EVANSTON, Ill. — Three Illinois wrestlers advanced to the semifinals at the Midlands Championships and four remain alive in the consolation bracket as the Illini lead the pack of 48 teams after Day 1 at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Jesse Delgado (125), B.J. Futrell (149) and Mario Gonzalez (197) moved through their respective brackets into Sunday’s semifinals.
Delgado began the tournament by defeating Nebraska’s Tim Lambert by a 12-4 major decision, then moved past Thomas Gilman by a 7-2 decision to reach the quarterfinals. Delgado then defeated Trent Sprenkle of North Dakota by a 5-3 decision and will face No. 8 Christian Cullinan of Central Michigan in the semis.
After receiving a bye in the first round, Futrell continued his success, defeating Indiana’s Eric Roach by a 19-6 major decision before moving past Grandview’s Gustavo Martinez with a medical forfeit. In the quarterfinals, Futrell took down Oregon State’s Mike Mangrum by an 11-6 decision and will wrestle Virginia Tech’s Devin Carter in the semifinals.
No. 4-seeded Gonzalez defeated Oklahoma’s Brad Johnson in a 10-3 decision after receiving a first-round bye. In the round of 16, he moved past Central Michigan’s Jackson Lewis with a 7-4 decision before defeating Kevin Beazley 11-2 to reach the semifinal in the 197 weight class. He will compete against top-seeded Dustin Kilgore of Kent State.