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Indiana wrestling loses on road to Illinois 36-3, moves to 1-5 in Big Ten

<p>Then-sophomore Nick Willham fends off Nebraska&#x27;s Eric Schultz on Feb. 6, 2021at Wilkinson Hall. Willham was the only Indiana wrestler with an individual win against Illinois Feb. 6, 2022. </p>

Then-sophomore Nick Willham fends off Nebraska's Eric Schultz on Feb. 6, 2021at Wilkinson Hall. Willham was the only Indiana wrestler with an individual win against Illinois Feb. 6, 2022.

Indiana wrestling lost to Illinois 36-3 Sunday at the State Farm Center in Champaign, Illinois.

In an unconventional start to the meet, Indiana junior Kasper McIntosh competed in the 165-pound class. Normally, the 125-pound class matchup starts the meet, and the remaining matches take place in increasing weight-class order. McIntosh was later disqualified in the opening match against No. 31-ranked sophomore Zach Braunagel for notching five stalling calls, giving Illinois an early 6-0 lead. Junior Nick South lost his match to Illinois sophomore DJ Shannon in a 6-4 decision in the 174-pound class. 

Indiana junior Sean Grim wrestled in his first match in the 174-pound class since he fell to then No.1-ranked sophomore Carter Starocci of then-No. 2 Penn State on Jan. 9. It was also Grim’s first match in the 184-pound class after moving up from the 174-pound class. Grim filled in for No. 14-ranked Indiana junior DJ Washington who missed his first start of the season for an undisclosed reason. Grim fell to No. 18-ranked Illinois sophomore Zac Braunagel, which gave Illinois a commanding 15-0 lead.

Related: [Indiana women’s tennis wins matches against Yale and Marquette despite weather delays]

In what would be Indiana’s only win of the day, junior Nick Willham defeated Illinois junior Matt Wroblewski by a 3-1 sudden victory in the 197-pound class match. Willham’s victory cut Illinois’ lead to 15-3, but Indiana junior Jacob Bullock followed it up with a 5-4 sudden regular decision loss to No. 16-ranked Illinois sophomore Luke Luffman.

In the 125-pound class matchup, Indiana sophomore Jacob Moran fell to No. 25-ranked Illinois sophomore Justin Cardani in the 125-pound class in a 2-0 sudden victory.

The 133-pound class boasted a top-10 matchup between No. 10-ranked Indiana graduate student Brock Hudkins and No. 6-ranked Illinois freshman Lucas Byrd. Byrd defeated Hudkins by fall in what was Hudkins’ first loss of the season. With Byrd’s victory, Illinois extended its lead to 27-3.

No. 32-ranked Indiana junior Cayden Rooks lost to No. 4-ranked Illinois senior Dylan Duncan in an 8-2 regular decision for the 141-pound class. Rooks’ brother, junior Graham Rooks, also lost to senior Christian Kanzler by a 4-3 decision in the 149-pound match. 

In the final match of the night, Indiana sophomore lost to Illinois freshman Joe Roberts in a 3-2 regular decision in the 157-pound match. 

Indiana will look to bounce back when it takes on No. 3 Michigan at 7 p.m. Friday. in Wilkinson Hall in Bloomington.

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