Jayson Ness won twice on Saturday to place third at the NCAA wrestling championships and lead a trio of Minnesota All-Americans in St. Louis.
Zach Sanders also placed sixth at 125 pounds and Tyler Safratowich was eighth at 157 pounds on the final day for the Gophers, who placed 14th overall with 35 team points. Iowa won its second straight national championship with 96.5 points, holding off Ohio State by 4.5 points as the Buckeyes had two of their three finalists lose in their title match.
Ness has finished in the top five at nationals in each of his three seasons at Minnesota, placing runner-up last year and fifth as a freshman at 125 pounds. He moved up to 133 pounds this season and finished the year 38-8 overall while seeded sixth at nationals.
Ness opened the day by avenging a loss to third-seeded Jimmy Kennedy of Illinois from the Big Ten championships. Ness beat Kennedy by the same score in which he lost two weeks ago with an 8-2 decision. He followed with a 7-3 win over Boise State’s Andrew Hochstrasser in the third-place match.
Sanders lost both of his matches on Saturday, dropping his opener to Anthony Robles of Arizona State 19-10. Robles, seeded 12th and well-known for his wrestling success with just one leg, built an 11-1 lead through the first period with three near falls in the opening three minutes.
Sanders lost in the fifth place match to third-seeded Angel Escobedo of Indiana 8-0. It was the second straight day he lost to the defending national champion after Escobedo posted an 8-1 victory in the quarterfinals on Friday. Sanders finished the season with a 39-10 record.
Safratowich lost in his only match on Saturday in overtime with a 4-2 setback against Chase Pemi of Cal Poly. Pemi recorded a takedown in the extra time to earn the sudden victory and drop Safratowich’s season record to 32-15.