Gophers See 121 Named Big Ten Distinguished Scholars

Wrestlers Cha, Salazar, Skillings, Stapleton, and Swiggum among honorees

MINNEAPOLIS – The Big Ten Conference announced its 2023-24 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award recipients Tuesday, with 121 University of Minnesota student-athletes earning recognition from the league.

Eighteen Minnesota programs are represented on this year’s Big Ten Distinguished Scholar list with 28 Golden Gopher student-athletes maintaining perfect 4.0 grade point averages during the 2023-24 academic year: Isabella Bejaran, Junrui Chi, Justen Close, Noah DeLuga, Bri Enter, Reili Gardner, Leo Goodman, Ava Hill, Katie Horak, Sydney Kretlow, Cody Lindenberg, Grace Loescher, Elise McGhie, Annie Moen, Sarah Moraw, Chris Nagy, Elizabeth Overberg, Isaiah Salazar, Zeyneb Sarioglan, Isaiah Schafer, Summer Schmit, Bar Soloveychik, Tim Stapleton, Megan Steensland, Sydney Strelow, Ali Weimer, Audrey Wethington and Madeline Wethington.

Big Ten Faculty Representatives established the Distinguished Scholar Award in 2008 to supplement the Academic All-Big Ten program. Distinguished Scholar Award recipients must have earned Academic All-Big Ten recognition in the previous academic year, must have been enrolled full-time at the institution for the entire previous academic year (two semesters or three quarters) and earned a minimum GPA of 3.70 or better during the previous academic year, excluding any summer grades.

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Ten Gophers Tabbed Academic All-District by CSC

Isaiah Salazar among honorees

MINNEAPOLIS – Ten University of Minnesota student-athletes have earned spots on the 2024 Academic All-District Men’s and Women’s At-Large Teams, College Sports Communicators announced Tuesday.

Representing the women were golfer Isabella McCauley, gymnasts Gianna Gerdes and Mya Hooten, women’s hockey players Peyton Hemp and Madeline Wethington, and rower Annie Moen, while Ryan Chesley, Justen Close and Rhett Pitlick from men’s hockey and Isaiah Salazar from wrestling were chosen on the men’s side.

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Gophers Hand Out Awards at Team Banquet

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota wrestling team honored its 2023-24 squad at its recent awards banquet.

Senior Isaiah Salazar took home four awards to lead the team, including being named the J Robinson Outstanding Wrestler. It’s the first time in team history that the honor has been named after the former Gophers coach who led the program to three national titles and six Big Ten championships. Salazar was also named winner of the Verne Gagne Leadership Award.

Salazar is coming off a senior season that saw him win the Big Ten title at 184 pounds and become an All-American for the first time in his career with a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships. Salazar is the first Gopher at 184 to be an All-American since 2014. He’s just the fifth Gopher ever to win a conference title at the weight and the first to do so since 2012.

A Greeley, Colo., native, Salazar ended the year with a 24-4 record, including a streak of 18 straight wins from early December to the semifinals at NCAAs. During the streak, Salazar outscored opponents 155-23 and held opponents to three points or fewer in all but one match. In fact, he gave up two points or fewer in 14 of the 18 matches.

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Pair of Gophers Reach Challenge Finals at U23 Nationals and U20 World Team Trials

MINNEAPOLIS – All five Minnesota wrestlers made at least the semifinals, with two advancing to the finals, this past weekend at the 2024 U23 Nationals and U20 World Team Trials in Geneva, Ohio.

The Golden Gopher representatives competed in the Challenge aspect of the tournament, hoping to earn a berth in a best-of-three championship matchup.

Minnesota redshirt freshman Max McEnelly was one of two Gophers to reach the Challenge Finals. He had no problem in his opening match as he cruised past Lars Michaelson (Nwwc) in the U20 World Team Trials 86kg quarterfinals, 10-0, in just 1:49. McEnelly then moved on to the Challenge finals thanks to an 11-0 win at 4:35 over Tate Naaktgeboren (Cyclone Regional Training Center C-RTC). A hard-fought contest in the finals saw McEnelly go down to Joshua Barr (Nittany Lion Wrestling Club), 4-1.

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Olympic gold medal wrestler Gable Steveson signing with Bills

Gable Steveson, an Olympic gold medalist and one of the most dominant college wrestlers in NCAA history, is jumping to the NFL to sign with the Buffalo Bills, his agent Carter Chow told ESPN.

Steveson is signing the standard rookie three-year deal, and he now will set out to join Bob Hayes as the only athlete ever to win a Super Bowl ring and an Olympic gold medal.

Steveson said he knows the learning curve will be steep but is excited for the opportunity. Continue reading at espn.com →

Gophers Sending Five Wrestlers to U23 Nationals and U20 World Team Trials

MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota wrestling will be represented by five Gophers this weekend at the 2024 U23 Nationals and U20 World Team Trials in Geneva, Ohio.

Redshirt freshman Max McEnelly (86 kg) and incoming freshmen Charlie Millard (74 kg) and Koy Hopke (125 kg) are all scheduled to compete in the U20 Freestyle competition, while redshirt freshman Rhett Koenig (63 kg) is set to take part in U20 Greco-Roman. In addition, transfer Clayton Whiting is scheduled to compete at 79 kg in the U23 Freestyle tournament.

The World Team Trials take place May 31 through June 2 at the Spire Institute and will be streamed on FloWrestling.

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Gophers Add Cooper Flynn to Roster

MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota wrestling head coach Brandon Eggum announced the signing of transfer Cooper Flynn Wednesday.

Flynn joins the Minnesota roster after three years competing at 125 pounds at Virginia Tech where he posted a 42-15 overall record, including 12-3 in duals.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Cooper Flynn to Minnesota Wrestling,” Eggum said. “His talent is undeniable, but it’s his character and dedication that truly set him apart. Cooper embodies everything we look for in an athlete – hardworking, resilient, and committed to excellence. We’re confident he’ll make a significant impact both on and off the mat and will be a great fit for our team culture.”

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