8 Alive for Titles After Session I
March 20, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- The University of Minnesota Golden Gopher wrestling team is tied for third place with 11 team points after the morning session at the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. Reigning three-time NCAA champion Penn State leads the pack with 16.5 points followed by Oklahoma State with 13.5. Edinboro is tied for the third slot with the Golden Gophers.
Eight of nine Gophers will advance after winning in the opening round of competition in their respective weight classes. No. 9-seeded 157 pounder Dylan Ness picked up his team-leading tenth pin of the season with a victory by fall over Spartak Chino of Ohio State at 3:56. While Danny Zilverberg earned the Gophers lone major decision with a 10-1 win over Austin Trott of Gardner-Webb.
At 141 pounds, No. 6 seed Chris Dardanes won in sudden victory and defeated Big Ten foe Danny Sabatello of Purdue, 5-3 while his twin brother, Nick Dardanes, the No. 2 seed at 149 fell by decision to The Citadel's Matthew Frisch, 8-5. N. Dardanes will be the only Gopher not in contention for a national title going into the second session. He will however be able to continue to fight their way through wrestlebacks and have the opportunity to finish as high as third place.
The remaining four wrestlers picked up decisions to advance to the second round. David Thorn kicked off the tournament for the Golden Gophers with a 6-3 decision over Northern Illinois's Nick Smith. No. 6 seeded Logan Storley notched a 5-2 victory over Kent State University's Caleb Marsh.
Redshirt senior and two-time All-American Kevin Steinhaus tallied a 5-0 decision over Oklahoma State's Nolan Boyd to advance to session II while redshirt junior Scott Schiller picked up a 10-3 win over Virginia's Zach Nye.
Back-to-back heavyweight champion, Tony Nelson, was able to come away with a 1-0 decision over Blaize Cabell of UNI to close out session I. Nelson, who is the No. 1 seed, is looking to capitalize on his third Big Ten crown and be the first wrestler for the Maroon and Gold to bring home a third NCAA title.
The action resumes at 6 p.m. CT as Session II of the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships picks back up in Oklahoma City, Okla.
2014 NCAA Division I Championships Results for Minnesota