March 9, 2014
MADISON, Wis. - After two days of competition at the 2014 Big Ten Wrestling Championships at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis. the University of Minnesota wrestling team finished the conference tournament in third place. Penn State won their fourth-consecutive Big Ten title with 140.5 team points followed by Iowa with 134.0 and Minnesota collected 114.5 points on the weekend.
Redshirt senior Tony Nelson captured the only Big Ten title for the Golden Gophers. While his road to his third consecutive heavyweight conference title looked a bit different than years past, the defending national champion looked more like himself on the mat in the championship bout than he has all year.
Nelson was able to avenge an earlier loss to Indiana's Adam Chalfant in the championship bout. Chalfant was able to hand Nelson his only loss in regulation during the dual meet season on Feb. 2 in Minneapolis. Nelson's other three losses came in extra minutes. He would go on to defeat Chalfant this afternoon in sudden victory, 2-1. Nelson will now turn his eyes to the NCAA Championships to be held in Oklahoma City, Okla. March 20-22.
Despite sending nine wrestler to the semifinals, Nelson was the only wrestler to compete for an individual title for the Maroon and Gold. Chris Dardanes (141), Nick Dardanes (149), Danny Zilverberg (165) and Scott Schiller all brought home third place crowns while David Thorn (133), Logan Storley (174) and Kevin Steinhaus (184) all finished fourth.
The 2013 Big Ten Champion, Dylan Ness, forfeited his last two matches due to an injury and finished in sixth place overall at 157. Redshirt freshman Sam Brancale lost all three of his bouts on the weekend.
Next up, the Gophers will travel to Oklahoma City, Okla. to participate in the 2014 NCAA Championships set for March 20-22.
For a full look at the final placements and the 2014 Big Ten Champions, please visit the Championship Central website.