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.
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Eight Gophers Named Academic All-Big Ten
Five of the team’s NCAA qualifiers are among those honored by the conference for achievements in the classroom
Gophers Return to NCAA Top 10
Minnesota finished seventh at the 2017 NCAA Championships, marking the 19th time in 21 season the Maroon and Gold have finished among the nation’s 10 best
Four Gophers Become All-Americans; Two into Finals
A quartet of Gophers earned All-America status on the second day of the 2017 NCAA Championships, led by Ethan Lizak and Brett Pfarr, who will wrestle for individual titles on Saturday