Senior Night Awaits Gophers Friday Night

Minnesota closes out the 2019-20 regular season on Friday night at 8 p.m. against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The Gophers will honor the seven graduating seniors during intermission.

The dual features several ranked matchups throughout the lineup including a pair of top-ten battles waiting for Mitch McKee and Devin Skatzka.

McKee will face Chad Red Jr. for the first time since last year’s NCAA Tournament while Skatzka will face Mikey Labriola for the second time this year and seventh time overall.

The dual is set to begin at 8pm on Friday night.

Gophers Probable Starters (FloWrestling Rankings)
125: No.10 Patrick McKee (17-6, 9-4) OR Jake Gliva (6-8, 1-4)
133: Boo Dryden (4-3, 1-3)
141: No.5 Mitch McKee (22-5, 11-4)
149: No.7 Brayton Lee (21-4, 10-4)
157: No.24 Ryan Thomas (15-8, 4-3)
165: Bailee O’Reilly (20-8, 11-4)
174: No.8 Devin Skatzka (24-8, 10-6)
184: No. 21 Owen Webster (20-8, 11-5)
197: Hunter Ritter (23-8, 3-4) OR Garrett Joles (9-11, 3-6)
HWT: No.1 Gable Steveson (11-0, 11-0)

Nebraska Lineup:
125: Alex Thomsen (9-12, 5-7)
133: #11 Ridge Lovett (13-6, 5-5)
141: #6 Chad Red Jr. Jr. (14-6, 8-3)
149: #16 Collin Purinton (13-8, 7-5)
157: Peyton Robb RFr. (16-5, 9-3)
165: #5 Isaiah White (15-3, 7-3) OR Jake Silverstein (9-7, 1-0)
174: #6 Mikey Labriola (17-6, 8-4)
184: #11 Taylor Venz (15-7, 8-4)
197: #8 Eric Schultz (20-3, 12-1)
285: Christian Lance (10-6, 4-3) -OR- No.16 David Jensen (13-4, 4-2)

Senior Night
Friday night marks the final dual for the Gophers seven graduating seniors: Ben Brancale, Bobby Steveson, Carson Brolsma, Chase O’Connor, Devin Skatzka, Hunter Ritter, Mitch McKee. The group has combined for nearly 200 victories in Maroon and Gold with McKee and Skatzka leading the group with 89 and 54 wins respectively.

The group includes five Minnesota natives with all either graduated already or set to graduate this upcoming spring.

Steveson Steamroll
With a victory over No.3 Tony Cassioppi last Saturday night, heavyweight Gable Steveson has now won 13 straight bouts dating back to last season.

The victory, Steveson’s highest-ranked one of the year, gives him victories over the wrestlers currently ranked 3, 5, 7, 8, 16, 17, 18, 21, and 23.

Out of 11 bouts this season, Steveson has nine bonus-point victories. That includes three pins, five major decisions, and one technical fall.

Ryan Thomas
In his first season as a starter, Ryan Thomas has already made an impact at 157-pounds. Thomas sits at 15-8 with two ranked victories across the season with a 4-3 record in conference play.

Those three losses, though, came against stiff Big Ten competition. Those wrestlers, Will Lewan, Kendall Coleman, and Kaleb Young, are all in the top-ten of the nation but Thomas hung within one-score of them.

Last weekend against Iowa Thomas went into the second part of sudden victory before falling to Young by one point.

Owen Webster
Shakopee native Owen Webster is rolling in his best season as a Gopher since transferring from nearby Augsburg.

Webster, coming off of a victory in Iowa City, has 20 victories including 11 in duals and five against Big Ten competition.

Next Up
With the regular season over after the Cornhusker dual, the Gophers get a week to rest prior to the Big Ten Championships hosted by Rutgers. Taking place at the RAC, the Maroon and Gold wrestlers will compete on March 7 and 8 against the best in the conference.

After another week break, the team returns to action right here in Minneapolis at US Bank Stadium for the 2020 NCAA Wrestling Championships. The weekend will mark the first time the event has been held in a football stadium and attendance records are expected to be shattered.

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