CSTV will air the championship dual between the Gophers and Tigers next Sunday, Jan. 21 at 6 p.m.
Replays of Minnesota's first three matches at the National Duals will be available in the Gold Zone this week, with the Missouri dual available after the CSTV broadcast.
Senior Cole Konrad was once again the hero for Minnesota, pinning Missouri's Tyler Perry in the final match of the night to give the Golden Gophers their second straight National Duals crown in dramatic fashion. The top-ranked heavyweight in the nation, Konrad overpowered Perry to put him on his back near the edge of the mat and earned the fall in 2:13.
With the win, Minnesota avenged a second-place finish to the Tigers at the Southern Scuffle to win its fourth National Duals crown in the last seven years. Now 11-1 on the season, Minnesota will likely regain the No. 1 ranking in the nation in this week’s polls.
In an interesting development of events, Missouri adjusted its lineup to pit Ben Askren, the top-ranked 174 pounder in the nation, against Roger Kish in the 184-pound bout. Although Askren won the match by a narrow 5-4 margin, the move did not pay off for the Tigers. Minnesota true freshman Brent Eidenschink avoided bonus points against top-ranked Max Askren in the 197-pound match, limiting Missouri's lead in the dual to just 16-14 heading into the heavyweight bout.
Konrad took care of business from there and, with his 58th consecutive victory, tied Tim Hartung for the longest winning streak in school history.
His heroics would not have been possible, however, without a number of key performances ahead of him. C.P. Schlatter completed a perfect weekend in his return from a knee injury with a 6-5 come-from-behind victory over No. 12 Mike Chandler. Manuel Rivera and Dustin Schlatter both remained unbeaten on the season, and redshirt freshman Jayson Ness continued to impress with a major decision at 125 pounds.
Ness recorded the second shutout of his career with the 11-0 major over No. 18 John Olanowski to give Minnesota the early 4-0 advantage. He countered a shot by the Tiger wrestler midway through the first period to score a takedown and two-point near fall. After starting down in the second, Ness got the escape and then quickly fired in on a single leg to extend his lead to 7-0. He added another takedown in the third and was awarded points for a stall warning on Olanowski and 3:09 of riding time at the end of the match.
Missouri evened the dual at four apiece with a major decision of their own at 133 pounds, but Rivera got Minnesota rolling with yet another major in the following match. Rivera scored a pair of early takedowns on No. 15 Ashton Primus and worked him to his back with under 10 seconds remaining in the first period to take a 6-1 lead. With bonus points on his mind, Rivera used a series of takedowns and releases over the next two periods to extend his lead, ultimately coming away with an 18-7 victory to improve to 26-0 on the season.
The breath went out of the building in the next match when the unthinkable almost happened. Top-ranked Dustin Schlatter was in trouble when Missouri’s Josh Wagner nearly rolled him to his back midway through the first period, but Schlatter used his quickness and strength to avoid any damage. In a nail-biting match in which both wrestlers seemed to counter the other’s every move, Schlatter built up enough riding time to earn the bonus point and come away with a 1-0 victory.
C.P. Schlatter followed with a pivotal victory at 157 pounds. Trailing 3-0 entering the third period, Schlatter turned up the intensity to erase the deficit. He got on the board with a takedown with 1:18 remaining and quickly proceeded to allow Chandler to escape. Schlatter followed the same method two more times and scored the winning takedown with 42 seconds remaining to give the Gophers a 14-4 lead in the dual and bring the Minnesota crowd to its feet.
The excitement slowly turned to nerves as Missouri shifted its lineup and won each of the next four matches, but the Gophers kept the damage to a minimum by avoiding any bonus points.
Curiosity set in when Missouri’s Nick Marable came out to wrestle Jeremy Larson instead of Matt Pell, the seventh-ranked wrestler in the nation at 165 pounds. The strategy became clear, however, when Pell walked on the mat to wrestle Gabriel Dretsch in the 174-pound match. Figuring their only chance to win the dual was a victory at 184 pounds, the Tigers sent Ben Askren out to face Kish instead of No. 5 Raymond Jordan. While both bold and clever, the move did not pay off for Missouri.
The match between Kish and Askren provided plenty of entertainment, with both wrestlers trying to will their team to victory. Trailing 5-1 midway through the third period, Kish made it interesting with a takedown and then desperately tried to roll Askren to his back. Askren was able to counter however, ultimately coming away with a 5-4 decision to cut Minnesota’s lead in the dual to 14-13.
Eidenschink followed with a courageous effort at 197, giving top-ranked Max Askren more than what he bargained for. Clearly expecting to earn bonus points, Askren used a series of takedowns and releases to build an early lead in the first period, but Eidenschink caught him off-guard with a takedown late in the period to cut into the lead. He was effective the rest of the way in limiting Askren’s offense, allowing only a reversal in the third period. The riding time advantage gave Askren the 11-5 decision.
With a 16-14 lead heading into the heavyweight match, Missouri put its hopes in the hands of Perry. He proved no match for Konrad, however, who was mobbed by his team following the victory.
CSTV will air the championship match between the Gophers and Tigers next Sunday, Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. Replays of Minnesota's first three matches at the National Duals will be available in the Gold Zone this week, with the Missouri dual available after the CSTV broadcast.
The Gophers open Big Ten action Sunday, Jan. 21 when they host Penn State at the Sports Pavilion. Live video of the dual with the Nittany Lions will be available in the Gold Zone.
#2 Minnesota 20, #1 Missouri, 16
125 - #6 Jayson Ness (MN) maj. dec. #18 John Olanowski (MO), 11-0
133 - #15 Tyler McCormick (MO) maj. dec. Mike Thorn (MN), 12-0
141 - #5 Manuel Rivera (MN) maj. dec. #15 Ashton Primus (MO), 18-7
149 - #1 Dustin Schlatter (MN) dec. #15 Josh Wagner (MO), 1-0
157 - C.P. Schlatter (MN) dec. #12 Mike Chandler (MO), 6-5
165 - Nick Marable (MO) dec. #19 Jeremy Larson (MN), 5-3
174 - #7 Matt Pell (MO) dec. #12 Gabriel Dretsch (MN), 9-4
184 - #1 Ben Askren (MO) dec. #2 Roger Kish (MN), 5-4
197 - #1 Max Askren (MO) dec. Brent Eidenschink (MN), 11-5
Hwt - #1 Cole Konrad (MN) pinned Tyler Perry (MO), 2:13