The University of Minnesota wrestling team is in first place following day one of the NCAA Championships at the Palace in Auburn Hills, Mich. The Golden Gophers have a tournament-best seven wrestlers in the championship quarterfinals with two more wrestlers still alive in the consolation bracket. Overall, Minnesota wrestlers have posted a 17-2 record in the tournament.
Minnesota has 34 points, while Missouri is second with 29.5 points. The Tigers have three wrestlers in the quarterfinals, but suffered a major blow when top-ranked Max Askren failed to win a match and was eliminated at 197 pounds. Iowa State is in third place with 27.5 points and four wrestlers in the quarterfinals. Penn State is fourth with 24 points, while Iowa is fifth with 20.
Redshirt freshman Jayson Ness continued to set the tone for the Golden Gophers with his second pin of the day at 125 pounds. Leading 4-0 after the first period against Oklahoma State's Tyler Shinn, Ness scored the reversal. While trying to turn Shinn, Ness found himself on his back before recovering and recording the fall at 4:17. Ness pinned North Carolina State's Taylor Cummings in 2:28 in the first round. Ness will meet No. 5 Charlie Falck of Iowa in the quarterfinals. Ness owns two major decisions over Falck this season.
Two-time All-American Mack Reiter followed at 133 pounds with a 12-5 decision over Navy's Joseph Baker. Despite giving up a takedown in each the second and third periods, Reiter controlled the match from the beginning and advanced to the quarterfinals for the third straight year. He will meet defending NCAA Champion Matt Valenti of Penn on Friday morning.
Fourth-seeded Manuel Rivera improved to 38-2 on the year with a 5-2 decision over Army's Matthew Kyler at 141 pounds. With the match tied at two, Rivera got the takedown with 50 seconds to go on the match. He earned the additional point with over a minute of riding time. Rivera will meet Rider's Don Fisch in the quarterfinals. Fisch has upset the No. 12 and 5 seeds in his first two matches
Top-ranked Dustin Schlatter continued his quest for a second straight NCAA Championship with a 5-1 decision over Matt Moley of Bloomsburg at 149 pounds. Leading 2-1 with riding time late in the third period, Schlatter secured the win with a takedown with 12 seconds to go in the match. It was Schlatter's 64th straight win. He will meet Wisconsin's Tyler Turner in the quarterfinals. Schlatter defeated Turner, 4-0, in the semifinals of the Big Ten Championships two weeks ago.
Junior C.P. Schlatter kept pace with his younger brother as he advanced with a 1-0 decision against John Jarred of Navy at 157 pounds. After Schlatter rode Jarred the entire second period, his two-minute advantage in riding time proved to be the difference. Schlatter will get a rematch with No. 5 Michael Poeta of Illinois in the quarterfinals. The pair split their two meetings during the season.
Second-seeded Roger Kish advanced to the quarterfinals for the second straight year with a pin in 1:44 against Northern Colorado's Shawn Vincent at 184 pounds. Vincent took an early 2-0 lead with a takedown, but Kish rallied to post his 12th pin of the season. With a 99-18 record, Kish needs one win to reach 100 for his career. He will meet No. 7 Alex Clemsen of Edinboro in the quarterfinals.
Top-ranked Cole Konrad made it seven Golden Gophers in the quarterfinals with his 9-1 major decision against Cleveland State's Rashard Goff. Konrad secured the bonus point with a takedown with just five seconds to go in the match. Konrad extended his school record winning streak to 73 and improved to 32-0 on the season.
Minnesota's two unseeded wrestlers couldn't duplicate their first-round wins and will compete in tomorrow's consolation bracket. Sophomore Tyler Safratowich struggled from the start against No. 9 Matt Pell of Missouri at 165 pounds. Leading 4-1 after the first period, Pell put the match away with a takedown and three-point near fall to start the second. Safratowich will face Virginia Tech's Eric Decker in tomorrow's consolation bracket.
Junior Gabriel Dretsch was also sent to the consolation bracket after he was pinned by No. 1 Ben Askren of Missouri at 174 pounds. Trailing 6-4 in the second period, Dretsch nearly tied the match with a takedown near the edge of the mat. Askren followed that with a takedown of his own and recorded the fall. Askren has won a nation-best 83 straight matches. Dretsch will face No. 12 Mike Letts of Maryland in tomorrow's consolation bracket.
Friday's third session will begin at 10 a.m. Central. Fans can watch the quarterfinals live on ESPN360. Live results are also available through InterMat.
1. Minnesota, 34.0 (7)
2. Missouri, 29.5 (3)
3. Iowa State, 27.5 (4)
4. Penn State, 24.0 (3)
5. Iowa, 20.0 (3)
6. Cornell, 19.0 (4)
7. Oklahoma State, 18.0 (4)
8. Edinboro, 17.5 (3)
9t. Hofstra, 17.0 (4)
9t. Northwestern, 17.0 (4)
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 vs. No. 5 Charlie Falck (Iowa)
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 - Reiter vs. No. 2 Matt Valenti (Penn)
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 - Rivera vs. Don Fisch (Rider)
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 vs. Tyler Turner (Wisconsin)
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 - Schlatter vs. No. 5 Michael Poeta (Illinois)
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 vs. Eric Decker (Virginia Tech)
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 vs. No. 12 Mike Letts (Maryland)
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 vs. No. 7 Alex Clemsen (Edinboro)
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 vs. No. 9 Michael Spaid (Bloomsburg)