CEDAR FALLS, IOWA — A battle between two top-ten teams ended in dramatic fashion on Saturday afternoon as the No. 5 Minnesota wrestling team edged No. 6 Boise State 18-17 in the quarterfinals of the 2011 NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Minnesota, which picked up a 26-9 win over Northern Illinois in its opening round dual, will now face off against top-ranked Cornell on Sunday morning at 11 a.m. in the UNI Dome.
“The win today was a big one for us. The great thing about it was everybody wrestled – it was a great team win,” Minnesota assistant coach Luke Becker said. “Everybody went out and wrestled and fought for every point. It was a great, overall team effort.”
In his biggest match yet, redshirt heavyweight Tony Nelson swung the match in Minnesota’s favor one final time after the two elite programs exchanged the lead seven times in the ten-match dual. Nelson scored a first-period takedown and followed up with two escapes in the second to pick up a 4-2 decision that gave the Gophers the final 18-17 win.
No. 6 Zach Sanders opened the dual with an 11-5 decision over No. 17 Allen Bartelli in the 125 lbs. match, but the Broncos quickly erased the Minnesota lead when Andrew Hochstrasser picked up a decision in the 133 lbs. match over David Thorn. Thorn’s defense against Hochstrasser, the second-ranked 133 pounder in the nation, kept the match close and paid dividends to the Gophers squad later in the dual.
Minnesota (8-1 overall, 0-0 Big Ten) put some distant between its opponent in the 141 lbs. match when No. 2 Mike Thorn quickly pinned No. 11 Levi Jones at the 49 second mark, but the Broncos proved to be difficult in the middleweights when Jason Chamberlain and Adam Hall, ranked as the No. 3 149 lbs. grappler and the No. 2 157 pounder, respectively, each majored their Gophers counterpart to take over an 11-9 lead.
The tide shifted once again in the Gophers favor when Cody Yohn and Scott Glasser both picked up decisions in their favor, but Boise State caught a piece of luck when top-ranked 184 pounder Kirk Smith edged No. 7 Kevin Steinhaus with a 3-1 decision in overtime and Matt Casperson picked up a 6-0 decision at 197 over Joe Nord setting up a two-point deficit for Minnesota heading into Nelson’s heavyweight match against T.J. Felix.
2011 NWCA/Cliff Keen Results
Minnesota 18, Boise State 17
125: No. 6 Zach Sanders (MINN) dec. No. 17 Allen Bartelli (BSU) 11-5
133: No. 2 Andrew Hochstrasser (BSU) dec. David Thorn (MINN) 8-1
141: No. 2 Mike Thorn (MINN) fall No. 11 Levi Jones (BSU) 0:49
149: No. 3 Jason Chamberlain (BSU) maj. Danny Zilverberg (MINN) 16-5
157: No.2 Adam Hall (BSU) maj. Alec Ortiz (MINN) 27-15
165: No. 7 Cody Yohn (MINN) dec. Kurt Swartz (BSU) 6-0
174: No. 8 Scott Glasser (MINN) dec. No. 13 Jake Swartz (BSU) 3-2
184: No. 1 Kirk Smith dec. No. 7 Kevin Steinhaus (MINN) 3-1 in OT
197: Matt Casperson (BSU) dec. Joe Nord (MINN) 6-0
285: No. 9 Tony Nelson (MINN) dec. T.J. Felix 4-2
Gophers Open National Duals with 26-9 Win
The No. 5 Minnesota wrestling team opened the 2011 NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals with a 26-9 win over Northern Illinois on Saturday morning, paving the way for a top-ten matchup against No. 6 Boise State at 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon.
All-American Zach Sanders improved his season record to 15-2 on Saturday morning with a 16-8 major decision over NIU’s Nick Smith in the opening match for the Gophers, who improved their record against the Huskies to 9-0 all-time. Sanders jumped out to an 8-3 lead in the first period when he tacked on four of his seven takedowns in the match. The 125 pounder scored bonus points from 1:42 of riding time to open the event with a 4-0 lead for the Gophers.
Redshirt freshman David Thorn followed up with a win in his collegiate dual debut against Israel Montemayor. Thorn edged his Huskies foe 10-7 before his brother, Mike Thorn, added an 8-1 decision over Tristen DeShazer to build a 10-0 lead for Minnesota. NIU would go on to pick up a pair of wins in its next two matches to climb back into the contest. Vince Castillo scored a 3-0 decision over Pat Smith at 149 lbs. and No. 17 Bryan Deutsch pinned Joe Grygelko in the 157 lbs. match to cut Minnesota’s lead to 10-9.
But that would be all the Huskies would get the rest of the morning. No. 7 Cody Yohn topped Matt Mougin with a 9-2 decision at 165 lbs. before Scott Glasser, the No. 8 174 pounder in the nation, scored a 10-2 major decision over Zach Benzio to make it 17-9 Gophers. Minnesota went on to sweep the remaining three matches via decisions in favor of No. 7 Kevin Steinhaus at 184 lbs., Joe Nord at 197 lbs., and No. 9 Tony Nelson at heavyweight.
Minnesota returns to action Saturday afternoon against the Broncos of Boise State. Minnesota is 6-0 all-time against Boise State with the last meeting coming in 2001. Continue checking Gophersports.com for results from the 2011 NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals.
2011 NWCA/Cliff Keen Results
Minnesota 26 Northern Illinois 9
125: No. 6 Zach Sanders (MINN) maj. Nick Smith (NIU) 16-8
133: David Thorn (MINN) dec. Israel Montemayor (NIU) 10-7
141: No. 2 Mike Thorn (MINN) dec. Tristen DeShazer (NIU) 8-1
149: Vince Castillo (NIU) dec. Patrick Smith (MINN) 3-0
157: No. 17 Bryan Deutsch (NIU) fall Joe Grygelko (MINN) 1:42
165: No. 7 Cody Yohn (MINN) dec. Matt Mougin (NIU) 9-2
174: No. 8 Scott Glasser (MINN) maj. Zach Benzio (NIU) 10-2
184: No. 7 Kevin Steinhaus (MINN) dec. Brad Dieckhaus (NIU) 7-0
197: Joe Nord (MINN) dec. Mike Lukowski (NIU) 2-0
285: No. 9 Tony Nelson (MINN) dec. Dakota Greenhaw (NIU) 3-1