Gophers Head to Michigan State for Saturday Tri-Meet

The No. 14 Golden Gophers return to the road for the second week in a row for a tri-meet on Saturday in East Lansing, Mich. Minnesota will face Maryland at 1 p.m. Central, followed by a matchup with the No. 17 Spartans at 3 p.m. Both matches will stream via BTN+.

#14 Minnesota Gophers (0-1, 0-1)
125: #17 Patrick McKee
133: #18 Boo Dryden
141: Marcos Polanco
149: #17 Michael Blockhus -OR- Jakob Bergeland
157: #6 Brayton Lee
165:#16 Andrew Sparks -OR- Bailee O’Reilly -OR- Baylor Fernandes
174: Jake Allar
184: #20 Owen Webster
197: Garrett Joles
HWT: #1 Gable Steveson

#17 Michigan State (0-0, 0-0)
125: #2 Rayvon Foley
133: #26 Jordan Hamdan
141: Matt Santos, Jake Spiess -OR- Jaden Enriquez
149: Peyton Omania
157: #31 Nathan Atienza or Chase Saldate
165: #19 Jake Tucker or Caleb Fish
174: #15 Drew Hughes
184: #14 Layne Malczewski
197: #6 Cameron Caffey
HWT: Christian Rebottaro or Brad Wilton

Maryland (0-1, 0-1)
125: King Sandoval -OR- Dainon Kappes
133: Jackson Cockrell -OR- Nathan Porter
141: Danny Bertoni
149: #30 Michael North -OR- Hunter Baxter
157: Michael Doetsch -OR- Lucas Cordio
165: Jonathan Spadafora
174: #24 Philip Spadafora -OR- Dominic Solis
184: Kyle Cochran
197: #30 Jaron Smith -OR- Kevin Makosy
HWT: Connor Bowes

Series with Michigan State
Minnesota leads the all-time series with Michigan State by a 33-23 margin, including a 15-11 advantage in East Lansing. The teams first met during the 1945-46 season with the Spartans winning 19 of the first 23 meetings. The Gophers are 29-4 since 1986. Minnesota has won 22 of the last 23 meetings with the last Spartan victory coming on January 28, 2005 in Minneapolis. The Gophers have won 10 in a row in East Lansing.

Last Meeting
The Gophers-Spartans last met on January 17, 2020 with Minnesota claiming a 25-10 win in East Lansing. The Gophers won
seven of 10 matches, including victories by Bailee O’Reilly, Patrick McKee and Jakob Bergeland.

Series with Maryland
Minnesota is 5-1 all-time against Maryland, including a 4-0 mark since the Terrapins joined the Big Ten Conference prior to the 2014-15 season. The teams first met on Dec. 2, 1966 with host Maryland winning 17-12. Minnesota has won the last five meetings.

Potential Rematches
Maryland’s Philip Spadafora defeated Jake Allar, 8-5, in the first round of the 2019 Midlands.

Last Meeting
The Gophers routed the visiting Terrapins, 45-0, in the last meeting on Feb. 10, 2019, at Maturi Pavilion. It was Minnesota’s first shutout of a Big Ten foe since the 2011-12 season. The Gophers earned two pins, two technical falls, and two majors.

Did You Know?
Minnesota’s current streak of 14 seasons with a winning dual meet record is a school record.

Try Tri Again
This is the first of two tri-meets this season. Following Saturday’s action, the Gophers will travel to Rutgers to meet the Scarlet Knights and Indiana on Sunday, January 31. These are the first Big Ten tri-meets for Minnesota since facing Illinois and Northwestern in Evanston, Ill., on Jan. 20, 1996.

Steveson Sights are Set
Top-ranked heavyweight Gable Steveson has made it clear his goal for the 2021 season is a national title. His quest began with a dominating 23-8 technical fall against Nebraska’s Christian Lance. With a 51-2 record, Steveson has now won 18 matches in a row and improved to 30-0 in career duals meets.

Brayton’s Back
Expectations are high for sophomore Brayton Lee after he earned NWCA All-American honors a year ago. The Indiana native kicked off 2021 with a 10-5 decision against Nebraska’s Caleb Licking. Ranked sixth in the country at 157, he is now 26-6 in his career and 9-4 in Big Ten dual meets.

First Impressions
A handful of Gophers made debuts on Friday at Nebraska, led by true freshman Andrew Sparks. Starting at 165 pounds, the Costa Mesa, Calif., native rallied for a 7-6 upset of No. 10 Peyton Robb. Sparks entered the national rankings at No. 16 following the win.

After wrestling in six matches in 2019-20, redshirt freshman Marcos Polanco made his dual meet debut at 141 pounds and dropped a narrow 3-1 decision against No. 7 CJ Red.

With the Big Ten allowing additional matches to be held before and after dual matches to provide more competitive opportunities, two Gopher newcomers earned big wins. Redshirt freshman Cael Carlson, a two-time state champion from Willmar, Minn., had a 17-2 technical fall at 157 pounds. Four-time Colorado state champion Isaiah Salazar followed with a 16-3 major decision at 184 pounds.

Up Next
Minnesota will open the home portion of its 2021 season with a home dual against No. 1 Iowa on Friday, January 22 at Maturi Pavilion. The match will air live at 8 p.m. on Big Ten Network.

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