Jr.) // 2-2

Champ. Round 1 – Christian Kanzler (Illinois) received a bye () (Bye)
Champ. Round 2 – Shayne Oster (Northwestern) won by decision over Christian Kanzler (Illinois) (Dec 5-1)
Cons. Round 2 – Christian Kanzler (Illinois) received a bye () (Bye)
Cons. Round 3 – Christian Kanzler (Illinois) won by medical forfeit over Cole Aaron (Franklin & Marshall) (MFF)
Cons. Round 4 – Christian Kanzler (Illinois) won by medical forfeit over Ryan Diehl (Maryland) (MFF)
Cons. Round 5 – Tres Leon (U. of the Cumberlands) won by decision over Christian Kanzler (Illinois) (Dec 9-5)
Christian Kanzler is eliminated.

149: Mousa Jodeh (Sr.) // 0-2

Champ. Round 1 – Matthew Kolodzik (Princeton) won by major decision over Mousa Jodeh (Illinois) (Maj 17-3)
Cons. Round 1 – Mousa Jodeh (Illinois) received a bye () (Bye)
Cons. Round 2 – Cole Aaron (Franklin & Marshall) won by decision over Mousa Jodeh (Illinois) (Dec 14-11)
Mousa Jodeh is eliminated.

165: Danny Braunagel (Unattached) (Fr.) // 2-2

Champ. Round 1 – Danny Braunagel (Illinois – UNAT) won by decision over Adam Kemp (Fresno State – UNAT) (Dec 10-4)
Champ. Round 2 – Danny Braunagel (Illinois – UNAT) won by major decision over Noah Grover (Buffalo) (Maj 15-7)
Champ. Round 3 – Alex Marinelli (Iowa) won by major decision over Danny Braunagel (Illinois – UNAT) (Maj 12-2)
Cons. Round 4 – Jake Allar (Minnesota) won by fall over Danny Braunagel (Illinois – UNAT) (Fall 1:21)

165: Nick Gasbarro (r-Sr.) // 0-2

Champ. Round 1 – Kenny O`Neil (South Dakota State – UNAT) won by decision over Nick Gasbarro (Illinois) (Dec 4-2)
Cons. Round 1 – Nick Gasbarro (Illinois) received a bye () (Bye)
Cons. Round 2 – Logan Peterson (South Dakota State) won by decision over Nick Gasbarro (Illinois) (Dec 5-2)
Nick Gasbarro is eliminated.

174: Jake DiBenedetto (So.) // 0-2

Champ. Round 1 – Jake DiBenedetto (Illinois) received a bye () (Bye)
Champ. Round 2 – Caleb Hopkins (Campbell – UNAT) won by fall over Jake DiBenedetto (Illinois) (Fall 4:08)
Cons. Round 2 – Jake DiBenedetto (Illinois) received a bye () (Bye)
Cons. Round 3 – Grant Cuomo (Princeton) won by major decision over Jake DiBenedetto (Illinois) (Maj 14-2)
Jake DiBenedetto is eliminated.

184: Zac Braunagel (Unattached) (Fr.) // 1-2

Champ. Round 1 – Zac Braunagel (Illinois – UNAT) received a bye () (Bye)
Champ. Round 2 – Zac Braunagel (Illinois – UNAT) won by decision over Austin Andres (SIU Edwardsville) (Dec 5-0)
Champ. Round 3 – Kevin Parker (Princeton) won by fall over Zac Braunagel (Illinois – UNAT) (Fall 6:56)
Cons. Round 4 – Trevor Allard (Bloomsburg) won by fall over Zach Braunagel (Illinois – UNAT) (Fall 7:43)

197: Matt Wroblewski (r-Fr.) // 2-2

Champ. Round 1 – Matt Wroblewski (Illinois) won by fall over Steven Mercadante (Franklin & Marshall) (Fall 4:29)
Champ. Round 2 – Matt Wroblewski (Illinois) won by decision over Kevin Snyder (Ohio State) (Dec 5-4)
Champ. Round 3 – Jacob Warner (Iowa) won by decision over Matt Wroblewski (Illinois) (Dec 6-1)
Cons. Round 4 – Brett Perry (Buffalo) won by decision over Matt Wroblewski (Illinois) (Dec 8-3)
Matt Wroblewski is eliminated.

285: Brian Burns (Jr.) // 2-2

Champ. Round 1 – Brian Burns (Illinois) received a bye () (Bye)
Champ. Round 2 – Ben Sullivan (Army West Point) won by decision over Brian Burns (Illinois) (Dec 5-0)
Cons. Round 2 – Brian Burns (Illinois) won by major decision over Jack Heyob (Northwestern – UNAT) (Maj 8-0)
Cons. Round 3 – Brian Burns (Illinois) won by decision over Nicholas Jenkins (Central Michigan) (Dec 5-2)
Cons. Round 4 – Brady Gilliland-Daniel (Arizona State) won by decision over Brian Burns (Illinois) (Dec 3-1)
Brian Burns is eliminated.

285: Deuce Rachal (r-Sr.) // 1-2

Champ. Round 1 – Deuce Rachal (Illinois) won by decision over Jack Heyob (Northwestern – UNAT) (Dec 8-2)
Champ. Round 2 – Tony Cassioppi (Iowa – UNAT) won by fall over Deuce Rachal (Illinois) (Fall 2:20)
Cons. Round 2 – Deuce Rachal (Illinois) received a bye () (Bye)
Cons. Round 3 – Blake Wolters (South Dakota State) won by decision over Deuce Rachal (Illinois) (Dec 4-2)
Deuce Rachal is eliminated.

Related: Seven Illini Wrestlers Advance to Quarterfinals at Midlands