Four University of Minnesota wrestlers have advanced to the championship semifinals at the 2007 NCAA Championships at the Palace in Auburn Hills, Mich. The Golden Gophers hold a narrow lead over Iowa State. Both teams have four wrestlers alive in the championship bracket and three in the consolation bracket. Jayson Ness, Dustin Schlatter, Roger Kish and Cole Konrad all advanced into tonight's semifinals. Mack Reiter, Manuel Rivera and C.P. Schlatter need one win tonight to become All-Americans.
Minnesota has 66.0 points to lead the tournament, followed by the Cyclones at 62.5. Oklahoma State had a strong session and moved into third place with 48.5 points, followed by Missouri, 44.5, and Hofstra, 41.0.
Ness earned a trip to the semifinals with a 3-0 decision against fifth-seeded Charlie Falck of Iowa at 125 pounds. Following a scoreless first period, Falck rode Ness for over a minute before Ness took a 1-0 lead with an escape. With 40 seconds to go in the match, Ness got the deciding takedown to take a 3-0 lead and erase Falck's bonus point for riding time. It was Ness' third win over the Hawkeye this season. Ness will meet top-ranked Sam Hazewinkel of Oklahoma in tonight's semifinal.
Schlatter punched his ticket to the 149-pound semifinals with a 6-3 decision over Wisconsin's Tyler Turner. Schlatter took a 4-0 lead with a takedown and near fall in the first period, but Turner rallied in the third period. He cut the lead to 4-3 with a takedown with just over a minute left in the match. Schlatter got the escape and earned the riding time advantage for the 6-3 win. Schlatter will meet fifth-seeded Gregor Gillespie of Edinboro in tonight's semifinal.
Michigan native Roger Kish advanced in to the final four with a 9-5 decision against No. 7 Alex Clemsen of Edinboro. Trailing 4-3, Kish took the lead for good with a takedown with 22 seconds to go in the second period. Kish extended his lead to 8-4 with an escape and a takedown to start the third period. Kish will meet No. 6 Jake Varner of Iowa State in the semifinals. Kish has defeated Varner twice during the regular season.
Konrad had no trouble in winning his 74th straight match. He earned a 16-4 major decision against No. 9 Michael Spaid of Bloomsburg at heavyweight. Konrad posted three takedowns and a near fall in the first period alone. With the win, Konrad became the school's fifth four-time All-American, joining Chad Erikson, Luke Becker, Jared Lawrence and Damion Hahn. Konrad will meet No. 5 Ty Watterson of Oregon State in tonight's semifinal.
Three other Golden Gophers saw their stay in the championship bracket come to an end and will need a win in their consolation match tonight to earn All-American status. Reiter dropped a 4-0 decision against defending NCAA Champion Matt Valenti of Penn at 133 pounds. Leading 1-0, Valenti earned a two-point near fall to start the third period. Reiter will face No. 8 Tyler McCormick of Missouri tonight.
Rivera fell victim to the tournament's Cinderella, Don Fisch of Rider. Fisch claimed his third straight win over a seeded wrestler at 141 pounds with a 10-4 decision. Rivera led 3-2 to start the third period, but Fisch took over with a pair of takedowns and a near fall. Rivera will meet No. 7 Brandon Rader of West Virginia tonight.
Schlatter was knocked out of the quarterfinals after Illinois' Mike Poeta rallied for a 5-4 decision at 157 pounds. Controlling the first two periods with a 3-0 lead, Schlatter was penalized a point twice for stalling in the third period. With the match tied at three, Poeta got the takedown at the edge of the match with two seconds to go in the match. Schlatter was awarded a point for his riding-time advantage, but it was not enough in the 5-4 defeat. Schlatter will meet No. 6 Brandon Becker tonight. Schlatter defeated Becker two weeks ago to win the Big Ten Championship.
Two of Minnesota's nine wrestlers in the tournament were eliminated in the consolation bracket. Sophomore Tyler Safratowich was eliminated in a 7-4 decision against No. 11 Patrick Pitsch of Arizona State at 165 pounds. Safratowich did give Minnesota valuable bonus points in his first consolation match when he pinned Virginia Tech's Eric Decker in 4:30.
Similarily, Dretsch also won his first consolation match before being eliminated. Dretsch defeated No. 12 Mike Letts of Maryland, 4-2, in overtime. The tables were turned in his next match as he fell in overtime against No. 3 Steve Luke of Michigan, 2-1. Luke earned a point for an escape in the first tiebreaker and then rode Dretsch the entire 30 seconds in the second tiebreaker to advance.
Tonight's fourth session will begin at 6 p.m. Central with the championshp semifinals and two rounds of consolation. The semifinals can been seen live on ESPNU and ESPN360.
Cole Konrad became Minnesota's fifth four-time All-American. He joins Chad Kraft, Luke Becker, Jared Lawrence and Damion Hahn.
Roger Kish won his 100th career match in the quarterfinals.
Cole Konrad has won 74 matches in a row. He now owns a 153-13-0 career record, six wins behind the career record of 159 held by Ed Giese since 1986.
Dustin Schlatter has won 65 matches in a row. His 98.7 career winning percentage (77-1) ranks first in school history.
Mack Reiter, Manuel Rivera and C.P. Schlatter need a win in their next match to earn All-American status. Reiter is a two-time All-American, while Schlatter and Rivera are seeking their first All-American nod.
The Golden Gophers have the potential for seven All-Americans which would be the most since the team had seven AA's en route to their second straight title in 2002.
According to seeds, Minnesota is favored in six of its next seven matches. No. 4 Jayson Ness will meet No. 1 Sam Hazewinkel of Oklahoma in the 125-pound semifinal.
Iowa State trails Minnesota by 3.5 points and is favored in two of its next six matches. The heavyweight matchup between David Zabriskie and Payam Zarrinpour of Sacred Heart features two unseeded wresters.
Jared and Brett Lawrence were the last Minnesota brothers to earn All-American honors in the season season (2001).
Team Results - Following Session III
Team Standings (Semifinalists/consolation)
1. Minnesota, 66.0 (4/3)
2. Iowa State, 62.5 (4/3)
3. Oklahoma State, 48.5 (4/1)
4. Missouri, 44.5 (1/3)
5. Hofstra, 41.0 (3/2)
6. Penn State, 39.5 (2/2)
7. Iowa, 37.0 (2/1)
8. Northwestern, 34.5 (2/2)
9. Wisconsin, 31.5 (1/3)
10. Michigan, 29.0 (2/3)
No. 4 Jayson Ness - 125 pounds
1st Round - Ness pinned Taylor Cummings (NCSU), 2:28
2nd Round - Ness pinned Tyler Shinn (OSU), 4:17
Quarterfinals - Ness dec. No. 5 Charlie Falck (Iowa), 3-0
Semifinals - Ness vs. No. 1 Sam Hazewinkel (OU)
No. 7 Mack Reiter - 133 pounds
1st Round - Reiter pinned Richard Donald (Bloomsburg), 4:36
2nd Round - Reiter dec. Joseph Baker (Navy), 12-5
Quarterfinals - No. 2 Matt Valenti (Penn) dec. Reiter, 4-0
Consolation - Reiter vs. No. 8 Tyler McCormick (Missouri)
No. 4 Manuel Rivera - 141 pounds
1st Round - Rivera maj. dec. Matthew Schumm (CSB), 14-4
2nd Round - Rivera dec. Matthew Kyler (Army), 5-2
Quarterfinals - Don Fisch (Rider) dec. Rivera, 10-4
Consolation - Rivera vs. No. 7 Brandon Rader (WVU)
No. 1 Dustin Schlatter - 149 pounds
1st Round - Schlatter dec. Jordan Burroughs (Nebraska), 3-2
2nd ROund - Schlatter dec. Matt Moley (Bloomsburg), 5-1
Quarterfinals - Schlatter dec. Tyler Turner (Wisconsin), 6-3
Semifinals - Schlatter vs. No. 5 Gregor Gillespie (Edinboro)
No. 4 C.P. Schlatter - 157 pounds
Pigtails - Schlatter maj. dec. Luke Salazar (UNC), 9-1
1st Round - Schlatter maj. dec. Cody Midlam (Duquesne), 10-2
2nd Round - Schlatter dec. John Jarred (Navy), 1-0
Quarterfinals - No. 5 Michael Poeta (Illinois) dec. Schlatter, 5-4
Consolation - Schlatter vs. No. 6 Brandon Becker (Indiana)
Tyler Safratowich - 165 pounds
1st Round - Safratowich dec. No. 8 Steve Anceravage (Cornell), 8-4
2nd Round - No. 9 Matt Pell (Missouri) maj. dec. Safratowich, 15-3
Consolation - Safratowich pinned Eric Decker (Virginia Tech), 4:30
Consolation - No. 11 Patrick Pitsch (ASU) dec, Safratowich, 7-4
Safratowich eliminated with 2-2 record
Gabriel Dretsch - 174 pounds
1st Round - Drestch dec. Nathan Lee (Boise State), 5-3
2nd Round - No. 1 Ben Askren (Missouri) pinned Dretsch, 4:51
Consolation - Dretsch dec. No. 12 Mike Letts (Maryland), 4-2
Consolation - No. 3 Steve Luke (Michigan) dec. Dretsch, 2-1 TB1
Dretsch eliminated with 2-2 record
No. 2 Roger Kish - 184 pounds
1st Round - Kish maj. dec. Jack Jensen (OSU), 12-3
2nd Round - Kish pinned Shawn Vincent (UNC), 1:44
Quarterfinals - Kish dec. No. 7 Alex Clemsen (Edinboro), 9-5
Semifinals - Kish vs. No. 6 Jake Varner (ISU)
No. 1 Cole Konrad - Heavyweight
1st Round - Konrad dec. Jared Rosholt (OSU), 8-2
2nd Round - Konrad maj. dec. Rashard Goff (CSU), 9-1
Quarterfinals - Konrad maj. dec. No. 9 Michael Spaid (Bloomsburg), 16-4
Semifinals - Konrad vs. No. 5 Ty Watterson (Oregon State)