The Gopher wrestling team once again hit the road this weekend as they prepare to take on No.7 Purdue on Friday and Indiana on Super Bowl Sunday.
The trip marks the first homecoming for Brownsburg, Indiana, native Brayton Lee. Lee, a three-time Indiana State Champion, will have plenty of family and friends in attendance as his hometown is less than 70 miles from each campus.
Former Gophers three-time All-American Leroy Vega is currently in his first season coaching the Boilermakers after a stint coaching high school.
Projected Lineups (All rankings are FloWrestling)
125: No.12 Patrick McKee (17-5)
133: Jake Gliva (6-8) OR Boo Dryden (3-0)
141: No.5 Mitch McKee (21-3) OR Ben Brancale (7-4)
149: No.4 Brayton Lee (18-3)
157: No.22 Ryan Thomas (9-5) OR Carson Brolsma (10-9) OR Kasper McIntosh (4-4)
165: Bailee O’Reilly (18-7)
174: No.8 Devin Skatzka (23-5)
184: No. 18 Owen Webster (17-7)
197: Hunter Ritter (18-6) OR Garrett Joles (8-10)
HWT: No.1 Gable Steveson (7-0)
125: No.6 Devin Schroder (20-4) OR Nate Cummings (4-8)
133: Travis Ford-Melton (13-8)
141: Parker Fillius (15-5)
149: Nate Limmex (10-6) OR No.15 Griffin Parriott (13-5)
157: No.8 Kendall Coleman (24-6)
165: Tanner Webster (3-8)
174: No.4 Dylan Lydy (24-1)
184: Max Lyon (15-9)
197: Jared Florell (3-2)
HWT: David Eli (7-9) OR No.25 Thomas Penola (18-9)
125: Liam Cronin (9-11)
133: Jonathan Moran (5-13) or Cayden Rooks (18-8)
141: Eddie Bolivar (5-8)
149: No.22 Graham Rooks (10-5)
157: Fernie Silva (7-15)
165: Davey Tunon (5-14) or Dillon Hoey (4-8)
174: No.25 Jake Covaciu (14-9)
184: Jake Hinz (6-12)
197: Nick Willham (15-14)
HWT: Rudy Streck (4-14) or Jake Kleimola (10-11)
Pat McKee Finding Rhythm
Dating back to December 29, Patrick McKee has reeled off seven straight victories including three by bonus points, for a total of 26 team points.
The St. Michael native has 13 takedowns in that span and on the season has five pins.
Now ranked as high as 12th by some outlets, the redshirt freshman is prepared for the home stretch of his first season in Maroon and Gold. That all begins on Friday against No.6 Devin Schroeder of Purdue.
Ryan Thomas Rolling
Since returning to health from a series of injuries in December, Ryan Thomas has made the most of his opportunities.
Since December 29, Thomas has a pair of ranked victories and five total wins.
After making his Gophers dual debut on January 17 against Michigan State, the Ohio native has a pair of Big Ten victories on his resume.
Now Thomas is prepared for his toughest test of the year with No.6 Kendall Coleman awaiting him on Friday night.
North Country Open Success
Several Gophers traveled to central Minnesota to compete in the North Country Open this past Saturday, January 25.
Boo Dryden, rocking the Maroon and Gold for the first time, took home the title with three straight victories while numerous others earned high finishes.
Freshmen Baylor Fernandes, Sebas Swiggum, Cael Carlson both advanced to the final round of their brackets, but ultimately fell. Elsewhere Kasper McIntosh took home third place while Rowan Morgan ultimately finished fourth.
In case you missed it, 133-pound Boo Dryden joined the Gophers just a few days prior to his North Country Open title. The 2019 NJCAA National Champion with Northeastern Oklahoma A&M got a 47-second fall in his first match wearing the Maroon and Gold.
Eligible immediately, Dryden is a two-time All-American at the DIII level and was also a two-time state champion in Kansas.
Minnesota hits the road next weekend to the Hoosier state where they will take on Purdue before preparing for a dual against the Indiana Hoosiers.
The Maroon and Gold return home for a February 9 dual against the Penn State Nittany Lions.
The Gophers close out the season in late March across the river at US Bank Stadium for the 2020 NCAA Championships. Lasting from March 19-21, the event will be held in a football stadium for the first time ever.