EVANSTON, ILL. — After Session I of the 2011 Big Ten Wrestling Championships, the Minnesota wrestling program sits in third place with 57.5 points. Iowa is in the poll position through the opening session with 79.0 points while Penn State is currently in second with 60.0 points.
For the Gophers, six of 10 participants are still in the hunt for an individual conference title. Zach Sanders, Mike Thorn, Cody Yohn, Kevin Steinhaus, Sonny Yohn and Tony Nelson remain in the winner’s brackets, each winning at least one match in the morning session to advance on to the quarterfinals this evening.
Sanders, the three seed at 125 lbs., opened the day with a 22-7 technical fall over Ohio State’s Bo Touris – the first of two Gophers to successfully emerge from the pigtails along with Matt Mincey – before pinning six seed Justin Brooks of Indiana at 2:37 in a second round matchup. The two-time All-American will take on two seed Brandon Precin of Northwestern in the quarterfinals.
At 133 lbs., David Thorn fell in his opening match to Tony Ramos of Iowa via 4-3 decision after a late takedown by the Hawkeye secured a come-from-behind win. Thorn will take on the winner of Indiana’s Matt Ortega and Michigan’s Zac Stevens in the consolation bracket.
A 2010 Big Ten Champion, Mike Thorn, is well on his way for a repeat after opening the tournament with an impressive pin over Kaleb Friedley of Northwestern. The Gopher All-American and tournament three seed earned the fall at 4:11 and will take on Iowa’s Montell Marion in the quarterfinals.
Minnesota would fail to advance into the winner’s bracket in both the 149 and 157 lbs. brackets however. Eight seed Danny Zilverberg dropped his opening match against Penn State’s Frank Molinaro — the top seed in the 149 lbs. division – via 9-0 major decision. Zilverberg will take on Ohio State’s Mike Fee in the consolation bracket. At 157 lbs., Matt Mincey fell via pin to one seed David Taylor of Penn State at 2:07. Mincey will take on Ohio State’s Sean Nemec in the consolation bracket.
Cody Yohn advanced following his opening match in the 165 lbs. bracket. Yohn tallied a 5-0 decision over Michigan’s Dan Yates. Yohn will take on Colt Sponseller of Ohio State in the quarterfinals. At 174 lbs., Scott Glasser dropped his opening round match against Wisconsin’s Ben Jordan via a 5-4 decision. Glasser will take on Ben Friedl of Illinois in the consolation bracket.
At 184 lbs., Kevin Steinhaus advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-0 shutout decision over Ohio State’s Cody Magrum. Steinhaus will take on Grant Gambrall of Iowa in the evening session.
Sonny Yohn and Tony Nelson also advanced to quarterfinal matchups in the 197 and 285 weight classes, respectively. Yohn topped Tyler Dickenson of Michigan State with a 7-4 decision and will take on Wisconsin’s Trevor Brandvold this evening. Nelson picked up a 5-1 decision over Ben Apland of Michigan in his first career conference tournament match. The redshirt freshman will take on Penn State’s Cameron Wade in the quarterfinals.
Minnesota returns to action this evening for Session II. Continue checking Gophersports.com for updates from the 2011 Big Ten Wrestling Championships.