March 3, 2012
The Minnesota Golden Gopher wrestling team sits in third place after the morning session of the 2012 Big Ten Wrestling Championships. Minnesota tallied 59 points inside Mackey Arena while Iowa sits in second place with 69 points and defending champion Penn State leads the field with 78.5 points.
Six Gophers are still alive for an individual title after session I. Zach Sanders, Nick Dardanes, Dylan Ness, Logan Storley , Kevin Steinhaus and Tony Nelson, will be wrestling in the semifinals, in the nightcap this evening.
Sanders defeated Cameden Eppert of Purdue by a 1-0 decision in his only match of the morning. He will next face Nico Megaludis of Penn State tonight. Sanders defeated Megaluids 6-2 back in early November. The other semifinal match will see Iowa’s top-seed Matt McDonough taking on Illinois Jesse Delagdo.
Dardanes advanced after scoring a sudden death victory over Nebraska’s Jake Suflohn. Dardanes scored the first takedown in the extra session to secure a spot in the semifinals. The redshirt sophomore will face top-seed Kellen Russell of Michigan, who he did not face earlier this season.
Ness scored a first period fall over Indiana’s Taylor Walsh at the 2:38 mark. Ness was able to take down the Hoosier quickly and pick up back points. He then closed out the match by scoring the fall which brought the Minnesota crowd to their feet. Ness will face Eric Grajales of Michigan tonight. In the last meeting, Grajales came away with a 5-3 decision.
Storley came out firing right off the bat in his lone match of the morning. The freshman dominated Indiana’s Ryan Leblanc by scoring a 10-2 major decision. Storley will square off against the Iowa’s Ethan Lofthouse, who he fell to at the National Duals, in a 4-3 decision. During the regular season Storley picked up a 5-3 win over Lofthouse, in Iowa City.
Being the only Gopher to win two matches this morning, Steinhaus who is the top-ranked wrestler at 184 lbs., picked up a 16-1 technical fall win over Wisconsin’s Tim McCall and a 10-2 major over Michigan State’s Ian Hinton. The sophomore will take on Iowa’s Grant Grambrall, who he defeated two weeks ago by a 3-1 decision.
Nelson is the final Gopher who is alive for a title. The Cambridge native is the top-ranked heavyweight and pinned Ohio State’s Peter Capone in the first period to close out the morning session for Minnesota. Nelson’s fall came at the 2:46 mark and will take on Mike McMullan from Nebraska.
For a complete list of team standings and brackets please click here
Session II will take place tonight at 5 p.m. EST. Make sure to tune into the live blog and Gopher All-Access for updates.
Notes: The Attendance for Session I was 3,552
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