Minnesota 28, Air Force 15

No. 1 Minnesota Clips Falcons

The top-ranked Gopher Wrestling team began its 2014-15 dual season with a 28-15 victory over Air Force on Saturday. With the win, Minnesota has now won its last 11 non-conference duals, a streak that dates back to December, 2012. It’s also the third consecutive year Minnesota has begun the season with a victory.

The morning competition in Colorado Springs began at heavyweight, where Michael Kroells took on Marcus Malacek and scored the match’s final seven points to win a 9-3 decision.

Minnesota GophersAir Force rebounded from the opening loss, with No. 9 Josh Martinez defeating Sam Brancale at 125 by technical fall and Anthony McHugh pinning Jordan Kinglsey at 133 to give the the Falcones an 11-3 lead in the dual after three matches.

Just as their hosts had pushed back after an opening loss, the Gophers responded to adversity. Minnesota reeled off six consecutive match wins, beginning with Conrad Rangell at 141, who won a major decision, 9-0, over Carter McElhany. Jake Short followed at 149 in his career duals debut and looked strong in a tough match against Jerry McGinty, winning a 1-0 decision. Short’s high school teammate, Nick Wanzek, also made his career duals debut on Saturday morning, taking on No. 15 Jesse Stafford at 165. Wanzek grabbed the lead midway through the first and held it throughout the match, winning a 9-3 decision.

The two top-ranked Gopher wrestlers competing on Saturday, Dylan Ness at 157 and Logan Storley at 174, both looked the part. Ness scored a takedown in the opening seconds of his match against Sam Keimier and never let his opponent off the mat, pinning Keimier at 1:52. Storley racked up several near-falls against Scott Reilly en route to a technical fall victory, 15-0, in the second period.

No. 14 Brett Pfarr scored the Gophers last victory of the meet against Konner Witt at 184, earning a major decision (13-0) while building up more than 4:30 in riding time throughout the match.

In the meet’s final match, Chris Pfarr became the third Gopher to make his duals debut on Saturday as he stepped in for Scott Schiller at 197 and loss to Jack Carda, 12-2.

The team will be back on the mat later tonight, when the Gophers travel to Laramie, Wyo. to take on Wyoming at 6:30 p.m. CT. That dual will be streamed at Flowrestling.com for those with a FloPRO subscription. Updates from throughout the meet will be provided on the Gopher Wrestling Twitter feed and a full recap will be available later tonight on GopherSports.com

Minnesota 28, Air Force 15
HWT: Michael Kroells (Minn) dec. Marcus Malecek (AFA), 10-3 / Minnesota 3 – Air Force 0
125: No. 9 Josh Martinez (AFA) tech. fall Sam Brancale (Minn), 16-0 / Minnesota 3 – Air Force 5
133: Anthony McHugh (AFA) fall (1:48) Jordan Kingsley (Minn) / Minnesota 3 – Air Force 11
141: Conrad Rangell (Minn) maj. dec. Carter McElhany (AFA), 9-0 / Minnesota 7 – Air Force 11
149: Jake Short (Minn) dec. Jerry McGinty (AFA), 1-0 / Minnesota 10 – Air Force 11
157: No. 1 Dylan Ness (Minn) fall (1:52) Sam Kreimier (AFA) / Minnesota 16 – Air Force 11
165: Nick Wanzek (Minn) dec. No. 15 Jesse Stafford, 9-3 / Minnesota 19 – Air Force 11
174: No. 1 Logan Storley (Minn) tech. fall Scott Reilly (AFA), 16-0 / Minnesota 24 – Air Force 11
184: No. 14 Brett Pfarr (Minn) maj. dec. Konner Witt, Jr. (AFA), 13-0 / Minnesota 28 – Air Force 11
197: Jack Carda (AFA) maj. dec. Chris Pfarr (Minn), 12-2 / Minnesota 28 – Air Force 15

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