The top-ranked Golden Gopher wrestling team (20-1, 7-1) heads to Bloomington, Ind., for the 2006 Big Ten Championships. Assembly Hall will be the venue for the tournament.
All 10 Minnesota wrestlers received pre-seeds as announced by the Big Ten. Defending champions Mack Reiter (133) and Cole Konrad (285) are joined by Dustin Schlatter (149) as top seeds. C.P. Schlatter (157), Matt Nagel (165) and Roger Kish (184) earned No. 3 seeds. Travis Lang (125) and Manuel Rivera (141) are No. 7 seeds, while Gabriel Dretsch (174) and Mitch Kuhlman (197) are No. 8 seeds.
The Golden Gophers are the only team in the Big Ten with three top seeds. Michigan and Illinois have two.
Minnesota will be looking to add its ninth Big Ten Championship to its trophy case this weekend. The Golden Gophers claimed their first title in 40 years at the 1999 Championships held in Ann Arbor, Mich. Following a runner-up finish in 2000, Minnesota claimed three straight titles, including the 2003 title in Madison, Wis.
Minnesota is looking for its fifth Big Ten Championship in the past eight years. The Golden Gophers have finished either first or second in seven straight seasons. Minnesota has placed top three in each of the past nine seasons.
The Golden Gophers are currently tied for fifth all-time with Michigan State with eight team titles. Iowa leads the way with 31, followed by Illinois with 17, Indiana with 13 and Michigan with 11.
Minnesota has had a Big Ten-best 19 individual Big Ten Champions since 1999, while the Hawkeyes rank second with 17 during that period. Compared to 19 titles in the last seven years, the Golden Gophers had 19 Big Ten Champions in the previous 19 years.
Overall, Minnesota ranks third in the Big Ten with 77 individual conference champions. Iowa leads the way with 180, followed by Michigan with 114. Last year the Hawkeyes failed to crown an individual champion for the first time since 1969.