Junior Gabriel Dretsch has been named TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week for Dec. 5-11. The Frazee, Minn., native posted a pair of pivotal victories last week to help the Golden Gophers defeat top-ranked Oklahoma State and No. 7 Iowa State.
With the score tied at 12 against the Cowboys, the 13th-ranked Dretsch earned a 3-1 win over No. 8 Brandon Mason to lift the Gophers to the victory. Dretsch scored a takedown late in the first period for what turned out to be the deciding factor in the match. Dretsch was 1-2 against Mason last season.
On Friday against the Cyclones, the score was again tied heading into the 174-pound match. Dretsch trailed ISU’s Grant Turner, 4-3, with under a minute remaining. After tying the score with an escape, Dretsch scored the winning takedown with less than five seconds remaining and earned back points to win the match, 8-4. Dretsch’s victory put Minnesota ahead 12-9 on its way to a 19-13 victory.
Dretsch moved up to No. 8 in the USA Today/Intermat/NWCA Coaches Poll this week. A two-time NCAA qualifier, he is now 12-3 on the season with three consecutive wins.
Each week, TheMat.com selects an Athlete of the Week based upon performance within wrestling for that week. The selection committee considers any level of wrestling, from youth programs through the Senior level. The announcement is made each week on Wednesday.