In a matchup between two of the nation's top programs, the No. 3 Minnesota wrestling team came up just one point short, losing to No. 2 Oklahoma State 17-16 on Sunday afternoon at the Sports Pavilion.
Despite battling a lower body injury that nearly kept him out of competition this weekend, redshirt senior Scott Glasser started the dual out for the Gophers at 174 lbs., taking on Oklahoma State's Mike Benefiel in one of the most anticipated matches of the day. Glasser, ranked 11th in the nation by Intermat, blanked tenth-ranked Benefiel with a 3-0 decision in the first of two-straight decisions that went in Minnesota's favor. Unranked redshirt freshman Kevin Steinhaus pulled off the upset of the dual after Glasser's opening win, scoring an 8-2 decision against No. 8 Chris Perry.
But the Cowboys would get on the board in the third match of the day, when Minnesota redshirt junior Sonny Yohn and Oklahoma State's Clayton Foster battled in a rematch of this year's NWCA All-Star Classic. Foster, ranked fourth in the country, wore No. 5 Yohn down throughout the match and held on for a 7-4 decision to cut the Gophers lead in half 6-3.
Minnesota (3-1 overall, 0-0 Big Ten) would regain its momentum in the heavyweight match between No. 9 Tony Nelson, a redshirt freshman, and Blake Rosholt of Oklahoma State. Nelson scored a 5-1 decision over the Cowboys' heavyweight to give Rosholt his first loss of the season. Oklahoma State would pick up a slight upset of its own in the following match, however, when No. 9 John Morrison handed No. 4 Zach Sanders his first loss of the season with a 7-5 decision in the first overtime period. Sanders scored a late takedown near the end of the third period and dropped Morrison's riding time under one minute to force the one-minute overtime period. But Morrison's takedown sealed the match for the Cowboys and No. 1 Jordan Oliver's 22-7 major decision over sophomore Thane Antczak gave Oklahoma State its first lead of the dual at 9-11.
All-American redshirt senior Mike Thorn briefly put the Gophers back on top with a major decision (11-3) over No. 19 Luke Silver but a pair of decisions in the Cowboys favor (No. 5 Jamal Parks over Danny Zilverberg 2-0 at 149 lbs. and No. 10 Albert White over Pat Smith 10-3 at 157 lbs.) put Oklahoma State up 17-13 heading into the day's finale - a 165 lbs. matchup between No. 9 Cody Yohn and No. 7 Dallas Bailey.
Sunday's finale didn't disappoint as Yohn, a redshirt sophomore, tried valiantly to earn a tie for the Gophers, eventually picking up a 6-4 decision over Bailey, who had beaten Yohn earlier this year.
Minnesota returns to action next Thursday on the road against Nebraska.