Jayson Ness and Joe Nord, both former Gopher wrestlers who are now a part of the coaching staff, looked impressive last weekend in Pennsylvania
Jayson Ness and Joe Nord, both former Gopher wrestlers and current members of the program’s coaching staff, competed last weekend in the 2015 Phil Portuese Northeast Regional in East Stroudsburg, Pa., wrestling freestyle. Ness swept through the competition at 65 kilograms (143 lbs.) to take first while Nord, wrestling at 97 kilograms (214 lbs.), placed fourth.
For Ness, the tournament was his first competition since an unforgettable, last-second victory in the 2010 NCAA Championship finals over Iowa’s Daniel Dennis. Now a volunteer assistant coach for the Gophers, Ness returned to the mat with a convincing championship performance. In his five victories, Ness racked up four technical falls, including three straight to finish the tournament. After outlasting Brett Robbins in the second round and earning an 8-5 decision, Ness outscored his next three opponents 38-7, including a 10-0 shutout in the semifinals, to claim the championship. With his victory, Ness automatically qualifies for the U.S. World Team Trials, which will be contested June 12-14 in Madison, Wis.
Nord is a former heavyweight for Minnesota who has stayed with the program as a graduate assistant, offering guidance for current Gophers competing in the upper weights. He began his tournament with consecutive technical falls in which he didn’t surrender a single point, winning those contests 10-0 and 11-0, respectively. After dropping a decision to eventual champion David Zabriskie, Nord flipped to the backside of the bracket and promptly posted an 11-0 tech fall to advance to the third-place match, where he fell to Abram Ayala, 10-5.
Continuing with next weekend’s U.S. Open, there’s plenty of freestyle and Greco-Roman action this offseason involving current and former Gophers. Be sure to stay tuned to GopherSports.com, and follow Gopher Wrestling on Facebook and Twitter, to keep up with all the offseason results tied to the Gopher Wrestling program.