Nov. 26, 2012
The No. 1 Golden Gophers have announced the addition of three in-state wrestlers for the 2013-14 season. Jake Short, Nick Wanzek, and Nate Thomas all signed National Letters of Intent during the early signing period to wrestle next fall.
As the newest powerhouse in Minnesota’s most decorated wrestling family, Jake Short follows in his relative’s footsteps as a high school state champion (his father Will, and Uncles Chris and Wade won two and his Uncle John won one), but is the first in his family to win three individual titles. The Inver Grove Heights, Minn., native, is currently tabbed as the No. 1 high school wrestler in the 145-pound weight class and No. 8 overall senior in the country. Headed into his final season, Short boasted an overall record of 189-20. He has helped Simley High School win three of its five consecutive state titles and is a U.S. Cadet and U.S. Junior folkstyle national champion and a U.S. Junior freestyle national runner-up. Short also plays football as running back for the Spartans.
Also hailing from Inver Grove Heights, Nick Wanzek will join teammate Jake Short at the University of Minnesota next fall. A two-time Minnesota state champion, Wanzek is ranked at No. 3 nationally and No. 27 overall at 152 pounds. With a 174-30 record from freshman to junior year, Wanzek also played a crucial role in Simley’s five-year dominance in the state championship tournament. On the national level, Wanzek claimed championship titles in junior folkstyle and cadet folkstyle divisions, while placing second in junior freestyle. He was named to the 2012 MWCA All-State Academic Team for his work in the classroom and, like Short, Wanzek also participates on the Simley High School football team.
A native of Mantorville, Minn., Nate Thomas rounds out the trio of early signees. Thomas is a two-time Minnesota state finalist, claiming the Class AA 103-pound championship as a freshman and finishing second as a sophomore at 112 lbs. for Kasson-Mantorville High School. After missing much of his junior season due to injury, Thomas is back for the Komets as a senior. Thomas has also competed on the U.S. circuit in freestyle, folkstyle, and Greco-Roman. In 2012 he earned second place in the 126-pound freestyle at the Northern Plains Championships.
Gophers Compete in Junior World Team Trials
Four Minnesota wrestlers were among those seeking a spot on Team USA in the weekend qualifying tournament hosted in Irving, Texas
McKee Wins Thriller at Beat the Streets
Overcoming deficits of 2-0 and 4-2, Gopher commit Mitch McKee earned a thrilling victory over the Asian junior champion at Beat the Streets in Times Square
Minnesota graduates four wrestlers from this year’s roster, each with their own unique path forward now that their collegiate wrestling careers have ended