The University of Minnesota wrestling team went 3-0 in dual meet action at the Lone Star Duals on Saturday in Dallas, Texas. The Gophers defeated Army (26-15), Air Force (41-3) and Harvard (28-20) to improve their dual meet record to 6-2 this season. Zach Sanders and Jayson Ness each posted 3-0 records on the day to pace the Gophers. Chris McPhail recorded pins on both of his matches at 197 pounds and Ben Berhow was also unbeaten at heavyweight, notching major decision wins in both of his matches.
Sanders, ranked seventh in the most recent NWCA/InterMat poll at 125 pounds, improved his record to 20-1 with his three wins on Saturday. Sanders’ pin in his match with Air Force’s Andrew Zwirlein was his fourth of the season. His 20 wins this season lead the team.
Two of Ness’ three wins on the day came via pin. The two-time All-American boosted his 2008-09 record to 19-1 with 13 pins. Ness pinned Army’s Whitt Dunning in just 1:43 and Air Force’s Derek Gillespie in 2:32. The Bloomington, Minn. native needs just seven more pins this season to match his school record of 20 pins he set last season.
Minnesota opened their day with a 26-15 victory over Army. Sanders got things started for the Gophers with a 20-8 major decision victory over Army’s Travis Coffey and Ness followed with his first pin of the day over Dunning to push the Gopher lead to 10-0 through two matches. The Gophers also got a pin from Matt Everson at 165 pounds, a major decision win by Safratowich at 157 pounds, and decision wins from Mike Thorn (141 pounds) and Sonny Yohn (184 pounds) to secure the dual win over the Black Knights.
Against Air Force, the Gophers parlayed pins from Sanders, Ness and Chris McPhail (197 pounds) to cruise to a 41-3 win. A technical fall win from Safratowich at 157 pounds and major decision victories from Thorn (141 pounds), Brent Eidenschink (184 pounds) and Berhow (Hwt.) helped the Gophers rack up their third-highest dual meet team point total of the season against the Falcons.
The Gophers required a comeback to defeat Harvard 28-20 in their final dual of the day. Minnesota opened up a 9-0 lead on the strength of a forfeit win by Sanders at 125 pounds and an 8-2 decision victory by Ness over Harvard’s Thomas Picarsic at 133. The Crimson bounced back with a pin by second-ranked Corey Jantzen over Thorn at 141 pounds, a technical fall win by Walter Peppelman over Brian Peterson at 149 pounds and a narrow 3-2 decision victory by No. 3 J.P. O’Connor over Safratowich at 157 pounds to claim a 14-9 lead. The Gophers responded with wins in four of the last five matches, including a pin by Chris McPhail in just 2:35 over Sean Murphy at 197 pounds and an 18-7 major decision win by Berhow in the heavyweight bout to seal the victory.
Minnesota returns to action next weekend at the National Duals in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The Gophers’ next home dual is set for Jan. 25 against Michigan State at the Sports Pavilion. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-800-U-GOPHER or by contacting the Gopher Ticket Office at 612-624-8080.
#7 Minnesota 26 Army 15
125: #7 Zach Sanders (MN) maj. dec. Travis Coffey (ARMY), 20-8 (4-0)
133: #5 Jayson Ness (MN) pinned Whitt Dunning (ARMY), 1:43 (10-0)
141: #6 Mike Thorn (MN) dec. Casey Thome (ARMY), 9-7 (13-0)
149: #13 Matt Kyler (ARMY) pinned Brian Peterson (MN), 3:39 (13-6)
157: #14 Tyler Safratowich (MN) maj. dec. Rudy Chelednik (ARMY), 14-3 (17-6)
165: Matt Everson (MN) pinned Mike Gorman (ARMY), 4:32 (23-6)
174: Ryan Mergen (ARMY) dec. Kaleb Young (MN), 2-1 (23-9)
184: Sonny Yohn (MN) dec. Jake Vetter (ARMY), 8-1 (26-9)
197: #9 Richard Starks (ARMY) dec. Gordon Bierschenk (MN), 3-1 (26-12)
Hwt: Mike Sprigg (ARMY) dec. Joe Nord (MN), 8-5 (26-15)
#7 Minnesota 41 Air Force 3
125: #7 Zach Sanders (MN) pinned Andrew Zwirlein (AF), 6:29 (6-0)
133: #5 Jayson Ness (MN) pinned Derek Gillespie (AF), 2:32 (12-0)
141: #6 Mike Thorn (MN) maj. dec. Steve Makuka, 17-6 (16-0)
149: Brian Peterson (MN) dec. Alec Williams (AF), 8-7 (19-0)
157: #14 Tyler Safratowich (MN) tech. fall Joe Stafford (AF), 18-1 (24-0)
165: Steve Crozier (AF) dec. Matt Everson (MN), 8-5 (24-3)
174: Kaleb Young (MN) dec. Tyler French (AF), 9-3 (27-3)
184: Brent Eidenschink (MN) maj. dec. Sterling Tribble (AF), 12-2 (31-3)
197: Chris McPhail (MN) pinned Jim Ciccone (AF), 1:36 (37-3)
Hwt: Ben Berhow (MN) maj. dec. Josh Larson (AF), 16-4 (41-3)
#7 Minnesota 28 Harvard 20
125: #7 Zach Sanders (MN) wins via forfeit (6-0)
133: #5 Jayson Ness (MN) dec. Thomas Picarsic (HVD), 8-2 (9-0)
141: #2 Corey Jantzen (HVD) pinned #6 Mike Thorn (MN), 6:07 (9-6)
149: Walter Peppelman (HVD) tech. fall Brian Peterson (MN), 15-0 (9-11)
157: #3 J.P. O’Connor (HVD) dec. #14 Tyler Safratowich (MN), 3-2 (9-14)
165: Matt Everson (MN) maj. dec. Michael Sadler (HVD), 11-3 (13-14)
174: Kaleb Young (MN) tech. fall Bryan Panzano (HVD), 22-7 (18-14)
184: #5 Louis Caputo (HVD) pinned Sonny Yohn (MN), 6:56 (18-20)
197: Chris McPhail (MN) pinned Sean Murphy (HVD), 2:35 (24-20)
Hwt: Ben Berhow (MN) maj. dec. Andrew Knapp (HVD), 18-7 (28-20)