Trio of Gopher alums shine in NYC

Three Gopher greats – Tony Nelson, Jayson Ness and current volunteer assistant coach Zach Sanders – all delivered podium performances wrestling freestyle at the Bill Farrell Open in New York City on Saturday. While Ness and Sanders finished third at 61 and 57 kilograms, respectively, Nelson headlined the trio’s efforts by winning the 125-kilogram title.

Nelson reached the title bout without allowing a single point to either Jewoo Sin or Chadwick Hanke, winning those matches by a combined 15-0 total. His championship match against Dom Bradley was much closer than those previous contests, with the score tied at four late into the match. A takedown in the final 30 seconds gave Nelson the lead, 6-4, which would be the final score.

minnlogoNess looked strong during a 4-1 day. All four of his victories came by tech fall, including three 10-0 wins over Joel Webster, Nick Lee and Nahshon Garrett. He added a 12-2 tech over Cody Brewer in the third-place match. His lone defeat came in the semifinals against four-time NCAA champ Logan Stieber.

Sanders, who officially joined the Gopher coaching staff this season after several years as a grad assistant, went 3-1 in the event. He began his day with a 10-0 tech fall over long-time rival Frank Perrelli before dropping a 3-3 decision on criteria to Russian grappler Khasankhusein Badrudinov. A 7-0 decision over Nodirjon Safarov set up a rematch with Perrelli in the third-place match, one in which Sanders scored a 4-3 decision.

Sanders, Ness and Nelson were collegiate standouts at Minnesota. Sanders was a four-time All-American; Ness was a four-time All-American and a national champ; and Nelson was a four-time All-American, three-time national finalist and two-time national champion.

The Bill Farrell Open will continue tomorrow from the New York City Athletic Club, with Greco-Roman taking center stage. Several Gopher alums will be in that field as well. Be sure to follow Gopher Wrestling on Twitter (@GopherWrestling) for updates throughout the day and check back here on for a recap of Saturday’s action. is your home for all things Gopher Wrestling, whether that’s recaps of dual action, open tournaments, or the latest events where program alums are competing (and winning). Be sure to follow Gopher Wrestling on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates as well.

At New York, N.Y.

Men’s Freestyle results

57 kg/125.5 lbs.
Gold – Nico Megaludis (USA/Titan Mercury WC) dec. Khansankhusein Badrudinov (Russia), 6-1
Bronze –Zach Sanders (USA/Minnesota Storm) dec. Frank Perrelli (USA/Titan Mercury WC), 4-3

65 kg/143 lbs.
Gold – B.J. Futrell (USA/Titan Mercury WC) dec. Hunter Stieber (USA/Titan Mercury WC), 12-10
Bronze –Nick Dardanes (USA/Titan Mercury WC) dec. Ulukman Mamatov (Kyrgyzstan), 2-0

74 kg/163 lbs.
Gold – Alex Dieringer (USA/Titan Mercury WC) dec. Bekzod Abdurakhmanov (Uzbekistan/NYAC), 8-2
Bronze – Matt Brown (USA/Army WCAP) by disqualification over Khalil Aminov (Russia)

86 kg/189 lbs.
Gold – Austin Trotman (USA/Titan Mercury WC) tech. fall Timmy McCall (USA/Titan Mercury WC), 12-2, 4:55
Bronze –Richard Perry (USA/New York AC) dec. Deron Winn (USA/Titan Mercury WC), 5-2

97 kg/213 lbs.
Gold – Dustin Kilgore (USA/Sunkist Kids) dec. J.T. Felix (USA/Titan Mercury WC), 5-5
Bronze –Micah Burak (USA/Titan Mercury WC) tech. fall Josh Manu (USA/Navy-Marine Corps Mat Club), 12-1, 1:55

125 kg/275 lbs.
Gold – Anthony Nelson (USA/Minnesota Storm) dec. Dom Bradley (USA/Sunkist Kids), 6-4
Bronze – Braden Atwood (USA/Tar Heel WC) vs. Chadwick Hanke (USA/Titan Mercury WC), 4-0


Men’s freestyle Best of Three Final Series

61 kg/134 lbs. – Logan Stieber (Columbus, Ohio/Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC) dec. Tyler Graff (New Brunswick, N.J./New York AC), two matches to none
Bout One – Stieber tech. fall Graff, 10-0, 4:06
Bout Two – Stieber tech. fall Graff, 10-0, 1:46

3rd –Jayson Ness, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm) tech. fall Cody Brewer, Evanston, Ill. (Titan Mercury WC/Chicago RTC), 12-2, 1:49

70 kg/154 lbs. – James Green (Lincoln, Neb. (Titan Mercury WC/Nebraska WTC) dec. Jordan Oliver, Tempe, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids), two matches to none
Bout One – Green dec. Oliver, 2-1
Bout Two – Green dec. Oliver, 4-3

3rd – Jason Chamberlain, Fresno, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Adam Hall, Raleigh, N.C. (Titan Mercury WC), 6-1

True third place – Jimmy Kennedy (Ann Arbor, Mich. Titan Mercury WC) dec. Jason Chamberlain, Fresno, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC), 10-0, 4:02