Illinois Wrestlers Ranked No. 4 in Preseason Poll


CHAMPAIGN, IL - For the second time in preseason polls this year, the Illinois wrestling team breaks into the Top-10 with a No. 4 ranking by Amateur Wrestling News. The Fighting Illini look forward to the season with five returning All-Americans, a feat matched only by No. 1-ranked Oklahoma State. The returning All-Americans for Illinois are Kyle Ott, Mark Jayne, Alex Tirapelle, Pete Friedl and Brian Glynn.

In addition to the team honors, the Illini have a wrestler at each weight class ranked in the Top-20, including Top-10 ratings for the five returning All-Americans. Illinois¹ highest ranked wrestler is returning NCAA finalist Ott (Huber Heights, Ohio). The sophomore comes in at No. 2 at 125 pounds. He is followed by Glynn (Orland Park, Ill.), who starts his senior season ranked third at 184 pounds. Senior 133-pounder Jayne (Elyria, Ohio) and junior 157-pounder Tirapelle (Clovis, Calif.) each earned a No. 4 ranking, and junior Pete Friedl (Orland Park, Ill.) is ranked sixth at 174 pounds.

The rest of the Illini also earned spots in the Top-20. Senior 149-pounder Anton Dietzen (Elmhurst, Ill.) and junior 197-pounder Tyrone Byrd (Clinton, Ill.) are ranked 15th in their respective weight classes. Sophomore Mike Behnke (Villa Park, Ill.) is next in the rankings with a No. 16 rating at heavyweight. Rounding out the Top-20 are sophomores Donny Reynolds and Michael Martin. Reynolds (Frankfort, Ill.) comes in 19th at 165 pounds, while Martin (Norfolk, Va.) is rated No. 20 at the 141-pound weight class.

AWN 2004-05 Preseason Team Rankings
1. Oklahoma State
2. Lehigh
3. Nebraska
4. Illinois
5. Iowa State
6. Oklahoma
7. Michigan
8. Iowa
9. Minnesota
10. West Virginia
11. Cornell
12. Northern Iowa
13. Cal-Poly
14. Missouri
15. Pennsylvania
16. Hofstra
17. Michigan State
18. Oregon
19. Purdue
20. Central Michigan

Story courtesy the University of Illinois.

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