The No. 8 University of Minnesota wrestling team finished third with 89.0 points at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, held Friday and Saturday at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev. No. 6 Nebraska won the team title with 124.5 points while No. 4 Cornell finished second with 91.0 points.
Minnesota was led by redshirt freshman Zach Sanders, who was the Gophers’ top finisher as the runner-up at 125 pounds. Sanders, ranked 14th nationally and the sixth seed in this weekend’s event, gained big wins over #9 Marcus Orozco of UC-Davis in the quarterfinal round and #7 Anthony Robles of Arizona State in the semifinals to extend his season-opening winning streak to 15 matches. The Wabasha, Minn. saw his remarkable run come to an end as he dropped his first match of the season to Penn’s #6 Rollie Peterkin in the championship bout. Peterkin gained an 11-6 decision win over Sanders on Saturday night.
Two-time All-American Jayson Ness parlayed three pins over the course of the weekend into a third place finish at 133 pounds. Ness’ 5-1 weekend record included a pair of wins over #19 Jimmy Conroy of Pittsburgh and a win over #17 T.J. Dillashaw of Cal State-Fullerton.
Mike Thorn placed sixth at 141 pounds on the strength of a solid weekend showing that included a 5-3 decision win over Ohio State’s top-ranked and defending national champion J Jaggers in the consolation round. Thorn, ranked 10th at 141 pounds in the most recent InterMat/NWCA rankings, also defeated #17 Filip Novachkov.
Scott Glasser (165 pounds) and Ben Berhow (Hwt.) also finished on the podium in their respective weight classes, each placing 8th.
The Gophers are off until Dec. 21 when they will travel to Lincoln, Neb. to take on Nebraska in their fourth dual meet of the season.