Minnesota at the 2013 NCAA Championships

10 Gophers will compete for the first time since 2005

The Minnesota wrestling team (16-2, 7-1 B1G) closes out the 2012-13 season at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. The event is set to take place March 21 through March 23 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.

The Gophers will be taking a full roster of participants to Des Moines, Iowa after all 10 starters earned automatic qualifications at the Big Ten Championships on March 9-10. It marks the first time that the Gopher squad has qualified all weight classes since the 2005 event.

Minnesota is one of only five schools to advance all 10 representatives to nationals, joining Missouri, Oklahoma State, Penn State, and Virginia Tech.

Reigning heavyweight national champion Tony Nelson is the highest seed for the Maroon and Gold, picked as the No. 2 seed after a 28-1 campaign this season. Fresh off taking the Big Ten 149 lbs. crown, Dylan Ness will enter the national tournament as the No. 6 seed.

Minnesota GophersTwo-time All-American Kevin Steinhaus hopes to add another honor to his resume during his third trip to the national stage. The 184-pounder, who finished fifth last year, was given the No. 5 seed in his weight class.

Sophomore Logan Storley will compete in his second NCAA tournament event as the No. 6 seed at 174 lbs. Scott Schiller will make his NCAA debut in Des Moines and will compete as the No. 10 seed at 197 lbs. Senior Cody Yohn will close out his Gopher career at the 2013 NCAA Championships where he earned the No. 11 seed at 165 lbs.

After finishing fourth at the Big Ten Championships, Chris Dardanes received the No. 5 seed in the 133-pound weight bracket. His twin brother Nick is the No. 8 seed at 141 lbs.

David Thorn and Danny Zilverberg will also represent the Gophers are the event, competing unseeded at 125 lbs. and 157 lbs., respectively.

Reigning heavyweight national champion Tony Nelson is the highest seed for the Maroon and Gold, picked as the No. 2 seed after a 28-1 campaign this season. Nelson looks to defend his title in Des Moines and will face Penn’s Steven Graziano in the first round. The winner takes on the winner of Odie Delaney (The Citadel)/Evan Knutson (NDSU).

Last year at the 2012 NCAA Championships Minnesota left the competition boasting seven All-American student-athletes, more than any other school at the tournament For this season’s ending, five of those will return for another shot at the honor; Tony Nelson, Dylan Ness, Kevin Steinhaus, Chris Dardanes, and Logan Storley.

The Golden Gophers finished runner-up at the 2012 NCAA Wrestling Championships in St. Louis, Mo. It was the best finish for the Maroon and Gold in four years (2011; 7th, 2010; 7th, 2009; 14th, 2008; 10th) since winning the title back in 2007.

Tony Nelson was crowned a national champion in the heavyweight division. Nelson finished the weekend a perfect 5-0 record and defeated the defending heavyweight champion Zach Rey from Lehigh.

The ESPN Family of Networks will carry THE ENTIRE 3-day event LIVE on its various outlets. Live Web Video will also be available for many sessions via ESPN3.com. View coverage details here.

Gophersports will be providing a live blog throughout the NCAA competition this weekend. Visit Dual Day Live at gophersports.com/sports/m-wrestl to follow along with the action. Fans will also be able to receive updates through Twitter by following @GopherWrestling.

When the NCAA announced automatic qualifier allocations for the 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships, the Big Ten Conference received the most of any conference with 74 spots. Allocations were given based on the year’s competition data. Wrestlers that placed within the qualifier allocation for their weight class at the Big Ten Championships received an automatic bid for the NCAA show.

The Big Ten breakdown is as follows: seven for 125, seven for 133, six for 141, eight for 149, seven for 157, eight for 165, eight for 174, six for 184, eight for 197 and nine for heavyweight.

The final Coaches’ Panel rankings and RPI (rating percentage index) standings were also released on Thursday. The following is a list of wrestlers ranked.

WeightNameCoaches’ Panel RankingRPI Ranking
125David Thorn1912
133Chris Dardanes65
141Nick Dardanes714
149Dylan Ness1912
157Danny Zilverberg2326
165Cody Yohn1530
174Logan Storley13
184Kevin Steinhaus51
197Scott Schiller97
285Tony Nelson11

For the second year in a row, the Golden Gopher wrestling team beat Oklahoma State to win the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Dual Championship. As the No. 3 seed in the tournament, Minnesota handled No. 7 Virginia Tech in the quarterfinals (28-8) and No. 2 Iowa in the semifinals (22-15) before meeting the No. 1 Cowboys in the championship dual1

March 9-10, 2013 — Champaign, Ill.

After two days of hard-fought competition, the University of Minnesota capped off the 2013 Big Ten Wrestling Championships with a second place finish. The team gathered a total of 139.0 team points, while Penn State took their third consecutive title with a 151 collective mark. The Golden Gopher also captured two individual titles in Tony Nelson and Dylan Ness.

1: Penn State – 151.0
2: MINNESOTA – 139.0
3: Iowa – 133.5
4: Ohio State – 109.5
5: Illinois – 85.5
6: Michigan – 75.0
7: Nebraska – 61.0
8: Northwestern – 56.0
9: Purdue – 38.0
10: Wisconsin – 37.0
11: Indiana – 30.5
12: Michigan State – 22.0

2013 INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONS (# listed here is SEED)
125: #3 Jesse Delgado, Illinois
133: #1 Logan Stieber, Ohio State
141: #1 Hunter Stieber, Ohio State
157: #2 Jason Welch, Northwestern
165: #1 David Taylor, Penn State
174: #5 Matt Brown, Penn State
184: #1 Ed Ruth, Penn State
197: #1 Quentin Wright, Penn State

Minnesota’s head coach J Robinson was named Big Ten Coach of the Year, sharing the honor with Penn State’s head coach Cael Sanderson. The award is Robinson’s eighth, more than any other coach in the conference’s history.

Nelson made his mark earning his second heavyweight title in as many years. He ran through the competition with a 3-0 record. In the championship round, Nelson overcame Northwestern’s Mike McMullan, winning 4-1 by way of a takedown and riding time.

Ness claimed a second individual title for the Gophers, closing out his tournament run in style. Facing Nebraska’s Jake Sueflohn in the finals, Ness, who was picked as the No. 3 seed in the 149-pound bracket, not only captured the title, he did it in style with a pin at the 3:27 mark. Ness muscled out of a bind and flipped Sueflohn onto his back to put an exclamation point on the crown.

Scott Schiller and Kevin Steinhaus each closed out the tournament with a runner-up claim, losing in the finals to Nittany Lions. Steinhaus fell short of consecutive titles, losing in the final bout to Penn State’s Ed Ruth by a score of 5-3. Schiller followed at 197 lbs. with another close call (5-3).

The remainder of the Gopher wrestlers finished out the competition on a high note as well. All weight classes placed in the top seven, most placing above their tournament seed. Nick Dardanes and Cody Yohn both placed third in their respective brackets. Dardanes plowed through Purdue’s Brandon Nelsen for a 13-3 major. Tied 1-1 for the majority of the match, Yohn tallied a late takedown and a three-point near fall for the 6-1 victory. Chris Dardanes finished fourth, Danny Zilverberg fifth,David Thorn sixth, and Logan Storley seventh.

With a final Big Ten season record of 7-1, a .875 winning percentage, Minnesota tied with Penn State for a second-place finish in the conference standings.

Iowa captured its fifth Big Ten regular season title in the last six years when it defeated Nebraska 31-7 on Feb. 10. The perfect conference record marked the fifth time in six seasons the Hawkeyes finished the Big Ten regular season with an undefeated rate.