No. 1 Minnesota Leads Field in Las Vegas

Eight wrestlers for the top-ranked Gophers are still alive headed into the tournament’s final day, including five that will wrestle in the semifinals.

No. 1 Minnesota finished the first of two days at the Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas leading the team competition and advancing five wrestlers to tomorrow’s semifinals. As might be expected, the quintet that helped Minnesota rack up 85.5 points, which is 20 ahead of second-place Iowa State, is comprised of the team’s five senior All-Americans, all of whom put on strong performances during the tournament’s opening day.

All five scored bonus points in at least one of their three matches on the day. Three – No. 2 Chris Dardanes (133), No. 1 Dylan Ness (157) and No. 1 Scott Schiller (197) – scored bonus point in each of their three matches. Dardanes strung together a technical fall, a fall and a major decision; Ness began with two pins and then a major decision; and Schiller won three consecutive major decisions. No. 1 Logan Storley (174) opened with a pin and a major decision before outlasting No. 14 Davonte Mahones of Michigan for a 3-1 quarterfinal win in sudden victory overtime. For No. 3 Nick Dardanes (141), a major decision in his second match was sandwiched between a pair of victories by decision.

Minnesota GophersAll 10 Gopher wrestlers won their opening round match, and seven of those won their second match to advance to the quarterfinals. Both Gophers who fell in the quarterfinals fought admirably against higher-seeded opponents. While No. 15 Nick Wanzek (165) fell to No. 7 Lucas Walsh of Indiana, 7-2, in a match without any controversy, the same can’t be said for No. 15 Brett Pfarr and his match with No. 1 Gabe Dean of Cornell. Tied 1-1, the match went to sudden victory overtime. In a scamble during the period’s final seconds, Dean was awarded a takedown but, after stepping aside and discussing what they had seen, the officials overturned that call, advancing the match to tiebreakers. Dean escaped Pfarr during the first tiebreaker, while Pfarr was unable to do the same in the second, dropping the match 2-1. Along with Wanzek and Pfarr, Michael Kroells (285) will wrestle tomorrow on the backside of the bracket with a chance to place in the competition.

Full match results from Friday are listed below.

The Gophers will return to action Saturday at 11 a.m. CT for the final day of the tournament. Fans can follow along by watching the live stream offered by (stream requires a FloPRO subscription) or by following Gopher Wrestling on Twitter for updates through the day.

Match Results

1st Rnd: No. 19 Sam Brancale (Minn) maj. dec. Brant Leadbeter (Navy), 12-2
2nd Rnd: No. 12 Josh Rodriguez (North Dakota State) dec. No. 19 Sam Brancale (Minn), 3-1
Cons.: No. 19 Sam Brancale (Minn) tech. fall (3:52) Sean Badua (Army), 16-1
Cons.: Trey Andrews (Northern Colorado) fall (0:42) No. 19 Sam Brancale (Minn)

1st Rnd: No. 2 Chris Dardanes (Minn) tech. fall (7:00) Jaydon Rogers (Western Wyoming College), 22-7
2nd Rnd: No. 2 Chris Dardanes (Minn) fall (4:53) Ryan Osleeb (Harvard)
Quarters: No. 2 Chris Dardanes (Minn) maj. dec. No. 18 Kevin Norstrem (Virginia Tech), 13-5

1st Rnd: No. 3 Nick Dardanes (Minn) dec. Ty Buckiso (The Citadel), 12-6
2nd Rnd: No. 3 Nick Dardanes (Minn) maj. dec. Jacob Macaloolooy (Columbia), 17-7
Quarters: No. 3 Nick Dardanes (Minn) dec. Mitchell Bengston (North Dakota State), 8-7

1st Rnd: Jake Short (Minn) dec. (SV-1) Steve Galiardo (Brown), 3-1
2nd Rnd: Preston McCalmon (Arizona State) dec. (TB-2) Jake Short (Minn), 2-1
Cons.: Abraham Rodriguez (Oregon State) dec. Jake Short (Minn), 7-3

1st Rnd: No. 1 Dylan Ness (Minn) fall (6:00) Garrett Adams (Western State Colorado)
2nd Rnd: No. 1 Dylan Ness (Minn) fall (0:37) Chad Pyke (N.C. State)
Quarters: No. 1 Dylan Ness (Minn) maj. dec. Joel Smith (Arizona State), 14-2

Pig Tail: No. 15 Nick Wanzek (Minn) maj. dec. Bradley Christensen (California Baptist), 10-0
1st Rnd: No. 15 Nick Wanzek (Minn) dec. Anthony Caputo (North Dakota State), 5-4
2nd Rnd: No. 15 Nick Wanzek (Minn) dec. Adam Fierro (CSU Bakersfield), 4-3
Quarters: No. 7 Taylor Walsh (Indiana) dec. No. 15 Nick Wanzek (Minn), 7-2

1st Rnd: No. 1 Logan Storley (Minn) fall (3:45) Joe Latham (Oregon State)
2nd Rnd: No. 1 Logan Storley (Minn) maj. dec. Frank Affronti (Hofstra), 14-5
Quarters: No. 1 Logan Storley (Minn) dec. No. 14 Davonte Mahones (Michigan), SV-1 3-1

1st Rnd: No. 15 Brett Pfarr (Minn) maj. dec. Johnathon Costa (San Francisco State), 12-3
2nd Rnd: No. 15 Brett Pfarr (Minn) dec. No. 17 T.J. Dudley (Nebraska), 9-4
Quarters: No. 1 Gabe Dean (Cornell) dec. (TB-2) No. 15 Brett Pfarr (Minn), 2-1

1st Rnd: No. 1 Scott Schiller (Minn) maj. dec. Jake Smith (West Virginia), 12-4
2nd Rnd: No. 1 Scott Schiller (Minn) maj. dec. Stephen Snyder (Army), 15-3
Quarters: No. 1 Scott Schiller (Minn) maj. dec. Trent Noon (Northern Colorado), 10-1

1st Rnd: Michael Kroells (Minn) maj. dec. Marcus Malecek (Air Force), 9-0
2nd Rnd: No. 15 Blaize Cabell (Northern Iowa) dec. (SV-1) Michael Kroells (Minn), 5-3
Cons: Michael Kroells (Minn) dec. (SV-1) Chace Eskam (Arizona State), 5-3
Cons.: Michael Kroells (Minn) dec. Brian Macchione (Northern Colorado), 6-1

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