Minnesota Wraps Up Season Saturday at NCAAs

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The 2023-24 college wrestling season concluded Saturday morning for Minnesota with a pair of placement matches at the NCAA Championships in Kansas City, Mo.

Senior Isaiah Salazar finished in sixth place, while redshirt sophomore Vance VomBaur earned eighth place at 141 pounds. Both claimed All-America honors for the first time in their respective careers on Friday.

Salazar started his day with a 3-2 loss to No. 9 Bennett Berge of South Dakota State in the consolation semifinals. Salazar trailed 3-1 after the opening period and scored an escape in the second to cut the deficit to one, but he couldn’t crack the scoreboard in the third to drop to the fifth-place match.

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Jackrabbits close out NCAA Championships

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Tanner Sloan capped his collegiate career with a fifth-place finish at 197 pounds, while redshirt freshman Bennett Berge recorded South Dakota State’s highest placing with a fourth-place finish in the 184-pound division during competition Saturday morning at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships contested at T-Mobile Center.

A senior from Alburnett, Iowa, Sloan split his two matches on the day to finish the three-day tournament with a 4-2 record. He began the day with a 6-2 defeat at the hands of Oklahoma’s Stephen Buchanan, then rebounded with a 7-0 decision over longtime rival Rocky Elam of Missouri. In sweeping the three-match season series from Elam, Sloan registered a takedown in the final minute of the first period and added a second takedown in the closing seconds of the second period.

Sloan, who repeated as an All-American, ended his career with a 113-23 overall record to rank ninth for victories in program history.

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All-America Honors Earned by VomBaur, Salazar

Gophers senior Isaiah Salazar and redshirt sophomore Vance VomBaur, teammates together at Windsor High School in Colorado, both became All-Americans for the first time in their respective careers Friday on day two of the NCAA Championships in Kansas City, Mo.

The No. 2 seed, Salazar, reached the semifinals at 184 pounds and became an All-American after a dramatic quarterfinal win over No. 7 Thomas Stewart Jr. of Virginia Tech, while VomBaur, seeded 26th, bounced back from a quarterfinals loss to win in the blood round and claim All-America status at 141 pounds.

Salazar is the first Gopher at 184 to be an All-American since Kevin Steinhaus in 2014. VomBaur became the lowest-seeded Gopher to become an All-American since David Thorn finished seventh at 125 pounds in 2013 after being unseeded (full seeding started in 2019). In addition, it marks the fifth straight season with multiple All-Americans for Minnesota and the fourth year in a row where a Gopher seeded in the double digits earned All-America honors.

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Jacks set record with four All-Americans

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — South Dakota State conquered the Blood Round Friday night at the 2024 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships to put a program-record four Jackrabbit wrestlers on the podium as All-Americans at T-Mobile Center.

Meanwhile, Tanner Sloan’s quest to return to the championship bout at 197 pounds was thwarted in a 4-1 defeat at the hands of second-seeded and undefeated Trent Hidlay of North Carolina State in the semifinal round.

The Jackrabbits posted a 3-0 record in the Blood Round, starting with a 9-3 decision by 23rd-seeded Tanner Jordan over No. 6 Troy Spratley of Oklahoma State. Wrestling for the third time this season, Spratley grabbed a 3-0 lead with an early takedown before Jordan got on the board with a reversal.

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