A trio of competitors with ties to the Minnesota wrestling program placed this weekend at the 2011 Northern Plains Junior and Senior Regional Championships in Waterloo, Iowa including Dylan Ness, who took home top honors in the senior 66 kg bracket to advance to the senior world team freestyle trials in Oklahoma City on June 10-11.
Ness, a true freshman last year for the Gophers, went 3-0 on Saturday with wins over Brett Robbins in his opening match (pin: 8-1, 1:33) and Chris LeClere (decision: 6-0, 3-0), before topping Joe Johnston in the finals (pin: 2-1, 0:47).
Meanwhile, Jake Kettler placed second in the 120 kg senior Greco-Roman division. Kettler previously earned an automatic bid to the world team freestyle trials after finishing fourth at the U.S. Open.
In the senior 60 kg bracket, Chris Dardanes finished third after going 3-1 in the event. Dardanes opened the day with a win over Cody Garcia (decision: 0-1, 6-0, 6-1) before falling to Tyler Graff (decision: 7-0, 1-0). The freshman battled back following the loss with a pair of wins, topping Julian Gunnels (tech. fall: 6-0, 6-0) before adding his second win of the day over Garcia (pin: 2-6, 4-3, 0:58).