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Illinois Wrestling: Illini holds top 10 rank, Martinez cracks top 3

Delgado, Richards, Martinez rank in top 3

Sonny Ann of Daily Illini

Following their third-straight loss to a ranked Big Ten opponent, Illinois dominated No. 10 Northwestern to remain in the top 10 in the national rankings.

The Fighting Illini are ranked No. 4 in WIN Magazine's and No. 5 in InterMat's Tournament Power Index (TPI). It's the third-straight week the Illini take the fourth spot in WIN and the first time at No. 5 for InterMat, they were previously ranked sixth.

In dual meet rankings, the Illini fell one spot for the second straight week to No. 11 in InterMat and also fell one spot to No. 9 in WIN's rankings. The Illini are one of nine Big Ten teams to have a top 25 national ranking.

Illinois (8-3, 2-2 Big Ten) faces a light schedule this upcoming weekend against two of the five unranked conference teams in Maryland and Purdue. Maryland (5-11, 0-5) have yet to win their first Big Ten meet while Purdue (8-5, 1-3) defeated Northwestern 22-17 on Jan. 16 for their lone conference win.

Seven Illini wrestlers made the polls, including three in the top two of their weight class:

125: Jesse Delgado, No. 1 ahead of Alan Waters of Missouri, Nahshon Garrett of Cornell, Joey Dance of Virginia Tech and Thomas Gilman of Iowa. Delgado will return to the lineup against Maryland after missing almost the entire season with an injury. He will not face a ranked opponent this week.

133: Zane Richards, stayed at No. 4 in InterMat rankings and to No. 2 in WIN rankings after not wrestling a ranked opponent last week. Richards will wrestle Maryland's Geoff Alexander (No. 17 InterMat/No. 16 WIN) and Purdue's Danny Sabatello (14/11) this week.

141: Steven Rodrigues, also held his current spots in the rankings at No. 12 in InterMat and No. 13 in WIN. Rodrigues will not wrestle a ranked foe this weekend.

157: Isaiah Martinez, moved up one spot in both polls to No. 3 in InterMat and No. 2 in WIN after defeating Nebraska's then-No. 3 James Green, a three-time All-American this past week. Martinez is scheduled to wrestle Purdue's Doug Welch (12/13) this Sunday.

165: Jackson Morse, moved down one spot to No. 9 in InterMat and remained at No. 8 in WIN for the fourth-straight week. He will not wrestle a ranked opponent this weekend.

174: Zac Brunson, held his No. 8 ranking in WIN and No. 9 in InterMat after a strong performance against top-ranked Robert Kokesh of Nebraska. Brunson will also not being wrestling a ranked opponent.

184: Nikko Reyes, fell three spots to No. 18 in WIN and remained at No. 20 in InterMat. He will not wrestle a ranked opponent this weekend.

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