The second-ranked Golden Gopher wrestling team advanced to the championship match of the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals with a 24-11 victory over No. 4 Iowa State Saturday morning. The Gophers won seven of 10 matches to advance to the finals match for the second year in a row.
Just a day removed from his return from a knee injury, junior C.P. Schlatter provided the biggest win of the dual, defeating second-ranked Trent Paulson, 5-4. Schlatter, who was ranked as high as sixth before his absence, proved he is a force to be reckoned with now that he is back. He scored early takedowns in both of the first two periods and built up 1:39 of riding time, which proved to be the difference. Schlatter prevented Paulson from generating any offense throughout the match, with his only points coming on three escapes and a technical violation on Schlatter for locking his hands.
Jayson Ness continued his impressive redshirt freshman campaign with an 11-8 decision over No. 20 Nick Fanthorpe to give Minnesota an early 3-0 lead. Ness scored a takedown just eight seconds into the match and never looked back on his way to the victory. Ness has now won 16 of his last 17 matches and is 23-3 overall on the season.
Iowa State took its only lead of the match when Nick Gallick won a 10-0 major decision over Mike Thorn at 133 pounds. After a scoreless first period, Gallick started down in the second and scored a reversal to take a 2-0 lead. He added five back points in the period and got a two-point near fall in the third to pad his lead. Gallick built up 3:38 of riding time to earn the bonus point.
Manuel Rivera quickly got Minnesota back on track, remaining undefeated on the season with a 5-3 decision over Mitch Mueller, who is ranked No. 11 in the country. Mueller struck first with a takedown in the first period, but after getting the escape, Rivera quickly took Mueller down to take a 3-2 lead. He added an escape in the second and earned the bonus point for riding time. Rivera is now 25-0 on the year.
Much like their first meeting, ISU’s Cyler Sanderson did not make things easy for top-ranked Dustin Schlatter at 149 pounds. Sanderson took a defensive approach and kept the match scoreless through the first two periods. The only points of the match came in the third, with Schlatter scoring the deciding takedown with just 15 seconds remaining. Schlatter improved to 20-0 on the season and extended his winning streak to 50 consecutive matches.
After C.P.’s victory at 157, the Cyclones got back in the match with a major decision at 165, as second-ranked Travis Paulson defeated Jeremy Larson, 12-4. However, victories in the next two matches for the Gophers all but sealed the dual for Minnesota.
In a tight match at 174, Gabriel Dretsch earned a 2-1 decision over Grant Turner. Neither wrestler was able to generate any offense, with a pair of stall warnings on Turner proving to be the difference.
Second-ranked Roger Kish followed with a 5-2 decision over No. 9 Jake Varner to give Minnesota an 18-8 advantage in the dual. Kish scored a pair of takedowns and allowed only two escapes as he accumulated 2:16 of riding time for the bonus point. With the win, Kish improved to 20-0 on the season.
Despite losing his match at 197 pounds, true freshman Brent Eidenschink scored a reversal with under 30 seconds remaining to avoid a major decision against eighth-ranked Kurt Backes. The 9-4 decision made the score 18-11, but with the match out of reach, ISU forfeited at heavyweight to make the final 24-11.
Minnesota’s victory sets up a showdown with No. 1 Missouri to decide the title this afternoon at 3 p.m. The Tigers topped No. 5 Oklahoma State, 27-9, in the other semifinal.
#2 Minnesota 24, #4 Iowa State 11
125 - #6 Jayson Ness (MN) dec. #20 Nick Fanthorpe (ISU), 11-8
133 - Nick Gallick (ISU) maj. dec. Mike Thorn (MN), 10-0
141 - #5 Manuel Rivera (MN) dec. #11 Mitch Mueller (ISU), 5-3
149 - #1 Dustin Schlatter (MN) dec. #14 Cyler Sanderson (ISU), 3-1
157 - C.P. Schlatter (MN) dec. #2 Trent Paulson (ISU), 5-4
165 - #2 Travis Paulson (ISU) maj. dec. #19 Jeremy Larson (MN), 12-4
174 - #12 Gabriel Dretsch (MN) dec. Grant Turner (ISU), 2-1
184 - #2 Roger Kish (MN) dec. #9 Jake Varner (ISU), 5-2
197 - #8 Kurt Backes (ISU) dec. Brent Eidenschink (MN), 9-4
Hwt - #1 Cole Konrad (MN) won by forfeit