Nine Gophers Qualify for NCAA’s
The Minnesota Golden Gopher wrestling team wrapped up the 2012 Big Ten Wrestling Championships this afternoon in West Lafayette, Ind. Minnesota finished second overall in the team standings with 134 points, behind champion Penn State who won the team title for the second consecutive year, with 149 points.
Kevin Steinhaus and Tony Nelson each clinched individual titles for the Maroon and Gold. Both finished the season undefeated against Big Ten opponents and earned First Team Big Ten honors.
Steinhaus closed out the weekend with a perfect 4-0 record including a thrilling 3-1 overtime win against Nebraska’s Josh Ihnen in the title match. Steinhaus blocked a shot by Ihnen midway through the extra period and turned it into a single leg takedown en route to the title. His victory also bumps his winning streak up to 19 matches.
Nelson finished the weekend 3-0 including a 2-0 decision over Bobby Telford of Iowa in the championship. Nelson scored his first point 30 seconds into the second period off an escape. He then controlled Telford the rest of the match racking up over 2 minutes of riding time. It was his second win over Telford this season and his 20th consecutive win this season.
The Gophers had three wrestlers finish in second place for the weekend. Zach Sanders, Dylan Ness and Logan Storley each finished runner-up in their respected weight classes. Sanders fell to Matt McDonough of Iowa (6-1 dec.) in the opening match of the championship session. Ness was defeated by Frank Molinaro (16-0 tech fall) and Storley fell to Ed Ruth (13-2 maj.), both of Penn State in their final matches.
Rounding out the Gopher lineup this weekend were Chris Dardanes (133) who finished sixth, Nick Dardanes (141) took fourth, Cody Yohn (165) placed fifth and Sonny Yohn (197) finished third for Minnesota.
All nine Gophers that placed at this weekend’s Big Ten Championships earned a spot at the NCAA Championships. The championships take place March 15-17 in St. Louis, Mo.
29 Interviews including Tony Nelson, Kevin Steinhaus, J Robinson, Zach Sanders: