Four Gophers earned automatic bids to the NCAA tournament with their performances at the 2016 Big Ten Championships in Iowa City last weekend.
Minnesota’s top finishers came at 197 pounds and heavyweight. Brett Pfarr finished third after a 4-1 weekend, while Michael Kroells took third after a 3-1 tournament. The two captains will both be returning to NCAAs for the second consecutive year, where Kroells will look to repeat as an All-American.
Two other Gophers punched their tickets to their first career NCAA Championships appearances. Redshirt freshmen Tommy Thorn finished fourth at 141 pounds, securing a trip to the tourney in his first season a starter for the Gophers. Nick Wanzek, after missing last year’s tournament at 165 pounds, earned an automatic berth at 174 pounds this season.
Jake Short placed seventh at 149 pounds, which left him one spot shy of an automatic bid. On Tuesday afternoon, the NCAA announced Short had been selected as an at-large participant for the event. It will be his first career NCAA appearance.
The NCAA Championships will be held March 17-19 at Madison Square Gardens in New York City.
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