Redshirt junior Emery Parker’s NCAA Tournament got off to a horrible start as he dropped a controversial opening-round bout to unseeded Chip Ness.
Since then, all he’s done is win seven straight matches in the consolation bracket to finish the tournament as the national third place finisher in the 184 pound weight class.
He cleared the final hurdle Saturday, winning an 8-1 decision against Taylor Venz of Nebraska. Not only did this win Parker third place, it also avenged his loss to Venz in the Big Ten championship consolation bracket.
Parker’s run through the consolation bracket is quite an accomplishment as he had to not only defeat the #3 and #4 ranked 184 pound wrestlers on InterMat but also beat the wrestlers responsible for two of his four losses. He finished the year 28-4 and will head into his senior year with a 62-18 career record.
The incredible run to third by Parker also provided Illinois with some much-needed team points and they now sit tied with national powerhouse Oklahoma State for 13th overall.