Gophers wrestling commit Gavin Nelson is one of state’s top running backs

Everything about Gavin Nelson screams tough, physical and relentless.

The 210-pound senior is one of the top high school wrestling recruits in the nation. He’s built strong and sturdy — as can be said for most Simley High School wrestlers.

That sentiment holds up when you give him the ball on the football field, as well. Tackling the rugged running back is nearly as difficult as taking him down on the mat.

How would Spartans coach Chris Mensen describe him on the field?

“Bruising. Absolutely bruising,” he said. “He punishes defenses who try to tackle him one on one.” Continue reading at →

Minnesota Announces Full 2022-23 Slate

The regular season schedule will feature 15 duals and three tournaments, making it the largest competition slate for the Gophers since 2019-20

MINNEAPOLIS – The University of Minnesota wrestling program announced their full 2022-23 schedule on Tuesday morning, as the season will officially kick off on Nov. 13, and feature six home duals inside Maturi Pavilion.

The full season slate will feature a total of 15 dual meets, which will be the most since the 2019-20 campaign, as well as three tournaments. Start times and TV streaming coverage for the upcoming season will be announced at a later date.

The season slate officially gets underway on November 12th when the Maroon & Gold travels to Fargo, N.D. to compete in the Bison Open, before kicking off the dual season at home on Nov. 20 inside Maturi Pavilion by hosting Binghamton for just the second meeting in program history between the two schools.

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Where are they now: 10 years after vanishing, Cole Konrad is one of MMA’s greatest what-ifs

The saga of Cole Konrad has long been an obsession of mine. Or rather, how it ended and what happened afterward. The mystery and absurdity beneath it all.

I may be the only person under age 35 to feel that way, but I can’t help it. Because 10 years later, Konrad is still the unicorn. The undefeated champion who pulled off one of the sport’s great escapes. The 300-pound goliath who woke up one morning, tiptoed out the back door and vanished into thin air, never to be heard from again. Why? It’s a page of MMA lore that will forever read like a Mad Libs on meth: One of the most decorated American heavyweight wrestlers of his era, famously hailed by Brock Lesnar as “the strongest son of a b**** I’ve ever met,” yet he throws it all away overnight without even a look back?

Just to work in dairy??

“Cole Konrad was the toughest guy in the room. In Brock Lesnar’s room, with all the Minnesota wrestlers, he was the guy,” remembers longtime coach Erik Paulson. Continue reading at →

Gopher Wrestling Club Names Troy Steiner as New RTC Head Coach

MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota’s regional training center will have a new head coach at the helm, as Gopher Wrestling Club announced on Monday afternoon that Troy Steiner will take over as head coach.

The announcement comes at the heels of former head coach Dustin Schlatter’s resignation to pursue opportunities outside of the sport, as Gopher Wrestling Club is set for a busy end to the freestyle season with athletes competing in both the Senior World Championships and U23 World Championships later this fall.

Steiner, who was a 1992 NCAA Champion and a nine-time U.S. freestyle national team member, returns to the Gopher wrestling room with nearly 30 years of coaching experience. He previously spent a one-year stint in Minneapolis from 1996-1997, where he acted as an assistant coach for the Gophers as well as the state freestyle coach for Minnesota Storm.

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Jakob Bergeland: Not an Underdog Story

Everyone likes an underdog right? The Rocky movies, Cool Runnings, The Replacements, Invincible, Major League. Great stories with fun characters all resting on the belief that you can reach your goals even if the odds are stacked against you. Going into this interview, that was how I viewed the season that Jake Bergeland had for the Golden Gophers last year. It had all the ingredients for an underdog story. His first year in the lineup for Minnesota, had some injuries that prevented him from starting in previous years, as well as just being behind some really talented wrestlers. Those trials and tribulations, in my mind and in the minds of many others, meant that Jakob Bergeland was a great underdog story. However, that’s not how the story went for Jake. That’s not how he pictures himself. Jake, like many college wrestlers, viewed his path into the lineup as a tough, but necessary road. The hurdles and struggles along the way only made him stronger and helped develop him into the guy who felt ready to get onto the podium as soon as he had his chance. He knew that he would get there eventually, but those first couple of years made him into the wrestler that he is now.

He was 22-11 in his first year in college, while redshirting. He felt ready to have that impact after that season. Most guys have a lot of growth in their first year, but there was a lot of excitement after that year. Unfortunately, he was still behind Steve Bleise who had transferred in, and had been a bloodround wrestler, as well as Tommy Thorn bumping up to 149, making it exceedingly difficult to get that first chance. Pair that with an injury, and guys like Brayton Lee and Michael Blockhus coming to Minnesota and into the 149 weight class as well. Once recovered, there was still a lot of talent in the Golden Gophers room keeping Jake from having his chance. Continue reading at →

Eggum to enter M Club Hall of Fame

Gopher Athletics Set to Induct 13 New Members into M Club Hall of Fame

The University of Minnesota’s M Club, one of the nation’s largest and oldest varsity letterwinner clubs, will induct 13 new Hall of Fame members on Sept. 16, 2022, in an in-person ceremony on Williams Arena court. The individuals will be recognized throughout the weekend at various events, including the Sept. 17 home Gopher football game against Colorado.

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Junior Freestyle Champion Chittum Flips Commitment to Iowa

Less than a week after competing in Fargo, Cody Chittum (Tennessee) announced his updated collegiate plans via FloWrestling. Chittum has committed to the University of Iowa, after initially verballing to Minnesota.

Chittum was once considered the #1 overall recruit in the Class of 2023, but since he has graduated from high school and intends on moving to Iowa City. At this time, it’s not clear whether Chittum will enroll at Iowa or greyshirt during the 2022-23 school year.

In Fargo, Chittum dominated the Junior freestyle field and walked away with a stop sign at 152 lbs. Six of Chittum’s seven freestyle matches ended early via tech. His “closest” bout was in the quarterfinals as he downed Boeden Greenley (North Dakota), 14-5. Chittum moved up to 160 lbs for Greco and took third place. Those finishes marked the fifth and sixth time that Chittum earned All-American honors in Fargo. During his last appearance (2019), Chittum was top-three in both styles as a Cadet. Continue reading at →