Minnesota 19 South Dakota State 16

Gophers Win Final Four Bouts to Complete Comeback Over SDSU

BROOKINGS, S.D. – With their backs against the wall, trailing 16-7 with four bouts remaining, the University of Minnesota wrestling program rattled off four-straight decision victories to complete the comeback and beat No. 24 South Dakota State by a score of 19-16.

It was Minnesota’s second comeback win in as many weeks as the lightweights once again made up the halftime deficit to pull out the win for the Maroon & Gold, highlighted by a huge upset win for redshirt freshman Vance VomBaur at 141 pounds. The Gophers would win six of the ten bouts in the dual.

The dual began at 157 pounds, where it would be Sebas Swiggum who dropped a close 8-4 decision after losing the final takedown exchange late in the match. Swiggum wrestled in place of Brayton Lee, who was listed in the probable starters lineup but was a late scratch for the dual.

After Andrew Sparks dropped an overtime contest at 165 pounds, Bailee O’Reilly would make his season debut by knocking off No. 13 Cade DeVos. O’Reilly earned a reversal to take the lead at the beginning of the second period, then secured the deciding takedown in the third to pull off the win.

Isaiah Salazar got back on the right foot at 184 pounds, with a major decision victory over Bennett Berge by a 12-0 score. Salazar was the aggressor early and often, earning a pair of takedowns on the feet and multiple turns throughout the match with nearly four minutes of riding time to earn the bonus-point victory.

After dropping the 197 and heavyweight matches by bonus points, Patrick McKee made his season debut by defeating Tanner Jordan by a 7-3 decision. McKee earned the opening takedown in the first period, then broke the match wide open with a reversal and a two-point turn in the third period.

Aaron Nagao followed that up with a decision win of his own at 133 pounds, where he defeated Derrick Cardinal, 6-2, with a pair of takedowns in the bout.

The match of the night would come at 141 pounds, where Vance VomBaur would upset former All-American and sixth-ranked Clay Carlson by a score of 6-4. VomBaur opened the contest with a right-side low single to take the early lead, then earned another takedown at the end of the second to make it a four-point advantage, a lead that would prove to be insurmountable as the redshirt freshman would close out the upset.

With the dual on the line, it would be Michael Blockhus who would run out for the Maroon & Gold and close out the comeback win with a 4-1 decision victory over Alek Martin. A pivotal moment in the match would come in the second period, as Blockhus fired off an immediate attack off a Martin escape to secure the takedown and build his riding time over one minute.

The comeback victory for the “U” pushes them to a 2-0 record on the season, while South Dakota State falls to 1-1 on the year.

Minnesota will now have a short turn-around this week, as they play host to the Augustana Vikings on Thursday, December 1 at 7:00 p.m. inside Williams Arena, before the Gophers hit the road on the weekend for a Sunday matinee with Oklahoma State at 1:00 p.m.


  • Minnesota leads the all-time series, 28-4, and has won the last 11 meetings
  • Sloan improved to 36-4 in career dual matches
  • Cook remained undefeated on the season at 4-0 and upped his career dual mark to 26-7
  • Swensen, Berge, Cardinal and Martin all made their collegiate dual debuts for the Jackrabbits on Sunday

In other Jackrabbit action over the weekend, Jack Thomsen won the 165-pound title at the Harold Nichols Open Saturday in Ames, Iowa.

A junior from La Porte City, Iowa, Thomsen went 4-0 on the day, posting a 16-1 technical fall over Matt Mensen of the Iowa State Wrestling Club in the opening round before winning his next three matches by decision. After recording an 11-5 victory over Caden Schmidt of Iowa State in the quarterfinals, Thomsen moved into the championship with a 9-3 semifinal victory over Grant Stotts.

In the finals, Thomsen met yet another Cyclone wrestler, downing Carter Schmidt by a 4-3 count.

The Jackrabbits return to tournament competition this weekend, traveling to the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. Action both Friday and Saturday begins at 9 a.m. Pacific Time (11 a.m. Central).

#10 Minnesota 19, #24 South Dakota State 16
November 27th, 2022 | Brookings, S.D. | Frost Arena | Attendance: 1,603
157: Cael Swensen (SDSU) dec. Sebas Swiggum (MINN), 8-4
165: #26 Tanner Cook (SDSU) dec. #27 Andrew Sparks (MINN), 4-2 SV1
174: #20 Bailee O’Reilly (MINN) dec. #13 Cade DeVos (SDSU), 6-5
184: #13 Isaiah Salazar (MINN) maj. dec. Bennett Berge (SDSU), 12-0
197: #11 Tanner Sloan (SDSU) maj. dec. #28 Garrett Joles (MINN), 12-2
HWT: #14 A.J. Nevills (SDSU) pinned Keaton Kluever (MINN), 2:33
125: #4 Tanner McKee (MINN) dec. Tanner Jordan (SDSU), 7-3
133: #18 Aaron Nagao (MINN) dec. Derrick Cardinal (SDSU), 6-2
141: Vance VomBaur (MINN) dec. #6 Clay Carlson (SDSU), 6-4
149: #17 Michael Blockhus (MINN) dec. Alek Martin (SDSU), 4-1

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