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March 16, 2012
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Three Golden Gopher wrestlers have moved onto the semifinals of the 2012 NCAA Wrestling Championships, in St. Louis Mo. Dylan Ness (149), Logan Storley (174) and Tony Nelson (Hwt.) will all wrestle in tonight’s semifinal inside the Scottrade Center at 6 p.m.
Minnesota currently is in fourth place with 56 points. Penn State leads the field with 78.5 points, while Cornell jumped to second with 61.5 and Iowa sits in third 58.5.
Ness shocked the wrestling universe this morning as he picked up a 3-2 quarterfinal win, over eighth seeded and undefeated Jamal Parks of Oklahoma State. Parks came into the match with a perfect 34-0 record and had defeated Ness twice this season.
Tied at 2-2 going into the third, Parks chose to go down, but could not escape Ness’s solid ride out efforts. Ness finished with 1:34 of riding time, which gave him the extra point and a spot in tonight’s semifinals against Tyler Nauman of Pittsburgh.
Storley would pull off another thrilling finish for the Maroon and Gold. He went down to wire against Iowa’s Ethan Lofthouse, just as the two have done all season. Storley was able to score a takedown with four seconds left to win 3-1. Storley will face Ed Ruth of Penn State tonight in the semifinal.
Tony Nelson would be the last Golden Gopher to advance to tonight’s semifinal. Nelson had no trouble with Northwestern’s Mike McMullan, as he pinned him at the 4:50 mark. The Cambridge native, who is the second overall seed, will face third seed Clayton Jack of Oregon State tonight.
Moving onto tonight’s consolation round were Zach Sanders (125), Chris Dardanes (133), Nick Dardanes (141), Kevin Steinhaus (184) and Sonny Yohn (197). All five of them will need to win their first match this evening in order to stay alive in the tournament. If they win their first match they will also wrestle another match, later in the evening.
Tonight’s TV coverage will be on ESPNU and ESPN3.com, starting at 6 p.m. Gophersports.com will also have a live blog during the session.
Ness, Storley and Nelson are all guaranteed to finish no less than sixth overall in their weight class…That also automatically will make them All-Americans…Nelson improved his winning streak to 23 matches...he also has not been scored on at the championships.