Minnesota will compete in first dual of the season against Oklahoma State next Saturday at Maturi Pavilion
FARGO – The first weekend of the 2021-22 season is in the books as the University of Minnesota crowned six champions and had nine finalists at the Bison Open, leading all attending schools in both categories. Minnesota left the tournament with a total 17 placewinners.
Patrick McKee got the finals off on the right foot for the Maroon & Gold, winning his finals match over Tanner Jordan (South Dakota State). McKee was the aggressor throughout the finals bout, earning two takedowns, a reversal, and a turn en route to the 125-pound title.
Jake Gliva made it back-to-back titles for the Gophers after he knocked off North Dakota State’s Kellyn March. Gliva consistently put the pressure on March throughout the match, converting two pivotal takedowns in the second and third periods to take the 6-1 victory.
Minnesota’s next champion came at 149 pounds in a showdown between teammates as Michael Blockhus pinned freshman Blaine Brenner in the second period of their finals match.
Perhaps the feature bout of the evening came at 157 pounds in a ranked battle between Brayton Lee and #11 Jared Franek. After Franek jumped out to a 3-0 lead late in the second period, Lee charged back as he’s done so many times before, getting two escapes and a takedown in the last three minutes of regulation to force overtime. In the extra frame, Lee got in on a low double to secure the winning takedown and complete the comeback via a 6-4 decision.
In the 184-pound final, Isaiah Salazar overcame a slight deficit after conceding the opening takedown to win 4-3 over North Dakota State’s Deanthony Parker.
Jared Krattiger earned his Bison Open championship after South Dakota State’s Cade DeVos medically forfeited out of the bout.
Finalists Andrew Sparks and Michial Foy also both held leads in their finals matches, but ultimately they both fell by pinfall to place second.
Out of the incoming freshman class, three Gopher newcomers placed on Saturday evening. Blaine Brenner had the best performance out of the group with a second-place finish in his Gopher debut. Brenner finished the day with a 3-1 record, including a major decision over #21 Zach Price in the semifinals.
Minnesota returns to action next weekend when they host Oklahoma State at 7:00 pm in Maturi Pavilion, before heading to Bookings, S.D. to participate in the Daktronics Open.