March 8, 2014
MADISON, Wis. -- After the first session of the 2014 Big Ten Championships, the University of Minnesota wrestling team sits in first place. Throughout the morning competition, the Golden Gophers collected 77.0 team points at the Kohl Center at the University of Wisconsin. The defending champions, Penn State hold the second spot with 70.0 points while Iowa follows closely behind in third place with 68.0 points.
Nine Gopher individuals are in the running for individual titles after two rounds of competition including David Thorn (133 lbs.), Chris Dardanes (141 lbs.), Nick Dardanes (149 lbs.), Danny Zilverberg (165 lbs.), Logan Storley (174 lbs.) and Scott Schiller (197 lbs.) as well as previous Big Ten Champions Dylan Ness (157 lbs.), Kevin Steinhaus (184 lbs.) and Tony Nelson (285 lbs.). Redshirt freshman Sam Brancale, who was defeated by Camden Eppert of Purdue, will compete in wrestlebacks in the quest for third place.
No. 3 seed Thorn was the first Gopher to have a bye in the preliminary round of competition. In the quarterfinals, Thorn was matched with Johnni DiJulius of Ohio State, who he defeated at the National Duals earlier this eason. He was able to repeat his victory and move into the semifinals.
Chris Dardanes also had a bye in the first round and defeated Danny Sabatello of Purdue by decision in order to claim his spot in the semifinal round at 141. Nick Dardanes, who improved to 30-2 on the year, with two wins over Rylan Lubeck and James English respectively. N. Dardakes will also move on to the next round of the tournament.
Returning Big Ten Champion Dylan Ness won by major decision in the quarterfinals over Indiana's Taylor Walsh while Zilverberg won two bouts over Bobby Nash and Pierce Harger to fight his way into the Big Ten Tournament semifinals.
Storley notched a major decision win over Nick Kaczanowski of Michigan State, 10-2, in the preliminary round and then a decision victory over Tony Dallago of Illinois, 9-5, to punch his ticket into the semifinal round of competition this evening.
Kevin Steinhaus and Scott Schiller both had byes in their respective weight classes to start the weekend. Steinhaus defeated Indiana's Luke Sheridan by major decision while Schiller won by injury default over Mario Gonzalez of Illinois.
No. 5 seed heavyweight and reigning back-to-back Big Ten and NCAA champion, Tony Nelson, took the first round by storm as he defeated Chris Lopez of Illinois, 4-0. He then went on to knock off Bobby Telford of Iowa by 2-0 decision in order to make his forth consecutive appearance in the Big Ten semifinals.
For complete list of standings and brackets, please click here.
Session II will take place tonight at 5 p.m. live from Madison, Wis. You can watch the II and III session on Gopher All-Access and the finals will be broadcast tomorrow starting at 1 p.m. CT.
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McKee Wins Thriller at Beat the Streets
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Minnesota graduates four wrestlers from this year’s roster, each with their own unique path forward now that their collegiate wrestling careers have ended