Kennedy caps career with fifth at NCAAs
PHILADELPHIA – Illinois 141-pounder Jimmy Kennedy defeated Missouri's Todd Schavrien 11-1 to take fifth place Saturday at the NCAA wrestling championships.
Teammate B.J. Futrell took eighth place at 133 pounds.
The fourth-seeded Kennedy had to rebound from being pinned by No. 2 seed Mike Thorn of Minnesota in 1:29 of the consolation semifinals.
"The hard matches for Jimmy were (Friday) night after he got beat," Illini coach Jim Heffernan said. "He was pretty upset, and it really took a lot out of him emotionally. So the fact that he was able to win two really high-pressure matches (Friday) night was good to see. Then today, he just got caught in a tough situation (against Thorn)."
Kennedy finished the season 23-4. His final record mark was 120-24, which tied Matt Lackey for the seventh-most wins in school history. His career winning percentage (.833) is fifth best.
Futrell dropped the seventh-place match to fifth-seeded Lou Ruggirello of Hofstra, 9-6.
"I think it was good for B.J. – we talked a lot about this with Jordan (Blanton) last year – to go through the tournament one time for three days and learn what it takes. B.J. made a lot of good progress this year and really improved a lot."
Illinois finished 22nd in the team standings.
Left-hander Corey Kimes allowed two earned runs in seven innings and Casey McMurray had three hits and two RBI as Illinois beat St. Louis 7-4 in Carbondale.
"Corey Kimes did a great job today," Illini coach Dan Hartleb said. "He pitched very well and was in command the whole time. To me, the most impressive thing was that when it was tight late, our pitchers got two 1-2-3 innings. Then when they got a hit with two outs in the ninth, Wes (Braun) turned around and got the final out."
Kimes struck out five and walked three. Bill Barrett and Braun finished up.
Brandon Hohl drove in three runs. Matt Dittman, Adam Davis, Thomas Lindauer and Josh Parr each had two hits.
In women's gymnastics:
Amber See tied for the vault title and the Illini finished third at the Big Ten Championships in Minneapolis.
See scored a 9.9 on vault.
"Amber is a dynamite firecracker for our team," interim coach Kim Landrus said.
Melissa Fernandez tied for runner-up in the all-around (39.275). She was second on bars (9.9). Kelsey Joannides tied for second on beam at 9.850. The Illini scored at least 49 on the final three events (floor, vault, bars).
No. 9 Michigan won its fifth straight title.
In men's gymnastics:
Illinois finished second in a tri-meet at Oklahoma, posting a season-high score of 359.100.
The fourth-ranked Illini finished behind No. 2 Oklahoma (366.400) and ahead of No. 5 Penn State (356.750). Daniel Ribeiro (pommel horse) and Tyler Mizoguchi (parallel bars) claimed event titles.
"We finally competed like we knew we can tonight," coach Justin Spring said.