Gophers Finish Impressive Day One at Southern Scuffle

Minnesota will bring three into semifinals tomorrow, which is tied for third-most in tournament

CHATTANOOGA – Minnesota kicked off day one of the Southern Scuffle with a strong team performance that has them currently slotted at 8th place in the team standings with 41 points.

Out of the team’s eight competitors, three Gophers were able to advance to tomorrow’s semifinal round, with an additional three reaching the quarterfinals before eventually falling to the consolation side during Saturday’s evening session.

The team’s most impressive performance of the day belonged to Aaron Nagao who reached the 133-pound semifinals in his first collegiate competition at that weight. Nagao, who is competing in the tournament unattached, rolled in the morning session by knocking off the tournament’s third seed Kellyn March (North Dakota State) as well as Todd Carter (Gardner-Webb) by decision victories. In the quarterfinals, Nagao needed only 56 seconds of work to pin Missouri’s Trey Crawford and move onto the semifinals tomorrow night.

At 184 pounds, Isaiah Salazar earned himself an impressive day in his own right. The true sophomore claimed two dominant victories in the opening session with a 21-3 tech fall over Sam Schroeder (Bellarmine) and a 13-1 major decision over Vinnie Baker (Duke). Salazar would then take on ranked opponent and a conference foe in No. 21 Layne Malczewski, and would take a thrilling 11-9 upset win in sudden victory to move on to tomorrow’s semifinals.

Patrick McKee has lived up to his second-seed thus far as he rolled to three dominant victories on the day, outsourcing his opponents 29-6. McKee defeated Tanner Jordan (South Dakota State) and Logan Ashton (Stanford) in the morning session, before controlling Buffalo’s Tristan Daugherty in the quarterfinals.

Cael Carlson, Bailee O’Reilly, and Garrett Joles also reached the quarterfinals, but each ultimately fell to ranked opponents to drop to the consolations. Jokes reached the quarterfinals by pinning No. 15 Owen Pentz (North Dakota State) in his second-round matchup.

Andrew Sparks withdrew from the tournament following an opening-round victory, while Marcos Polanco was eliminated after going 1-2 on the day.

Action picks back up tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. CST as all six Gophers will continue to battle for their spots on the podium. Brackets and live coverage of the Southern Scuffle can be found at FloWrestling.

Southern Scuffle Brackets

Day One Results:

125: Patrick McKee
Round of 32: No. 9 Patrick McKee maj. dec. Tanner Jordan (South Dakota State), 11-3
Round of 16: No. 9 Patrick McKee dec. Logan Ashton (Stanford), 9-2
Quarterfinals: No. 9 Patrick McKee maj. dec. Tristan Daugherty (Buffalo), 9-1

133: Aaron Nagao
Round of 32: Aaron Nagao dec. Kellyn March (North Dakota State), 4-0
Round of 16: Aaron Nagao dec. Todd Carter (Gardner-Webb), 6-0
Quarterfinals: Aaron Nagao pinned Trey Crawford (Missouri), 0:56

141: Marcos Polanco
Round of 32: No. 13 Real Woods (Stanford) dec. Marcos Polanco, 4-0
Cons. Round of 16 #1: Marcos Polanco maj. dec. Freddy Junko (VMI), 13-5
Cons. Round of 16 #2: Vince Cornella (Spartan RTC) dec. Marcos Polanco, 3-1 SV1

165: Cael Carlson
Round of 32: Cael Carlson maj. dec. Gabe Dinette (Duke), 12-4
Round of 16: Cael Carlson dec. Donald Cates (NC State), 4-3
Quarterfinals: No. 3 Keegan O’Toole (Missouri) dec. Cael Carlson, 11-4

165: Andrew Sparks
Round of 32: Andrew Sparks maj. dec. Augustine Garcia (CSU-Bakersfield), 15-2

174: Bailee O’Reilly
Round of 32: Bailee O’Reilly tech fall Jon Hoover (VMI), 20-3
Round of 16: Bailee O’Reilly maj. dec. Jay Nivison (Buffalo), 15-5
Quarterfinals: No. 8 Matt Finesilver maj. dec. Bailee O’Reilly, 8-0

184: Isaiah Salazar
Round of 32: Isaiah Salazar tech fall Sam Schroeder (Bellarmine), 21-3
Round of 16: Isaiah Salazar maj. dec. Vinnie Baker (Duke), 13-1
Quarterfinals: Isaiah Salazar dec. No. 21 Layne Malczewski (Michigan State), 11-9 SV1

197: Garrett Joles
Round of 32: Garrett Joles pinned Jacob Anderson (Rider), 4:16
Round of 16: Garrett Joles pinned No. 15 Owen Pentz (North Dakota State), 4:52
Quarterfinals: Tanner Sloan (South Dakota State) dec. Garrett Joles, 6-1

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