Thorn Advances to NCAA Semis

PHILADELPHIA — The Minnesota wrestling program sits poised with five All-American contenders still in the hunt including second-ranked Mike Thorn, who will take on third-ranked Boris Novachkov of Cal Poly in the 141 lbs. semifinals. Minnesota currently sits 10th in the team standings with 32 points.

Thorn, who also earned All-American honors in 2010 when he finished seventh, improved his record to 37-4 this season including a 3-0 mark so far at the national tournament. The redshirt senior dominated his quarterfinal matchup against Missouri’s Tony Schavrien, winning with a pin at 2:03 for his 36th-career pin. The Gopher All-American will meet Novachkov for the first time in his career with a trip to the finals at stake.

Along with Thorn, Minnesota has four additional wrestlers still active in the consolation bracket including a trio of grapplers who finished the morning session with three-straight wins.

Redshirt freshman Kevin Steinhaus picked up an impressive come-from-behind win over Brad Dieckhaus to stay alive in the 184 lbs. consolation bracket. After opening the match with a 1-7 deficit, Steinhaus rallied nine unanswered points to pick up a 10-7 win and then added a 4-1 win over Luke Rebertus of Navy to advance.

Likewise for Tony Nelson and All-American Sonny Yohn, who bounced back from second-round losses on Thursday night to pick up two wins each on Friday morning. Yohn earned a 5-3 win in the 197 lbs. consolation bracket over Chad Hanke of Oregon State and a 3-1 decision over Andy Johnson of Nebraska. Nelson started the day with his third win of the year over Michigan’s Ben Apland – this time picking up a 2-0 decision over the Wolverine – and closed out the session with a 10-3 win over Ryan Tomei of Pitt.

Two-time All-American Zach Sanders opened the day with a setback, dropping a 5-3 decision to Utah Valley’s Ben Kjar. Kjar, who also upset four-seed James Nicholson of Old Dominion on Thursday, advanced to the semifinals and will be Utah Valley’s first-ever All-American. Sanders will take Matthew Snyder of Virginia in the consolation bracket tonight.

Meanwhile, three Gophers closed out their seasons on Friday morning including redshirt senior Scott Glasser. Glasser opened the day with a 6-0 win over Eric Starks of Arizona State, but the Bismarck, N.D. native would end his championship run with a 4-2 SV loss to Nick Heflin of Ohio State.

Redshirt freshman David Thorn rounded out his first appearance in the NCAA tournament with a 2-2 performance including splitting a pair of matches on Friday morning. Thorn opened the session with championship an 8-2 decision over Ian Paddock of Oklahoma State but dropped the follow-up against Tony Ramos via 7-5 in the sudden victory period.

After going 1-1 to open the NCAA championships, Cody Yohn fell out of the tournament with an 8-3 loss in the consolation bracket to Lehigh’s Brandon Hatchett.

Sprenkle Knocked Out of NCAA Championships

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – North Dakota State sophomore Trent Sprenkle was eliminated from the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships after losing to Stanford’s Ryan Mango in the consolation quarterfinals.

Mango, the 7th seed in the tournament, defeated Sprenkle in a 12-7 decision.  Mango recorded four takedowns in the first period to take an 8-3 lead.  Sprenkle tallied the only score of the second period with an escape.  Both wrestlers scored an escape and a takedown in the third period.

Sprenkle finishes the season with an overall record of 32-11.  He went 3-2 at the NCAA Championships and was the first Bison wrestler to win three matches at the championships since the transition from Division II.

Sprenkle Wins Twice at NCAA Championships, Advances to Consolation Quarterfinals

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – North Dakota State sophomore Trent Sprenkle pushed his win streak to three with a victory in the consolation bracket third round at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships Friday, March 18.  His three NCAA wins are the most for a Bison wrestler since the transition from Division II.

Sprenkle claimed an 8-2 decision over Wyoming’s Michael Martinez to advance to the consolation bracket quarterfinals.  Sprenkle dominated from start to finish, claiming a takedown in each period.  He also picked up an escape in the second period and a point for riding time.  It was Sprenkle’s first win over Martinez in three tries this season.

Sprenkle will now wrestle 7th seeded Ryan Mango of Stanford in tonight’s session.  Mango is coming off an 11-0 major decision loss to 2nd seeded Matt McDonough of Iowa.  Live statistics are available.  The sophomore is now one win away from a top eight finish and All-America status.

Sprenkle advanced to wrestle Martinez with a 10-5 win over Steven Keith of Harvard in the second round of the consolation bracket earlier this morning.  Sprenkle opened with a dominant first period, scoring a takedown, a two-point near fall and a three-point near fall to take a 7-0 lead into the second period.  Keith responded with a two-point near fall in the second period.  The wrestlers scored three points apiece in the third period.

Sprenkle in the NCAA Tournament
1st round – Lost 4-3 decision to #11 Frank Perrelli of Cornell
Consolation 1st Round – Won by fall (2:48) over Garrett Frey of Princeton
Consolation 2nd Round – Won 10-5 decision over Steven Keith of Harvard
Consolation 3rd Round – Won 8-2 decision over Michael Martinez of Wyoming

Sprenkle Wins Second Straight at NCAA Championships

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – North Dakota State sophomore Trent Sprenkle won his second straight bout at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships on Friday, March 18.

Sprenkle won a 10-5 decision over Steven Keith of Harvard.  Sprenkle opened with a dominant first period, scoring a takedown, a two-point near fall and a three-point near fall to take a 7-0 lead into the second period.  Keith responded with a two-point near fall in the second period.  The wrestlers scored three points apiece in the third period.

Sprenkle will now wrestle Wyoming’s Michael Martinez, who won a 7-5 decision over Mark Rappo of Penn in overtime.  Sprenkle and Martinez have met twice this season with Martinez winning both matches.  Martinez won a 3-1 decision in the dual meet between NDSU and Wyoming and claimed a 3-2 win at the NCAA West Regional.

The match will take place during Session IV, which begins at 6 p.m. tonight.  Live statistics are available at http://www.nwcaonline.com/nwcaonline/CompetitionResultNCAA.aspx

Sprenkle Advances, Salminen Eliminated at NCAA Championships

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – North Dakota State sophomore Trent Sprenkle defeated Garrett Frey of Princeton to advance to the second round in the consolation bracket at the NCAA Division I Championships on Thursday, March 17.

Sprenkle pinned Frey 2 minutes and 48 seconds into the first period. The Billings, Mont. native tallied an early takedown before notching the win. Sprenkle will now face off against Steven Keith of Harvard, who lost to top seeded Anthony Robles of Arizona State in a 15-0 technical fall. That match will take place during the Friday morning session that begins at 9:30 a.m. Live stats are available here.

In the first round of the consolation bracket at 157 pounds, senior Vince Salminen was eliminated from the tournament after losing a 17-3 major decision to Frank Hickman of Bloomsburg. Hickman had a strong first period, outscoring Salminen 10-3. He then held Salminen scoreless over the final two periods.

Gophers Kick Off NCAA Championships

All-Americans Zach Sanders and Mike Thorn each posted 2-0 records in the opening day of competition to advance to the quarterfinals as theMinnesota wrestling team currently sits in ninth place at the 2011 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. Five other Gophers remain active in the consolation brackets.

Sanders opened the day for Minnesota with a 6-2 decision over Jason Lara of Oregon State in the 125 lbs. opening round. Sanders, who beat Lara in last year’s NCAA wrestlebacks in route to All-American honors, controlled the majority of the match and tallied nearly five minutes of riding time in the win. The Minnesota redshirt junior scored an 8-6 win over Virginia Tech’s Jarrod Garnett in the second round to reach the quarterfinals on Friday morning. Sanders will take on Ben Kjar of Utah Valley in the quarterfinals. Sanders defeated Kjar with a 2-0 decision earlier this year.

Thorn, seeded second in the 141 lbs. bracket, opened this year’s tournament with a pair of wins over ACC opponents. The redshirt senior, seeking his first individual national championship, bested North Carolina State’s Darius Little with a 2-1 decision to open the championships before topping Nick Nelson of Virginia 6-1 to reach the semifinals. Thorn will take on Todd Schavrien of Missouri tomorrow morning in the quarterfinals.

Five other members of the Gophers squad went 1-1 in the first day of action and remain in the hunt to place. David Thorn scored a 6-4 sudden victory win over Jordan Thome of Army to pick up the win in his first NCAA championship win. The redshirt freshman would drop his second-round match, also a sudden victory bout, this time in a 7-5 contest to Penn State’s Andrew Long. At 165, Cody Yohn lost his opening match to Columbia’s Eren Civan via fall at 2:28 but rallied back in his wrestleback to pin Chad Porter of Liberty at 1:40.

At 174 lbs., Scott Glasser opened the day with a 10-3 decision over Patrick Martinez of Wyoming but dropped his follow-up match to second-seed Ed Ruth of Penn State via 5-3 decision. 184-pounder Kevin Steinhaus also opened with a win, a 5-2 decision over Jason McCroskey of Chattanooga, but dropped his second-round matchup to Quentin Wright of Penn State via 8-4 decision in a rematch of the Big Ten finals. Sonny Yohn also went 1-1 at 197 lbs., beating Anthony Biondo of Michigan 6-1 but losing the follow up to Indiana’s Matt Powless in a 5-3 sudden victory bout. Heavyweight Tony Nelson started his NCAA career with a 3-1 sudden victory win over Christian Brantley of Northern Iowa, but fell to Cameron Wade of Penn State 4-1 in the second round. Danny Zilverberg was the only Gopher to be knocked out of contention, losing two matches to end his first-career NCAA appearance.