The Big Ten Championships provided plenty of excitement for Minnesota this year. As a team, the Gophers returned to the conference’s top five for the 20th time in the past 21 seasons. Individually, nine different Gophers automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships, the largest Minnesota contingent in the event since 2014.
Eight different Gophers placed at the Big Ten tournament, led by Brett Pfarr’s runner-up finish at 197 pounds. Ethan Lizak took third at 125, Michael Kroells took fourth at heavyweight and Jake Short finished fifth at 157. Three different Gophers finished sixth: Mitch McKee (133), Tommy Thorn (141) and Nick Wanzek (165). Bobby Steveson jumped up from the 10th seed at 184 to take seventh, and Chris Pfarr rounded out the automatic qualifiers by wrestling for, and winning, true ninth at 174.
With Big Tens now complete, the only event left on the 2016-17 schedule is the biggest of them all, the NCAA Championships. The national tournament gets started on Thurs., March 16 and will run through Sat., March 18.
GopherSports.com is your home for all Gopher Wrestling news throughout the 2016-17. Whether you’re looking for competition highlights, features on the wrestlers you’re seeing on the mat each week or team stats, we will have it all for you right here. Be sure to follow Gopher Wrestling on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates.
Seven Gophers Will Enter Season Ranked
Seven Gophers will begin the 2017-18 season as top-20 wrestlers, with the team coming in at No. 6 in the dual meet rankings and No. 7 in the tournament rankings.
Meet Newcomer Steve Bleise
This week we meet with Steve Bleise, a redshirt junior from Chelsea, Mich. who was an All-State wrestler in high school.
Wrestling Welcomes Fans to Open Practice
Fans who are eager for wrestling season will have an opportunity to come have an early look at the 2017-18 Gopher wrestling team.