Gophers Travel to Air Force to Open Dual Season Schedule

The Gophers will wrestle their first dual of the season this Friday as they take on Air Force in USAF Academy, Co. The dual is scheduled to begin at 8:00 p.m. CT.

Gopher wrestling fans will be able to stream all of the action on Trackwrestling and follow along with live updates on the Minnesota twitter wrestling page.

minnlogoMinnesota vs. Air Force
The Gophers hold an unblemished record against Air Force, wrestling to an 8-0 record in duals against the Falcons. Minnesota claimed their first victory in this matchup in a 25-9 dual win in 1976 and have been dominant ever since. The Gophers are 3-0 against Air Force in Colorado and are traveling to USAF Academy for the first time since 2014 where they gained a 28-15 win over the Falcons.
The two squads last met a season ago at Maturi Pavilion with the Gophers winning eight out of ten matches and securing a 29-6 win in their first dual of the season. Minnesota won five straight matches during the meet with Hunter Marko and Nick Wanzek picking up bonus-point victories for the Maroon & Gold. Current Gophers traveling to Air Force that picked up wins a season ago include Ethan Lizak, Mitch McKee, Marko Hunter, Owen Webster, and Rylee Streifel.

Dominant at the Dak
Minnesota won seven out of ten weight classes at the Daktronics Open in their first weekend of competition last Sunday. The Gopher additionally placed 19 in top-three places at the tournament. Sean Russell and Gable Steveson won their first titles for the Maroon & Gold at the Dak, taking home championships at 125-pounds and 285 respectively. Lizak, McKee, Steve Bleise, Carson Brolsma, and Dylan Anderson all came away from the tournament as champions.

A Century of Wins
Sean Russell not only claimed the Daktronics title at 125-pounds last week, but the senior transfer gained his 100th collegiate victory in the finals match in Brookings. Russell, a native of Lawrenceville, Ga., arrived in Minneapolis with a career record of 97-24 from Edinboro University where he claimed three Eastern Wrestling League championships and was a three-time NCAA qualifier and 2017 NCAA All-American. Russell is 3-0 for the Gophers and will wrestle his next match for Minnesota against Air Force.

Match of the Week
Following his performance at the Daktronics Open, Dylan Anderson was recognized by the team Wednesday with Match of the Week honors. Anderson gained a late takedown in the 197-pound title match and wrestled smart to finish his opening weekend with a 4-0 record including two pins and a tech fall.

Falcons take Flight
The Air Force Academy wrestling team opened their season a week ago wrestling at Cowboy Open, hosted by the University of Wyoming. Air Force crowned one champion in Sidney Flores at 125-pounds. Flores wrestled to a 3-0 record, winning the championship match with a 9-5 decision. Air Force gained a pair of second-place finishes in Alec Opsal (141), and John Twomey (133), and a trio of third-place finishers in Alex Mossing (157), Randy Meneweather (174) and Casey Jumps (197). All six have been indicated in Air Force’s probable lineup to face the Gophers.

Looking Ahead
The Gopher will have a split squad in action this weekend. While the team heads to Colorado to face Air Force, 13 wrestlers will head to Fargo to compete in the Bison Open on Saturday. The Bison Open contingent of wrestlers will include Jake Allar, Ben Brancale, Brent Jones, Bailee O’Reilly, Bobby Steveson and the team’s eight unattached freshman wrestlers of Jake Gliva, Garrett Joles, Brayton Lee, Kasper McIntosh, Mitch McKee, Caden Steffen, Gable Steveson, and Ryan Thomas.

After the weekend the Gophers will return to Minneapolis to open their home schedule against Oklahoma State University on Sunday, Nov. 18.

Check out Gopher Wrestling at gophersports.com and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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