Martinez loses in national title match

Martinez loses in national title match

CLEVELAND — Isaiah Martinez had a chance at history on Saturday night.

But the Illinois wrestler came up short.

Martinez lost the national championship match at 165 pounds, falling 6-1 to Vincenzo Joseph of Penn State at Quicken Loans Arena.

It’s the second straight year Martinez lost to Joseph in the national championship match.

The two tangled earlier this month, with Martinez winning 4-1 to win a Big Ten title on March 4, but on Saturday night, Joseph earned the victory, taking a 2-0 lead late in the first period with a takedown and never relinquishing the lead.

The loss was Martinez’s first this season, and he wraps up his Illinois career with two national championships.

He won those titles in 2015 at 157 and again in 2016 at 165 before Joseph denied him titles each of the last two years.

Martinez, a four-time Big Ten champion and four-time All-American, leaves Illinois with a 116-3 career record.

"Having Isaiah's career end this way really leaves a sour taste in my mouth," Illinois wrestling coach Jim Heffernan said. "He's meant so much to this program and has been a tremendous representative of our university. He brought a lot of firsts to the program, being a four-time Big Ten champion, four-time All-American and four-time NCAA finalists. But most importantly, he was genuinely a very good person."

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MasterOfTheObvious wrote on March 18, 2018 at 6:03 am

Congratulations to Martinez on a great career.  Tough loss, for a second year in a row in the Title Match.

Interesting that both team, and individual sports at the University of Illinois are lacking the ability to close.

Men's Golf is in position to win seemingly every year, but they never get over the hump. Same for Wrestling individuals, but not the team. Volleyball, Men's Tennis, Men's Gymnastics, etc.  

Why is it that the Illini consistenly fall short when the big prize is on the line?

Note: Big $$$ sports Football, Men's Basketball and Women's Basketball are not even in the vicinity of a discussion on winning. 

But according to the AD, adding two Ice Hockey teams is under consideration?

Most winning organizations try to be good at what they do before adding on more, does not seem to work like that at DIA.


max_zilla wrote on March 18, 2018 at 8:03 am
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but he won the championship 2 years in a row?

MasterOfTheObvious wrote on March 18, 2018 at 1:03 pm

Yes, he won the title as a Freshman and Sophomore under the former Athletics Leadership.  Since the change, Illinois has gotten less competitive all around.  That's just a fact.  In fact, the only coaches who are taking their TEAMS to the NCAA's consistently are Tyra Perry (Thomas hire), Evan Clark (Thomas hire) along with Mike Smart (Guenther hire), and Brad Dancer (Guenther hire). The #WeWillWin hires of Josh Whitman are doing nothing.  Since no one cares about women's basketball (not event the N-G who refuses to even write articles on each game played), no one will complain about the hire of a 59-year old D3 lifer and Friend of Josh, Nancy Fahey.  Not many coaches ever go 0-19 and lose the best recruit from their first class.