This weekend’s action will mark the end of a three-week competition hiatus for the Gophers
MINNEAPOLIS – The Gophers return from a three-week competition hiatus this weekend as they are set to travel to Chattanooga, Tenn., to participate in the 2022 Southern Scuffle. Competition will take place from Jan. 1-2, and full live coverage of the event will be available on FloWrestling.
This weekend’s action will mark Minnesota’s first appearance in the Southern Scuffle since 2017 when the Gophers placed fourth as a team with three finalists and one individual champion in 125-pounder Ethan Lizak.
The Southern Scuffle is once again expected to have a competitive slate of teams, as it is widely considered one of the toughest regular-season tournaments in collegiate wrestling. Among the teams in attendance will be Missouri, NC State, Cornell, and Virginia Tech, among others.
List of Minnesota Participants
125 – #9 Patrick McKee
133 – #HM Jake Gliva
141 – Marcos Polanco
157 – #5 Brayton Lee
165 – #HM Andrew Sparks
174 – Bailee O’Reilly
184 – Isaiah Salazar
197 – #HM Michial Foy
All rankings provided by FloWrestling. List of participating athletes is subject to change.
McKee’s Pin Party
Heading into the Southern Scuffle, Patrick McKee has once again been Minnesota’s premier pinner as he leads the program with five falls this season. He will come into the weekend looking to add to that tally and contend for the 125-pound title, as McKee comes into the weekend as the second-highest ranked wrestler in the field with only West Virginia’s Killian Cardinale being ranked higher at seventh.
Another Test for Brayton
Brayton Lee has continued to be a model of consistency for the Minnesota program, as he leads the team with three ranked wins and holds a perfect 10-0 record on the season. Lee will head into the weekend as the expected top seed at 157 pounds with familiar foes Jared Franek of North Dakota State, Jarrett Jacques of Missouri, and Chase Saldate of Michigan State expected to also be in attendance.
Salazar’s Proving Grounds
For Isaiah Salazar, this weekend’s Southern Scuffle could finally provide an opportunity for himself to garner some national attention and prove that he deserves to be considered among the nation’s toughest 184-pounders. Back in November, the true sophomore took sixth-ranked Dakota Geer into sudden victory, however, Salazar has yet to compete against ranked competition since. He will have the opportunity to change that this weekend though, as the 184-pound field is slated to have five ranked wrestlers in the bracket.