PHILADELPHIA — The Minnesota wrestling program sits poised with five All-American contenders still in the hunt including second-ranked Mike Thorn, who will take on third-ranked Boris Novachkov of Cal Poly in the 141 lbs. semifinals. Minnesota currently sits 10th in the team standings with 32 points.
Thorn, who also earned All-American honors in 2010 when he finished seventh, improved his record to 37-4 this season including a 3-0 mark so far at the national tournament. The redshirt senior dominated his quarterfinal matchup against Missouri’s Tony Schavrien, winning with a pin at 2:03 for his 36th-career pin. The Gopher All-American will meet Novachkov for the first time in his career with a trip to the finals at stake.
Along with Thorn, Minnesota has four additional wrestlers still active in the consolation bracket including a trio of grapplers who finished the morning session with three-straight wins.
Redshirt freshman Kevin Steinhaus picked up an impressive come-from-behind win over Brad Dieckhaus to stay alive in the 184 lbs. consolation bracket. After opening the match with a 1-7 deficit, Steinhaus rallied nine unanswered points to pick up a 10-7 win and then added a 4-1 win over Luke Rebertus of Navy to advance.
Likewise for Tony Nelson and All-American Sonny Yohn, who bounced back from second-round losses on Thursday night to pick up two wins each on Friday morning. Yohn earned a 5-3 win in the 197 lbs. consolation bracket over Chad Hanke of Oregon State and a 3-1 decision over Andy Johnson of Nebraska. Nelson started the day with his third win of the year over Michigan’s Ben Apland – this time picking up a 2-0 decision over the Wolverine – and closed out the session with a 10-3 win over Ryan Tomei of Pitt.
Two-time All-American Zach Sanders opened the day with a setback, dropping a 5-3 decision to Utah Valley’s Ben Kjar. Kjar, who also upset four-seed James Nicholson of Old Dominion on Thursday, advanced to the semifinals and will be Utah Valley’s first-ever All-American. Sanders will take Matthew Snyder of Virginia in the consolation bracket tonight.
Meanwhile, three Gophers closed out their seasons on Friday morning including redshirt senior Scott Glasser. Glasser opened the day with a 6-0 win over Eric Starks of Arizona State, but the Bismarck, N.D. native would end his championship run with a 4-2 SV loss to Nick Heflin of Ohio State.
Redshirt freshman David Thorn rounded out his first appearance in the NCAA tournament with a 2-2 performance including splitting a pair of matches on Friday morning. Thorn opened the session with championship an 8-2 decision over Ian Paddock of Oklahoma State but dropped the follow-up against Tony Ramos via 7-5 in the sudden victory period.
After going 1-1 to open the NCAA championships, Cody Yohn fell out of the tournament with an 8-3 loss in the consolation bracket to Lehigh’s Brandon Hatchett.