PHILADELPHIA – The Minnesota wrestling program wrapped up its competition at the 2011 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships on Saturday morning. Redshirt senior Mike Thorn tallied a pair of thrilling wins over nationally ranked foes to take third in the 141 lbs. bracket while redshirt junior Zach Sanders went 1-1 on Saturday to place fifth at 125 lbs. Redshirt junior Sonny Yohn and redshirt freshman Tony Nelson each tallied wins in their matches to place seventh at the 197 and 285 lbs. weight classes, respectively, and redshirt freshman Kevin Steinhaus closed out the Gophers’ All-Americans with an eighth-place finish at 184 lbs.
Minnesota currently sits in sixth place in the team standings with 61.0 points. Final team standings and brackets will be available after the finals round this evening.
Thorn ended his college career with a bang, picking up two wins on Saturday including a last-second 4-3 decision over five seed Montell Marion of Iowa to finish third in a loaded 141 lbs. bracket and earn his second career All-America honor. The duo, who went 1-1 against each other this year including a 7-5 sudden victory contest in the Big Ten semifinals that saw Thorn come back from a 5-1 deficit to win in the added time, didn’t disappoint fans when they met in the NCAA consolation finals for a rubber match. The grapplers battled to a 2-2 tie in the third period with Marion building up enough riding time for one bonus point. But in the final seconds of the match, Thorn (39-5) scored the two-point takedown and held on to pick up the win and record his highest finish in the NCAA championships.
Earlier in the day, fans eagerly anticipating the first meeting of the year between Thorn and four-seed James Kennedy of Illinois didn’t have much time to watch the two nationally ranked 141-pounders go at it – although there was plenty of action in the brief match. Kennedy opened the contest with a quick takedown and controlled the opening minute of action. But Thorn worked his way on top of his foe to earn the defensive pin at 1:29 – picking up his 37th career pin.
After locking up his third-career All-America honor on Friday, Sanders split a pair of matches in Session V to finish fifth in the 125 lbs. bracket. The redshirt junior closed out this year’s campaign with a 6-2 decision victory over Ryan Mango of Stanford in the fifth-place match – tying Sanders career-best finish at the NCAA Championships (2010). Sanders (34-6) fell in his opening match on Saturday morning, dropping a 5-4 decision to Northwestern’s Brandon Precin in a rematch of the Big Ten semifinals.
At heavyweight, Nelson pinned Levi Cooper of Arizona State at 2:37 to place seventh in his first NCAA championships appearance – earning All-America honors in the process. Nelson (33-8) scored an early takedown to go up 2-0 on Cooper and forced the pin on the Sun Devil for the third pin of his career.
Yohn’s seventh-place match at 197 lbs. saw the redshirt junior and now two-time All-American extract revenge on Indiana’s Matt Powless. Having already earned a win over Yohn in the Big Ten championships, Powless sent Yohn to the consolation bracket on Thursday with a 5-3 sudden victory decision. But in their third meeting of the year, Yohn (18-7) would not be denied. The redshirt junior would pick up a 5-2 decision over Powless to place seventh in the 197 lbs. brackets – Yohn’s highest-career finish at the NCAA championships.
Finally, Kevin Steinhaus ended his first NCAA championships appearance with an eighth-place finish at 184 lbs. Steinhaus (34-12) dropped a 4-2 decision to four seed Travis Rutt of Wisconsin in Saturday’s seventh-place match, earning All-American accolades for his 4-3 performance at this year’s tournament.
125: Zach Sanders
First Round: #5 Zach Sanders (MINN) dec. Jason Lara (ORST) 6-2
Second Round: #5 Zach Sanders (MINN) dec. #12 Jason Garnett (VATECH) 8-6
Quarterfinals: Ben Kjar (UTAHV) dec. #5 Zach Sanders (MINN) 5-3
Consolations: #5 Zach Sanders (MINN) dec. Matthew Snyder (UVA) 6-5
Consolations: #5 Zach Sanders (MINN) SV #8 Jarrod Patterson 4-2
Consolation Semifinals: #3 Ben Precin (NW) dec. #5 Zach Sanders (MINN) 5-4
5th-Place Match: #5 Zach Sanders (MINN) dec. #7 Ryan Mango (STAN) 6-2
133: David Thorn
First Round: David Thorn (MINN) SV. Jordan Thome (ARMY) 6-4
Second Round: #3 Andrew Long (PSU) SV. David Thorn (MINN) 7-5
Consolations: David Thorn (MINN) dec. Ian Paddock (OSU) 8-2
Consolations: #6 Tony Ramos (Iowa) SV David Thorn (MINN) 7-5
141: Mike Thorn
First Round: #2 Mike Thorn (MINN) dec. Darius Little (NCSU) 2-1
Second Round: #2 Mike Thorn (MINN) dec. Nick Nelson (UVA) 6-1
Quarterfinals: #2 Mike Thorn (MINN) fall #10 Todd Schavrien (MIZZ) 2:03
Semifinals: #3 Boris Novachkov (CPOLY) dec. #2 Mike Thorn (MINN) 9-3
Consolation Semifinals: #2 Mike Thorn (MINN) fall #4 James Kennedy (ILL) 1:29
Consolation Finals: #2 Mike Thorn (MINN) dec. #5 Montell Marion (IOWA) 4-3
149: Danny Zilverberg
First Round: #5 Jamal Parks (OKST) dec. Danny Zilverberg (MINN) 6-3
Consolations: #12 Desi Green (BUFF) dec. Danny Zilverberg (MINN) 8-5
165: Cody Yohn
First Round: Eren Civan (COLUM) fall #12 Cody Yohn (MINN) 2:28
Consolations: #12 Cody Yohn (MINN) fall Chad Porter (LIBTY) 1:40
Consolations: Brandon Hatchett (LEHI) dec. #12 Cody Yohn (MINN) 8-3
174: Scott Glasser
First Round: Scott Glasser (MINN) dec. Patrick Martinez (WYO) 10-3
Second Round: #2 Ed Ruth (PSU) dec. Scott Glasser (MINN) 5-3
Consolations: Scott Glasser (MINN) dec. Eric Starks (AZST) 6-0
Consolations: #10 Nick Heflin (OSU) SV. Scott Glasser (MINN) 4-2
184: Kevin Steinhaus
First Round: #8 Kevins Steinhaus (MINN) dec. Jason McCroskey (WYO) 10-3
Second Round: #9 Quentin Wright (PSU) dec. #8 Kevin Steinhaus (MINN) 8-4
Consolations: #8 Kevin Steinhaus (MINN) dec. Brad Dieckhaus (NIU) 10-7
Consolations: #8 Kevin Steinhaus (MINN) dec. Luke Rebertus (NAVY) 4-1
Consolations: #8 Kevin Steinhaus (MINN) dec. #7 Chris Perry (OKST) 7-1
Consolations: #7 Joe LeBlanc (Wyoming) dec. #8 Kevin Steinhaus (MINN) 11-9
7th-Place Match: #4 Travis Rutt (WISC) dec. #8 Kevin Steinhaus (MINN) 4-2
197: Sonny Yohn
First Round: #9 Sonny Yohn (MINN) dec. Anthony Biondo (MICH) 6-1
Second Round: #8 Matt Powless (IND) SV. #9 Sonny Yohn (MINN) 5-3
Consolations: #9 Sonny Yohn (MINN) dec. Chad Hanke (ORST) 5-3
Consolations: #9 Sonny Yohn (MINN) dec. Andy Johnson (NEB) 3-1
Consolations: #9 Sonny Yohn (MINN) dec. #7 Zac Thomusseit (PITT) 2-1
Consolations: #12 Zack Giesen (STAN) dec. #9 Sonny Yohn (MINN) 3-2
7th-Place Match: #9 Sonny Yohn (MINN) dec. #8 Matt Powless (IND) 5-2
285: Tony Nelson
First Round: #8 Tony Nelson (MINN) SV. Christian Brantley (UNI) 3-1
Second Round: #9 Cameron Wade (PSU) dec. #8 Tony Nelson (MINN) 4-1
Consolations: #8 Tony Nelson (MINN) dec. Ben Apland (MICH) 2-0
Consolations: #8 Tony Nelson (MINN) dec. #6 Ryan Tomei (PITT) 10-3
Consolations: #8 Tony Nelson (MINN) TB1 #10 Nathan Fernandez (OKLA) 3-2
Consolations: Spencer Myers (MARY) TB1 #8 Tony Nelson 2-1
7th-Place Match: #8 Tony Nelson (MINN) fall Levi Cooper (AZST) 2:37