With the exception of the 2012-13 season, the Gophers have brought home seven or more individual titles at the Bison Open since they started competing at the meet in 2005.
No. 1 Minnesota continued that dominance Saturday, winning seven individual titles and having a wrestler compete in all 10 weight-class title matches.
Redshirt senior Nick Dardanes won his fourth consecutive title at the meet with a victory in the 141-pound weight class, and senior Logan Storley won the 174-pound weight class, his third Bison Open title.
Dardanes was 4-0 going into the first-place match, defeating two opponents by major decisions and one with a pin. In the title match, he defeated North Dakota State’s Mitchell Bengtson with an 8-4 decision.
“It was kind of expected for me to win the Bison Open,” Dardanes said. “Winning it the past three years, I was expected to win a fourth [title].”
Storley was also dominant in his weight class. He pinned his opponent in the quarterfinal just 25 seconds into the match and won the semifinal by an 11-0 major decision.
In the title match, Storley pinned South Dakota State’s Ben Schwery 24 seconds into the second period, giving him his three-peat.
“I think I wrestled well overall,” Storley said. “I wrestled offensive the whole time this tournament, and you know, this is my senior year. I want to make it exciting.”
The other Gophers that won titles were Sam Brancale, Chris Dardanes, Jake Short, Dylan Ness and Nick Wanzek.
Brancale, Short and Wanzek were competing for a starting spot in their respective weight classes — 125, 149 and 165.
They were pitted against teammates in their title matches.
Out of the three, the Gophers swept the top four positions in the 125- and 165-pound weight class competitions.
Head assistant coach Brandon Eggum mentioned last week that each of those three weight classes has a vacant starting spot that is up for grabs.
The Bison Open has given the team a better idea of who will take the starting positions.
“[The tournament] has definitely helped us moving forward on who the initial starter is,” Eggum said. “But one thing that we remind our guys is that this is a full season, so the wrestler who won that position right now is the frontrunner. [However], he has to wrestle every week, and he has to show that he can be aggressive and [score] points.”
Schiller leaves injured
Redshirt senior Scott Schiller suffered an injury in the title match against South Dakota State’s Nathan Rotert.
Schiller almost had a takedown at the edge when he felt that something was hurting. A trainer went over to Schiller, checked him out and advised him to discontinue the match.
Eggum said the injury wasn’t a serious one.
“We will see when we get back on Monday on where [Schiller] is at, and if he will be good to go as soon as this [upcoming] week,” Eggum said. “I am not entirely sure, but [we will] leave that to the trainers back home.”