Minnesota wrestling fans got their first peek at the 2019-20 Gophers squad on Saturday morning at the team’s annual Open Practice and wrestle-offs. Over 200 fans packed Maturi Pavilion to get their first glimpse at newcomers and see improved returning grapplers battle it out for the first time this fall.
With weigh-ins, referees, and scoring, the matches aimed to simulate a real wrestling environment as closely as possible.
Before the practice the team hosted over 50 young Gophers for a Youth Clinic featuring a trio of great, accomplished Minnesota Storm grapplers: 2010 National Champion Jayson Ness, 2017 All-American Sean Russell, and two-time D2 National Champion Daniel DeShazer. The previous day, Friday, the Gophers welcomed wrestling coaches from around the region to learn from National Wrestling Hall of Famer Brandon Paulson, two-time World Representative Pat Smith, as well as members from the coaching staff.
The season officially kicks off next Friday (Nov. 1) when the ‘U’ hosts Cal State Bakersfield in the season opener. The Gophers return to dual action in Minneapolis on Nov. 15 when the program welcomes the Rider Broncs for a special dual in Williams Arena. The Maroon and Gold last hosted a dual in Williams Arena on February 19, 2016, when the Gophers soundly defeated Iowa State 30-10.
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