The Golden Gopher wrestling program announced its season awards at its annual team banquet on Sunday evening. NCAA Champion Cole Konrad was named the team’s Most Valuable Wrestler, while true freshman Dustin Schlatter was named the team’s Most Outstanding Wrestler after becoming the first rookie in school history to win a national title.
Konrad became the third wrestler in school history to post an undefeated season with a 41-0 record. He won the national title with an overtime decision against two-time NCAA Champion Steve Mocco of Oklahoma State. Konrad was also named the team’s Most Dedicated Wrestler. In addition, he was honored for his team-leading 16 pins on the year.
Schlatter finished his freshman season with a 42-1 record, the fourth-highest win total in school history. He won the national title at 149 pounds with a 4-0 decision against second-seeded Ty Eustice of Iowa. Schlatter was also named the team’s Most Outstanding Freshman.
Senior Matt Nagel was the recipient of the Verne Gagne Leadership Award. The lone senior on the roster, he helped lead a young Minnesota squad to a Big Ten Championship and a second-place finish at the NCAA Championships. A 2005 All-American, Nagel finished runner-up at the Big Ten Championships at 165 pounds. The Frazee, Minn., native closed out his career with a 100-60 record and three trips to the NCAA Tournament.
Other awards given out included the Fraser Dean Most Courageous Wrestler and the Chris Berglin Most Improved Wrestler. Sophomore Mitch Kuhlman was named the most courageous after moving from 165 pounds to 197 pounds this year. He finished with three Big Ten victories. Sophomore Roger Kish was named the most improved after finishing second at the NCAA Championships. He also won the 184-pound title at the Big Ten Championships. Jason Waidzulis and Tyler Safratowich were the recipients of the Teammates Award for their contributions in the practice and locker rooms.
Academic awards were presented to a pair of Golden Gopher wrestlers. Jeremy Larson was the upperclassmen honoree after posting a 3.524 GPA. Chris McPhail was the freshman honoree with his 3.50 GPA.
2005-06 Team Awards
Most Valuable Wrestler Award: Cole Konrad
Most Outstanding Wrestler Award: Dustin Schlatter
Most Outstanding Freshman Award: Dustin Schlatter
Verne Gagne Leadership Award: Matt Nagel
Fraser Dean Most Courageous Wrestler Award: Mitch Kuhlman
Most Dedicated Wrestler: Cole Konrad
Chris Berglin Most Improved Award: Roger Kish
Most Falls Award: Cole Konrad
Teammate Awards: Jason Waidzulis, Tyler Safratowich
Upperclassmen Academic Award: Jeremy Larson
Freshman Academic Award: Chris McPhail