Minnesota sits in second with 25 points, behind Penn State with 25.5 after Session I
The Minnesota Golden Gophers focus all week is going to be scoring bonus points. After the morning session Minnesota has lived up to that motto as they scored three falls and two wins by a major decision. Minnesota trails defending champion Penn State by a half of a point. The Nittany Lions scored 25.5 points to the Gophers 25.
Minnesota finished the morning session with a record of 8-1, en route to their second place standing.
Senior Zach Sanders , who is the second overall seed in the 125 division, had no trouble with Austin Miller of Bucknell. Sanders was up 15-4 and looking for a technical fall, before scoring the pin at the six minute mark. It was Sanders first win by fall since his opening match at this year’s Southern Scuffle, when pinned Gardner Webb’s Mike Sluagther at the 5:53 mark. The Wabasha native will square off with Jon Morrison of Oklahoma State, in tonight’s second round.
Following Sanders, Chris Dardanes picked up a quick first period fall the Golden Gophers. Dardanes recorded his fourth pin of the season with 17 seconds left in the opening period. The Chicago native will face A.J. Schoop of Endinboro this evening.
As Dardanes was wrestling on one mat, Nick Dardanes was taking care of his first round opponent. Dardanes scored a 12-4 major decision for the Maroon and Gold. The win gave the Gophers three straight wins by bonus points. Dardanes will take on Darius Little of North Carolina State this evening. Little defeated Dardanes in the quarterfinals of the Southern Scuffle, by a 7-3 decision.
Kevin Steinhaus would record the final pin for Minnesota in the opening round. Steinhaus scored the fall at the 6:21 mark right in front of the Golden Gopher fan section. The win was his 20th straight this season and it gave the Gophers a late lead over the field. Steinhaus will wrestle Jon Fausey of Virginia in tonight.
Big Ten heavyweight champion Tony Nelson closed out the morning for the Golden Gophers. Nelson recorded an 8-0 major victory for Minnesota. It was his 21st consecutive win on the season and he will face Peter Sturgeon, who gave Nelson his first loss of the season this year. Sturgeon, who wrestles for Central Michigan, won his morning match in a 5-4 overtime win over Kyle Frey from Drexel.
Dylan Ness and Sonny Yohn both recorded Minnesota’s other two wins in Session I. Ness picked up a 4-2 decision over Shane Welsh of Lehigh, while Yohn scored a 2-0 decision against Cal Poly’s Ryan Smith.
Session II will begin this evening at 6:30 p.m. A live blog can be found at Gophersports.com at 6:15 p.m. Trackwrestling.com will provide updated brackets and team scores. ESPN3.com will broadcast selected matches.