Nearly five full years had passed since Minnesota completed its back-to-back national championship seasons when the 2006-07 Gophers took the mat for the first time. Though the team had not taken home a title at the four previous NCAA tournaments, a second-place finish in 2006 and a lineup that returned many of its key contributors stoked expectations that Minnesota would again rule the college wrestling world. Those expectations were reflected in the Gophers’ preseason ranking that season — No. 1 in the nation.
Seven starters were back in the lineup following the team’s runner-up finish at the 2006 national tournament: Mack Reiter, Manny Rivera, Dustin Schlatter, C.P. Schlatter, Gabe Dretsch, Roger Kish and Cole Konrad. The younger Schlatter and Konrad returned as defending national champions, and Kish hoped to move up one spot on the podium from a runner-up finish the year before. New additions to the starting lineup included Jayson Ness and Tyler Safratowich. Continue reading at www.gophersports.com