By Philip Hersh, Tribune reporter
6:36 PM EDT, March 10, 2013
A couple Californians who wound up in the state of Illinois won Big Ten wrestling titles Sunday in Champaign.
Northwestern senior Jason Welch of Walnut Creek, the second seed, took the 157-pound class with a pin of Nebraska's James Green in the final.
Welch, who had previously finished twice and third once in the Big Ten meet, became the Wildcats' first conference champion since eventual 2012 Olympian Jake Herbert won in 2009. Welch, first Northwestern wrestler to win at 157, will enter the NCAA tournament with a 30-1 record.
Illinois sophomore Jesse Delgado of Gilroy upset top-seeded Matt McDonough of Iowa 10-4 in the 125-pound final. The second-seeded Delgado (22-3), first Illini to win at 125 since 1945, was named the tournament's outstanding wrestler.
"Thios is just a qualifier at the end of the day for the national tournament," Delgado said. "It's good to get that big win here, but now I'm focused on getting what I really want."
Penn State won four of the 10 individual titles and the team title with 151 points. Illinois was fifth (85.5) and Northwestern, eighth (56.0).
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