Trio of Upset Wins Fuel Gophers’ 24-9 Rout of Illinois
MINNEAPOLIS – The No. 11 University of Minnesota wrestling program continued their unbeaten home streak on Saturday afternoon, as they rolled to a 24-9 victory over Illinois.
Only favored in four of the bouts heading into the dual, Minnesota rolled to three upsets throughout the dual, including two over top-10 opponents, and ended up with seven wins out of the dual’s ten matches.
The dual kicked off at 157 pounds, where Sebas Swiggum would fill in for the late-scratch Brayton Lee, putting up a commendable effort in an 11-6 loss against a ranked Michael Carr.
Cael Carlson put the Gophers on the board first at 165 pounds, stepping into the lineup to knock off No. 19 Danny Braunagel by 2-1 decision. The story of the match was Carlson’s tough third-period ride, building riding time over one minute before Braunagel’s escape to put himself out front for the win.
Bailee O’Reilly kept Minnesota rolling with a statement win at 174 pounds against tenth-ranked Edmond Ruth, putting a halt to Ruth’s 20-match win streak. O’Reilly came out firing with an opening takedown and a tough ride to jump to an early advantage. Then, an escape and a locked hands exchange in favor of O’Reilly helped the Goodhue, Minn., native put it away.
Isaiah Salazar kept his win streak alive at 184 pounds with a 3-2 decision against Dylan Connell, with an opening-period takedown from Salazar proving to be a difference-maker in the bout.
After a narrow loss from Michial Foy to head into the break, Garrett Joles put the Gophers back on track in the second half with a 7-3 win over Matt Wroblewski, tallying two takedowns and a reversal in the win.
Patrick McKee looked dominant in his bout at 125 pounds as he dominated Maximo Renteria by way of 14-2 major decision. McKee opened the match with an eight-point flurry in the first frame, then secured two takedowns in the third to get into bonus territory.
Perhaps the most impressive win of the day came from Gopher 141-pounder, as he earned bonus points as well in a 12-2 upset victory over No. 9 Danny Pucino. Bergeland won the takedown battle and was offensive on top with a pivotal first-period turn and over four minutes of riding time.
Michael Blockhus closed out the dual with his own major decision, rattling off six takedowns in a 14-4 victory over the Fighting Illini’s Jake Harrier.
The Gophers now jump to an impressive 11-2 mark on the season, with a 4-2 record in conference play. Illinois drops to an even 5-5 on the year after the loss, now sitting at 3-3 against Big Ten opponents.
The “U” will now look ahead to next Friday night as they play host to the No. 2 Iowa Hawkeyes for their home finale at 8:00 p.m. CST live on Big Ten Network.
January 28, 2023 | Maturi Pavilion | Minneapolis, MN | Attendance: 2,312
#11 Minnesota 24, #17 Illinois 9
157: #14 Michael Carr (ILL) dec. Sebas Swiggum (MINN), 11-6
165: Cael Carlson (MINN) dec. #19 Danny Braunagel (ILL), 2-1
174: #15 Bailee O’Reilly (MINN) dec. #10 Edmond Ruth (ILL), 6-4
184: #10 Isaiah Salazar (MINN) dec. #25 Dylan Connell (ILL), 3-2
197: #10 Zac Braunagel (ILL) dec. #27 Michial Foy (MINN), 5-4 TB1
HWT: #32 Garrett Joles (MINN) dec. Matt Wroblewski (ILL), 7-3
125: #5 Patrick McKee (MINN) maj. dec. Maximo Renteria (ILL), 14-2
133: #10 Lucas Byrd (ILL) dec. Jake Gliva (MINN), 3-1
141: #15 Jake Bergeland (MINN) maj. dec. #9 Danny Pucino (ILL), 12-2
149: #15 Michael Blockhus (MINN) maj. dec. Jake Harrier (ILL), 14-4
Note: InterMat Rankings