The No. 1 University of Minnesota Golden Gopher wrestling team claimed the EAS/NWCA National Dual Championship for the third consecutive year with a 24-15 victory over fourth-ranked Cornell. This is the eighth championship for the Golden Gophers who advance to 12-1 on the season.
The Gophers were able to claim six of the ten bouts, including three majors and a fall, en route to the National Duals championship.
The final started with a tough battle between Sam Brancale and No. 1 Nahshon Garrett of Cornell. Brancale stayed close to Garrett and while he was unable to defeat him, he was able to score a point by escaping Garrett’s hold in the last few seconds of the bout in order to keep Garrett’s victory to a decision and giving Cornell only three points.
No. 8 David Thorn picked up the Gophers first major decision of the dual by defeated No. 15 Mark Grey of Cornell, 11-3. No. 5 Chris Dardanes was able to win his first bout of the day with a major decision over Logan David, 16-6 and No. 3 Nick Dardanes won by sudden victory over Christopher Villalonga. Dardanes was awarded the winning point as Villalonga was tabbed for his second stalling call of the dual. After four bouts, the Gophers were leading 11-3.
No. 5 Dylan Ness had another standout performance with a fall 1:13 into the bout and scored six crucial team points for the Golden Gophers. The Gophers were up 17-3 going into 165.
Danny Zilverberg was defeated by Dylan Palacio of Cornell after a hard fought battle ended in a fall at 7:43. No. 6 Logan Storley won by decision over Craig Eifert of Cornell, 8-2 while No. 8 Kevin Steinhaus fell to Gabriel Dean of Cornell, 3-2. Steinhaus was looking to avenge an earlier loss to Dean at the Southern Scuffle but came up short.
No. 4 Scott Schiller came back after a loss in the dual against Ohio State to win by major decision over Jace Bennett of Cornell, 11-1. The Gophers led 24-12 going into the final dual of the afternoon.
Stepping in once again for Tony Nelson, Michael Kroells was defeated by Jacob Aiken-Phillips of Cornell when he was able to escape with seconds left in regulation. The final score would read 24-15 as the Gophers won their third consecutive National Duals championship.
Minnesota advanced to the final round after defeating Big Ten foe and 13th-ranked Ohio State, 25-10 in the semifinal round
The Gophers started the semifinal dual with a matchup between Sam Brancale and Nick Roberts of Ohio State. Despite the shot for shot score throughout the entirety of the dual, Roberts was able to come away with the 9-7 decision and put the Buckeyes on the board early with three team points.
No. 8 David Thorn and No. 9 Johnni DiJulius battled it out at 133 but Thorn was able to step ahead of DiJulius by grabbing two reversals and a takedown and picking up an extra point for riding time to finish the match with a 8-5 victory. The Gophers and the Buckeyes were tied at three apiece going after two bouts.
The Buckeyes fired back at 141 as No. 3 Logan Stieber of Ohio State won by major decision over No. 5 Chris Dardanes to add four more points on the Buckeyes score. No. 3 Nick Dardanes tried to even the score but ultimately added three points for the Gophers with a 8-2 decision victory over No. 20 Ian Paddock of Ohio State. After four, the Gophers trailed 7-6.
No. 5 Dylan Ness, who finished the last two bouts by pinning his opponents, defeated Randall Languis, 8-4, to give the Gophers three more points and get the ball rolling for four consecutive Gophers wins. Danny Zilverberg, No. 5 Logan Storley and No. 8 Kevin Steinhaus were able to outscore their Buckeye opponents and rack up twelve team points between the three of them. Storley won by technical fall, 15-0, over Jacob Bresciani with twenty-eight seconds left in the first period to add five team points on his own. Steinhaus came away with a 12-2 major decision over his Buckeye matchup, Josh Fox.
No. 4 Scott Schiller fell for the second time this season as No. 8 Nick Heflin won by decision 8-4. Schiller is now 25-2 going into this afternoon’s final round.
Finishing out the dual for the Gophers was Michael Kroells who once again wrestled in place of Tony Nelson at 285. Kroells added a major decision and four points to the Gophers final score with his victory over Ohio State’s Nick Tavanello, 13-3.
The Gophers will hit the road for their final dual meet of the year as they travel to Ames to battle the Iowa State University Cyclones on Sunday, Feb. 23. The dual kicks off at 2:00 p.m. CT. Follow @GopherWrestling on Twitter for live scoring updates.
1st Place Match:
Minnesota 24 Cornell 15
125 – Nahshon Garrett (Cornell) over Samuel Brancale (Minnesota) Dec 12-5
133 – David Thorn (Minnesota) over Mark Grey (Cornell) Maj 11-3
141 – Christopher Dardanes (Minnesota) over Logan David (Cornell) Maj 16-6
149 – Nick Dardanes (Minnesota) over Christopher Villalonga (Cornell) SV-1 5-4
157 – Dylan Ness (Minnesota) over Brian Realbuto (Cornell) Fall 1:13
165 – Dylan Palacio (Cornell) over Daniel Zilverberg (Minnesota) Fall 7:43
174 – Logan Storley (Minnesota) over Craig Eifert (Cornell) Dec 8-2
184 – Gabriel Dean (Cornell) over Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota) TB-2 3-2
197 – Scott Schiller (Minnesota) over Jace Bennett (Cornell) Maj 11-1
285 – Jacob Aiken-Phillips (Cornell) over Michael Kroells (Minnesota) Dec 7-6
Minnesota 25 Ohio State 10
125 – Nick Roberts (Ohio State) over Samuel Brancale (Minnesota) Dec 9-7
133 – David Thorn (Minnesota) over Johnni DiJulius (Ohio State) Dec 8-5
141 – Logan Stieber (Ohio State) over Christopher Dardanes (Minnesota) Maj 11-0
149 – Nick Dardanes (Minnesota) over Ian Paddock (Ohio State) Dec 6-2
157 – Dylan Ness (Minnesota) over Randall Languis (Ohio State) Dec 8-4
165 – Daniel Zilverberg (Minnesota) over Joe Grandominico (Ohio State) Dec 8-2
174 – Logan Storley (Minnesota) over Jacob Bresciani (Ohio State) TF 15-0
184 – Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota) over Josh Fox (Ohio State) Maj 12-2
197 – Nick Heflin (Ohio State) over Scott Schiller (Minnesota) Dec 8-4
285 – Michael Kroells (Minnesota) over Nick Tavanello (Ohio State) Maj 13-3
1st Place – Minnesota
2nd Place – Cornell
3rd Place – Ohio State
4th Place – Oklahoma
1st Place Match
Minnesota defeated Cornell 24-15
3rd Place Match
Ohio State defeated Oklahoma 23-16