Akui wins OW!
One Wells Fargo team crown is in the books...and counting...as Illinois takes the Junior Greco-Roman by a 13-point margin, 76-63 over Florida.
And, to top it off, Jahwon Akui, the second of Illinois' two champions, became the first Illinois wrestler in recent memory to be voted the Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament. He beat Kevin Beazley of Michigan 1-0, 1-0 in the title match. Ten of Illinois' national-best 16 All-Americans finished in the top four.
The final team Top 10:
1. ILLINOIS, 76
2. Florida, 63
3. (tie) Minnesota and Wisconsin, 35
5. Michigan, 34
6. Iowa, 31
7. California, 26
8. Utah, 23
9. (tie) Pennsylvania and Washington, 20
Nice to see those Keystoners sneak into the top 10, isn't it?
Although we said Florida had a mathematical shot at winning the title, that actually was not true. Because two third-place matches - at 145 and 215 - were all-Illinois matchups, those represented two additional sure points that weren't officially part of the team score before the final round began.
Akui won his title match 1-0, 1-0 over Kevin Beazley of Michigan to take a Junior National crown for the first time - and threw in a victory cartwheel afterward for good measure.
Some credit also has to go to Brandon Rice and Josh Marchok, both of whom who lost in the first round but still fought all the way back to the third-place match.
Florida did outdo Illinois in one category, though, crowning four champions. Kevin Norstrem, the 130-pound champion, made a strong bid for Outstanding Wrestler honors as well. He did not give up a point in his 10 matches.
The final Junior Greco honor roll of All-Americans:
98 - Nkosi Moody, CHAMPION; Jordan Lind, 8th
112 - Jared Parvinmehr, 5th; Antonio Taylor, 8th
119 - Joel Shump, 7th
125 - Zane Richards, 2nd
135 - Brandon Rice, 4th
140 - John Bozarth, 5th
145 - Luke Smith, 3rd; Dillon Cowan, 4th (Smith won the third-place match 1-6, 4-2, 6-0)
160 - Dylan Reel, 3rd; Trace Engelkes, 7th
171 - Jahwon Akui, CHAMPION AND OUTSTANDING WRESTLER
189 - Sam Brooks, 3rd
215 - Michael Sojka, 3rd; Josh Marchok, 4th (Sojka won the third-place match 4-0, 1-0)
Great job, everyone! Cadet freestyle sessions run from 9:30-1:30 and 3:30-7:30 tomorrow. Until then...
Last edited by Rob Sherrill; 07-19-2011 at 06:33 PM.