Gophers Win NWCA/Cliff Keen National Dual Championship
Feb. 19, 2012
The No. 3 Minnesota Golden Gopher wrestling team was crowned NWCA/Cliff Keen National Dual Champions this evening, in Stillwater, OK. Minnesota defeated No.1 Oklahoma State 18-13 in front of a sea of orange.
Minnesota made history today defeating Iowa (16-15) and Oklahoma State, in route to being crowned champions. It was the first win over Iowa since Feb. 18, 2007 (29-13) and the first win against Oklahoma State, since Dec. 6, 2006 (21-15). Like today, when the Gophers beat the Cowboys back in 2006, OSU was No. 1 and Minnesota was No. 3 in the country.
With the pair of wins today, Minnesota closes out their regular season with a record of 14-3 overall. The two victories also bumps head coach J Robinson's career record at Minnesota to 388-129-4. Robinson is four wins away from tying Wally Johnson, on the all-time wins list.
"The best dual team in the nation right now is us," Robinson said. "Today was a team effort, all 15 guys we brought this weekend came here and won together. The dual meet season is over and we go on to the next thing, which is the Big Ten championship."
The dual started out at 125 lbs. and senior Zach Sanders got the Gophers started off on the right foot. Sanders faced Jonathon Morrison, who is ranked No. 14 in nation. The Wabasha, Minn., native rebounded from his loss earlier in the day by picking up a 5-2 decision.
After a loss (11-3 maj.) from Chris Dardanes, his brother Nick took the mat for Minnesota and gave the Maroon and Gold a boost, with a 10-4 decision. That victory gave the Gophers a 6-4 lead.
The Cowboys would take the next two matches (149 lbs. and 157 lbs.) from the Gophers, but Cody Yohn picked up his fourth straight win when he scored a 4-2 overtime win against Dallas Bailey. The win in the extra session pulled the Gophers within one (10-9) of OSU.
Tony Nelson would seal the deal for the second time today. Nelson took care of the Cowboys Austin Marsden (8-1 dec.) who stepped in place of OSU's top heavyweight Alan Gelogaev, who was out with an injury.
Minnesota will now rest up before heading to West Lafayette, Ind., for the Big Ten championships. Action takes place March 3-4 (Friday-Saturday) inside Mackey Arena.
Match #2 1st Place Match: #3 Minnesota defeated #1 Oklahoma State 18-13