The Golden Gophers open up the 2019-20 season when they welcome Cal State Bakersfield to Maturi Pavilion on Friday, November 1 at 7 pm.
The game will feature $1 tickets through the North American Banking Company plus a community night honoring local Minnesota natives Rowan Morgan and Jakob Bergeland.
Previewing the Roadrunners
Under fourth-year head coach Manny Rivera, the Roadrunners are ready for another season in the Pac-12 conference. Last season the Roadrunners finished with a 7-9 dual record before finishing in fourth place at the conference championships. They return 141-pound Russell Rohlfing a 2019 NCAA Qualifier with two victories at the event. He is now set to go at 149-pounds.
Last season the teams had three opponents in common: Iowa, Wisconsin, and Fresno State. The Roadrunners only beat Fresno State while the Gophers defeated both Wisconsin and Fresno State.
This season, both teams are set to attend the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational in early December as well as dualing Rutgers throughout their respective campaigns.
Probable Lineups (InterMat Rankings):
125: Pat McKee (0-0)
133: Brent Jones (0-0)
141: No. 4 Mitch McKee (0-0) OR Ben Brancale (0-0)
149: No. 10 Brayton Lee (0-0) OR Jake Bergeland
157: No. 18 Carson Brolsma (0-0) OR Kasper McIntosh
165: Bailee O’Reilly (0-0)
174: No. 6 Devin Skatzka (0-0)
184: Owen Webster (0-0) OR Caden Steffen
197: Garrett Joles (0-0)
285: Chase O’Connor (0-0)
125: Alex Hernandez-Figueroa (0-0)
133: Chance Rich (0-0)
141: Angelo Martinoni (0-0) OR Carlos Herrera (0-0)
149: Russell Rohlfing (0-0)
157: Wyatt Gerl (0-0)
165: Jacob Thalin (0-0)
174: Josh Annis (0-0) OR Albert Urias (0-0)
184: Josh Loomer (0-0)
197: Dominic Ducharme (0-0)
285: Jarrod Snyder (0-0)
Minnesota Manny Returning
Roadrunners coach Manny Rivera is returning to his former stomping grounds where he was a 2008 All-American and a key member of the 2007 National Championship Squad. In 2008, he was also the Big Ten runner-up at 141-pounds.
Originally a California native, Rivera traded in the West Coast for the Midwest even after graduation when he joined the Maroon and Gold staff as an administrative assistant for several seasons.
The 2019-20 Gophers lineup features several new faces including multiple wrestlers coming off redshirt as well as transfers. Coming off redshirt are 125-pound Pat McKee and 149-pound Brayton Lee, both accomplished in freestyle and folkstyle wrestling. McKee was a three-time state champion while Lee was the USA Wrestling U23 Rep this past summer in Estonia.
Transfer Hunter Ritter also figures into the lineup at 184-pounds after transferring from Wisconsin. The Maryland native is a two-time NCAA Qualifier and came out of high school as one of the top prospects.
Starting and Ending in Minneapolis
The Gophers are set to open their season on Friday against Cal State Bakersfield, but the season will come full circle when the season comes to a close in late March at US Bank Stadium.
This will be the first time the NCAA Championships are held in a football stadium and it will mark the second time Minnesota has hosted the event after it was held at Williams Arena in 1996.
Next Time Out
The Gophers continue the start of their season next weekend when they participate in the Bison Open in Fargo, North Dakota.
Minnesota returns home the following weekend, Nov. 15, for a special dual against Rider held at historic Williams Arena. The last time the Gophers had a dual on the elevated floor of The Barn came on February 19, 2016.