Eleven Minnesota wrestlers, participating as unattached competitors, placed at the 2010 Husky Open last weekend in St. Cloud, Minn. including three Gophers who earned individual titles at the event.
The 133 lbs. championship match was an all-Minnesota affair as freshman Drew Lexvold picked up his fourth win of the day in an 11-6 decision over Gophers redshirt freshman David Thorn. After a first-round bye, Lexvold pinned his first opponent, Julus Stone of Ridgewater, at 2:53 before scoring three wins via decision to claim his second individual title of the season. Thorn, who advanced to the second round with a bye, opened the day with a decision victory before scoring two-straight falls to get to the finals. Randy Hanson and Brandon Bigelbach also competed in the Husky Open for Minnesota, each finishing the event with a 1-2 record.
Freshman Nick Dardanes also picked up his second title of the season on Saturday, sprinting through the 141 lbs. bracket with a 4-0 record including a pair of major decisions. Dardanes, the No. 1 seed at 141 lbs., edged Augsburg's Cody Hansen in the finals with a 9-6 decision. Fellow Gophers freshman Seth Lange placed third in the weight class with a 5-1 record. Lange scored three-straight decision victories before falling to Hansen via decision in the semifinals. But the freshman bounced back with a 10-3 decision over teammate Thomas Giaimo, who posted a 4-2 record at the Husky Open, before scoring a 14-3 major decision over Robby Fisher in the consolation final.
Three members of the Minnesota contingent placed in the 149 lbs. bracket including Dylan Ness, who scored a fall at 2:22 over Augsburg's Tony Valek in the finals to cap an impressive day in St. Cloud. After a first-round bye, Ness opened the tournament with two-straight pins before scoring a 12-2 major decision over teammate Matt Mincey in the semifinals. Mincey would battle back however in the consolation bracket, earning a 4-3 decision over Minnesota's David Zilverberg in the semifinals and then scoring a 16-0 technical fall over Jesse Westphal to finish third. Zilverberg would go on to finish fifth after a 9-7 decision over Jacob Horn of SCSU. Austin Enoch and Ryan Blake also competed in the 149 lbs. bracket but did not place.
The Gophers also posted a pair of second-place finishes in the 197 and 285 lbs. brackets. Redshirt freshman Jake Kettler went 3-0 with a major decision to reach the heavyweight final, where he dropped a 4-0 decision to top-seeded Jake Kahnke of St. Cloud State. Meanwhile, freshman Scott Schiller scored a pair of falls and added an 11-3 major decision win in the semifinals of the 197 lbs. bracket before falling to St. Cloud's Lucas Munkelwitz, the top-seeded grappler in the bracket, via 3-1 decision in the finals.
Freshman Corey Hodowanic placed sixth as the Gophers lone representative in the 125 lbs. bracket. Hodowanic went 3-3 at the Husky Open including a loss via 9-3 decision to David Demo in the fifth-place match. In the 165 lbs. bracket, redshirt junior Brian Peterson bounced back from a first-round loss to place sixth in the weight class. Peterson finished the day with a 3-2 record.
Minnesota returns to action later this month at the Southern Scuffle in Greensboro, N.C. The two-day event begins on Wednesday, Dec. 29.