Gophers Downed By Buckeyes On The Road
Facing the No. 2 team in the country, the University of Minnesota wrestling team suffered a 31-7 loss in Columbus, Ohio on Friday night.
No. 11 Tommy Thorn and No. 9 Nick Wanzek each picked up ranked victories in the dual, Thorn upset No. 6 ranked Joey McKenna and Wanzek defeated No. 13 Te’Shawn Campbell.
“We competed against a really tough team today,” head coach Brandon Eggum said. “Overall, even some of the matches we lost, I liked the fight our guys had. We didn’t focus on rankings or names, we just went out and battled.”
The dual began at 184-pounds, and Ohio State placed six straight ranked, undefeated wrestlers on the mat against the Gophers. The first five defeated the Gophers, putting the team in a 20-0 hole heading into intermission.
After the 15-minute break, Tommy Thorn stepped up at 141-pounds. The 2017 All-American took on No. 6 ranked Joey McKenna, who came in with a 6-0 record this season. Thorn defeated McKenna in last year’s NCAA Tournament while McKenna was still at Stanford, pinning him in the second round.
McKenna started this match with an early takedown, but Thorn was quick to escape and the score was 2-1 after one period. Thorn began the period on top, and about a minute in, used a tilt to turn McKenna for a four-point near fall, making it 5-2 halfway through the second.
Thorn would turn McKenna once again with another tilt and made it 9-2 by the end of the second period. McKenna had a chance to turn Thorn, but Thorn found his way out and earned another takedown to hand McKenna his first loss of the season and Thorn his third-ranked victory of the season.
“That’s a nice quality win for Tommy,” Eggum said. “He’s looking really good right now and is really getting back on track. To pick up a win against a guy like McKenna will be big for him as Big Ten rankings begin to take shape.”
After a loss at 149, No. 18 Jake Short stepped up against No. 6 Micah Jordan. After a scoreless first, Jordan took a lead on an escape in the second. Short would take the lead for a moment after racing around Jordan for a takedown, but by the end of the second, it was tied at two. Jordan allowed Short to escape to begin the third, giving him a 3-2 lead.
Jordan’s first takedown came in the third, giving him a momentary lead, but Short battled and got away to tie the match at four with just 1:30 remaining. Jordan was able to take Short down a second time, this time Short didn’t escape and took the loss by decision, 11-4.
“We had a few guys today that wrestled well despite losing,” Eggum said. “I thought Jake Short put himself in a good position to win his match. Steve Polakowski was put into a situation where he weighed in at 125-pounds, and then wrestled the second-ranked 133-pound guy and was in it at the end. I was just proud of the fight overall today.”
The fight continued at 165-pounds with Wanzek taking on No. 13 Te’Shawn Campbell. Wanzek controlled the match and took the early lead with a takedown. The Simley graduate then picked up two stalling points before the end of the first, giving him a 4-0 advantage.
Wanzek escaped to begin the second after Campbell chose top, and then increased his lead to 6-2 after an escape to begin the third period. After a takedown attempt from Campbell, Wanzek quickly flipped Campbell to his back and scored two of his own to go up 8-2 after a video review confirmed the call. Campbell was able to earn one last takedown, but Wanzek picked up his third-ranked victory of the season with the 8-5 decision.
“Nick wrestled a really solid match tonight,” Eggum said. “He was able to do some good things today and controlled that match almost from the start. I was really impressed with his performance.”
The Gophers will have to turn around quickly with a home dual on Sunday against No. 12 Illinois, who was idle on Friday night. Minnesota will hit the mat at 1:00 p.m. at Maturi Pavilion and will honor service members with their annual Military Appreciation dual.
#2 Ohio State 31, #13 Minnesota 7
184: #2 Myles Martin (Ohio State) maj. dec. Dylan Anderson (Minnesota) 18-7
197: #1 Kollin Moore (Ohio State) dec. Bobby Steveson (Minnesota) 7-4
285: #1 Kyle Snyder (Ohio State) tech fall Rylee Streifel (Minnesota) 24-9
125: #1 Nathan Tomasello (Ohio State) tech fall #4 Ethan Lizak (Minnesota) 18-3
133: #2 Luke Pletcher (Ohio State) dec. Steve Polakowski (Minnesota) 9-6
141: #11 Tommy Thorn (Minnesota) maj. dec. #6 Joey McKenna (Ohio State) 13-3
149: #6 Ke-Shawn Hayes (Ohio State) maj. dec. Ben Brancale (Minnesota) 14-2
157: #6 Micah Jordan (Ohio State) dec. #18 Jake Short (Minnesota) 10-4
165: #9 Nick Wanzek (Minnesota) dec. #13 Te’Shan Campbell (Ohio State) 8-5
174: #3 Bo Jordan (Ohio State) maj. dec. Chris Pfarr (Minnesota) 12-4