Minnesota Preps for Big Ten Wrestling Championships

The No. 5 Minnesota wrestling program returns to action this weekend at the 2011 Big Ten Wrestling Championships in Evanston, Ill., where the Gophers will look for their 10th conference title in school history. Northwestern will host this year’s event, which will feature eight nationally ranked teams including Minnesota.

Tickets are still available from the NU ticket office at 888-GOPURPLE. Fans may request to be seated in a specific school’s designated seating areas. All session tickets are $40 for reserved seats, $36 for adult general admission and $24 for youth general admission. Single session ticket prices are as follows: Session I – $15 for adult general admission and $12 for youth general admission; Session II – $18 for reserved seating, $15 for adult general admission and $12 for youth general admission; Session III – $20 for reserved seating, $18 for adult general admission.

Follow the Action
The Big Ten Network will provide live coverage of the conference finals on Sunday, starting at 3 p.m. CST. Live stats, a running blog and updates will be made available throughout the championships on Gophersports.com and the Golden Gopher Wrestling social media sites.

Follow the Gophers
Want exclusive, up-to-the-minute access to Golden Gopher Wrestling? Follow the team online at twitter.com/gopherwrestling and facebook.com/gopherwrestling for news, results and other exclusive content.

Get Score Updates on Your Phone
Fans can get scoring updates from all of Golden Gopher athletics through the Twitter pages @GopherScores and @GoldenWrestling. Just find and follow the selected Twitter accounts, then set up your phone or mobile device to receive the text updates.

Getting the Pin
All-American Mike Thorn cracked Minnesota’s currently sits tied with Jacob Volkmann for ninth on the school’s all-time list with 34 career pins. Thorn needs one more fall to take sole possession of ninth and four pins to tie Jason Davids (1994-98) and Mack Reiter (2004-08) for seventh on the Gophers’ list. Jayson Ness (2006-10) ranks first in career pins at Minnesota with 73.

The Road to Philadelphia
Minnesota has fielded one of the toughest schedules in the country in 2010-11 — having taken on 12 nationally ranked programs. The Gophers are 7-4-1 against ranked opponents this year while all four losses have come against top-five teams.

Date Rank Opponent Score Result
11/27: No. 9 Central Michigan 21-17 W
12/05: No. 2 Oklahoma State 16-17 L
12/09: No. 15 Nebraska 26-8 W
01/08: No. 6 Boise State 18-17 W
01/09: No. 1 Cornell 16-20 L
01/09: No. 4 Wisconsin 17-19 L
01/16: No. 13 Iowa State 26-13 W
01/21: No. 23 Purdue 26-15 W
01/23: No. 15 Illinois 25-16 W
01/30: No. 3 Wisconsin 21-15 W
02/13: No. 3 Penn State 18-18 T
02/20: No. 2 Iowa 19-12 L

A Decade of Success
With six Big Ten titles since 2000-01, Minnesota has more conference championships in the last decade than any other Big Ten school. Furthermore, the Gophers have finished first or second in nine of the last ten championships and have gone on to win three national titles in that span.

Year Team Finish (pts) Indiv. Champs
2001 First (154)* 2
2002 First (174)* 5
2003 First (126.5) 3
2004 Second (124.5) 2
2005 Second (123.5) 2
2006 First (138) 4
2007 First (156)* 5
2008 Second (112.5) 0
2009 Fifth (86) 0
2010 Second (119.5) 2

* – indicates years Minnesota also captured national titles.