McKee Claims Southern Scuffle Crown as Day Two Wraps

The Gophers placed six en route to a top-5 team finish in Chattanooga

CHATTANOOGA – The University of Minnesota completed an impressive showing at the Southern Scuffle on Sunday evening, coming away with one individual champion and six total finalists as Patrick McKee claimed the 125-pound title. As a team, the Gophers finished the tournament in fourth place with 85.5 points.

McKee kicked off the second day of competition by winning one of the more anticipated semifinal matches of the tournament, defeating Iowa’s Drake Ayala for the second time this season with a 6-5 decision. The redshirt junior was then slated to face seventh-ranked Killian Cardinale (West Virginia), however, Cardinale elected to forfeit out of the finals match, giving McKee the 125-pound title.

Aaron Nagao was Minnesota’s other finalist at 133 pounds after he knocked off a ranked opponent in the semifinals, defeating No. 21 Codi Russell. Nagao then had the opportunity to cap off his impressive tournament with another ranked victory in the finals, but fell to No. 13 Rayvon Foley in a 2-0 decision.

Cael Carlson and Bailee O’Reilly finished the tournament as the Gophers’ next best finishers as they each placed third. Carlson has an impressive run on the backside of the bracket that saw him knock off No. 7 Luke Weber (North Dakota State) and No. 16 William Formato (Appalachian State), while O’Reilly put on an offensive showcase in each of his four Day Two matches to take bronze.

Isaiah Salazar took sixth place after he injury defaulted out of the tournament following his semifinal loss, while Garrett Joles placed eighth after going 1-2 on the day.

Southern Scuffle Results

Minnesota will be back in action on Friday, Jan. 7 when they head to Iowa City to wrestle the top-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes. The Gophers will return to Maturi Pavilion on Sunday, Jan. 9 when they play host to the Northwestern Wildcats.

Minnesota 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
Semifinals: No. 9 Patrick McKee dec. Drake Ayala (Iowa), 6-5
Finals: No. 9 Patrick McKee MFF No. 7 Killian Cardinale (West Virginia)

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
Semifinals: Aaron Nagao dec. Codi Russell (Appalachian State), 5-2
Finals: No. 13 Rayvon Foley (Michigan State) dec. Aaron Nagao, 2-0

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
Cons. Round of 8 #2: Cael Carlson maj. dec. Tyler Brennan (Arkansas-Little Rock), 8-0
Cons. Round of 4: Cael Carlson MFF No. 16 Thomas Bullard (NC State)
Cons. Semifinals: Cael Carlson dec. No. 7 Luke Weber (North Dakota State), 3-1
Third Place Match: Cael Carlson pinned No. 16 William Formato (Appalachian State), 6:15

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
Cons. Round of 8 #2: Bailee O’Reilly dec. Scott Joll (West Virginia), 8-2
Cons. Round of 4: Bailee O’Reilly dec. Tyler Eischens (Stanford), 10-3
Cons. Semifinals: Bailee O’Reilly dec. Bailee Swafford (Iowa), 5-2
Third Place Match: Bailee O’Reilly dec. Austin Brenner (North Dakota State), 5-4

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
Semifinals: No. 12 Johnathan Loew (Cornell) maj. dec. Isaiah Salazar, 10-2
Cons. Semifinals: No. 16 Jeremiah Kent (Missouri) MFF Isaiah Salazar
Fifth Place Match: No. 21 Layne Malczewski MFF Isaiah Salazar

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
Cons. Round of 8: Garrett Joles dec. Kevin Makosy (Maryland), 10-4
Cons. Round of 4: Andy Smith (Virginia Tech) dec. Garrett Joles, 3-2
Seventh Place Match: Jaron Smith (Maryland) pinned Garrett Joles, 1:31

Check out Gopher Wrestling at and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

View More College News