The Gophers will travel to California for their second away dual of the year against the Fresno State Bulldogs on Saturday, December 8, 2018, at 9 pm CT.
No. 9 Minnesota will travel to Fresno State for a Saturday night dual. The two teams met last year when Minnesota defended Maturi Pavilion in a 38-7 dual while some of the team’s wrestlers also met this past weekend at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.
No. 3 Gable Steveson defeated No. 19 AJ Nevills by major decision in the quarterfinals.
Last Time Out
The Gophers took a break from their dual season with a trip out to Las Vegas for the prestigious Cliff Keen Invitational that featured more than half of the country’s ranked wrestlers. As a team, Minnesota placed sixth with 79.5 points and crowned true freshman Gable Steveson as heavyweight champion. 125-pound Sean Russell placed third, 133-pound Ethan Lizak placed fourth, and 174-pound Devin Skatzka placed seventh.
Before the tournament, the Gophers beat down South Dakota State in a 35-6 dual that featured five bonus-point victories.
About the Bulldogs
Fresno State has started their dual season 3-4 with two of those victories against Division III schools. Both teams faced off against Air Force with the Bulldogs falling 19-15 while the Gophers won 33-3.
Fresno State finished the Cliff Keen Invitational tournament with 29.5 points at 25th place.
While Steveson beat Nevills, he is one of their best wrestlers, according to rankings. Nevills is ranked by multiple outlets while 149-pound Khristian Olivas is ranked 23rd by TrackWrestling.
Last season the team finished 4-16. Nevills and Olivas were the teams two NCAA Qualifiers.
With both 141-pound Mitch McKee and 157-pound Steve Bleise out for at least the rest of the month, the Gophers have called upon Brent Jones and Miles Patton to fill in for McKee and Bleise respectively.
Jones competed at the Cliff Keen Invitational where he finished 1-2 and Patton last competed in the South Dakota State dual where he dropped his decision 10-5.
Climbing the Ladder
Both Ethan Lizak and Tommy Thorn are making moves up the all-time career wins list. With his victory over South Dakota State, Thorn moved up into 61st with a career record of 77-34. Lizak has vaulted into 48th on the all-time list with a career record of 97-29, three wins away from the century mark.
Elsewhere Carson Brolsma just surpassed 30 career wins at the tournament in Las Vegas and now sits at 32 victories. Sean Russell now has 106 wins in his career including the 11 he has this season in Minnesota.
The Gophers will travel to Florida for the South Beach Duals just before the New Year before kicking off their Big Ten schedule. Minnesota will host Rutgers and Iowa before traveling to Illinois and Northwestern the weekend of January 18.
The Gophers continue to only wrestle Big Ten duals until the final home dual, Senior Night, against Rider which will be hosted at Northrop Auditorium on campus