WRESTLING


11/21/2011, 12:00am

Gophers top No. 2 Penn State, split weekend

The No. 4 Gophers wrestling team split two duals this weekend, falling to No. 5 Cornell on Friday and defeating No. 2 Penn State on Sunday. As is fast becoming a theme in this young season, Minnesota jumped out to a quick start Sunday in a 23-14 win over the defending NCAA Champions Penn State. The Gophers boast several quality wrestlers at their lightweights. Zach Sanders (125 pounds) and David Thorn (133) earned wins. Thorn and Nick Dardanes (141) earned major decisions and after three matches, Minnesota led 11-0.


11/17/2011, 12:00am

Tough early season road trip awaits

With only one event under its belt, the Gophers wrestling team will hit the road this weekend for one of its toughest tests of the season. No. 4 Minnesota will compete in road duals against No. 5 Cornell on Friday and No. 1 Penn State on Sunday. The Nittany Lions are the defending NCAA Champions. High-profile matches this early in the season are a little out of the ordinary, according to heavyweight Tony Nelson.


11/14/2011, 12:00am

Gophers dominate Bison Open

Matched up against watered-down competition, the Gophers wrestling team went into the Bison Open and took care of business. The team captured nine individual titles, including at 157 pounds, where Jake Deitchler competed for the first time in more than a year. The only weight class Minnesota didnâÄôt win was 174, in which true freshman Logan Storley took second. He reached the title match, but an injury default forced him from the bout. Coaches were not available for comment on StorleyâÄôs injury.


11/10/2011, 12:00am

Gophers get started with Bison Open

For the seventh consecutive season, the Gophers wrestling team will open its season at the Bison Open in Fargo, N.D. âÄúThe Bison [Open] is going to be a good indicator of where our guys are at,âÄù assistant head coach Brandon Eggum said. âÄúFor a number of weights, some guys are using that to determine whoâÄôs the starter at that position.âÄù The Bison Open will take place in the Bison Sports Arena on the campus of North Dakota State University.


11/10/2011, 12:00am

Jake Deitchler expected to return as Minnesota begins with Bison Open

After finishing seventh in the NCAA championships last year, the No. 4 GophersâÄô wrestling team will try to rise back to the top of the college wrestling world. Four returning All-Americans, a promising collection of youngsters and the potential return of former phenom Jake Deitchler may help achieve that. âÄúThis is a hard year to predict,âÄù assistant head coach Brandon Eggum said. âÄúWeâÄôve got a lot of young guys that are very talented that we expect big things from.âÄù


7/26/2011, 12:00am

The Transition: Joe Russell leaving Gophers staff

Joe Russell enjoyed a few passing moments in his office Monday with his wife Sadie and their 8-month-old son, Taft. He knows those moments in Minnesota are fleeting as he enters a liminal stage in his coaching career. Russell announced two weeks ago that he would step down as head assistant wrestling coach for the Gophers to accept a head coaching position at George Mason University. With boxes strewn about his office and Taft playing with toys in a corner of the disheveled room, Russell acknowledged the change will be bittersweet.


3/21/2011, 12:00am

Thorn 3rd, Minnesota 7th at NCAA championships

Despite a disappointing seventh-place finish in the team race, Minnesota grabbed five All-America honors at the NCAA championships, four from wrestlers who will return next season. The All-American who will not be returning, however, is senior captain Mike Thorn (141 pounds), who took third and was the teamâÄôs highest finisher. Last year, senior captain Jayson Ness highlighted the GophersâÄô NCAA championships with closing-seconds heroics. This year, Mike Thorn got his chance. Thorn beat rival Montell Marion of Iowa 4-3 in the waning seconds of their consolation match.


3/7/2011, 12:00am

Three finalists, no titles at Big Ten championships

The Gophers wrestling team finished third Sunday at the Big Ten championships, but Iowa and Penn StateâÄôs neck-and-neck team race made Minnesota seem like an also-ran. Penn State won the team championship, ending IowaâÄôs three-year reign as kings of the Big Ten and earning the schoolâÄôs first conference title since joining the Big Ten in 1993. The Gophers sent three wrestlers to the finals but came away with no individual champions.


3/3/2011, 12:00am

Big Ten championships provide shot at redemption

Though the Gophers wrestling team dropped a chance at the regular season Big Ten title, the Big Ten championships offer a shot at redemption. After tying Penn State and losing to Iowa in the final two weeks of the regular season, the team will look to prove that it belongs with the class of the Big Ten.


2/23/2011, 12:00am

J Robinson publicly reprimanded by Big Ten conference

The Big Ten Conference issued a public reprimand Tuesday of Gophers head wrestling coach J Robinson for âÄúviolating the Big Ten Sportslike Conduct Agreement following MinnesotaâÄôs dual match against Penn State on Feb. 13.âÄù Assistant commissioner Scott Chipman issued a release that said some of RobinsonâÄôs post-match comments were in violation of the Agreement, presumably those from a Q&A with Robinson posted by the Daily Collegian âÄî Penn StateâÄôs student newspaper âÄî following an 18-18 tie in which Robinson said:


2/21/2011, 12:00am

Make that 77; Iowa tops Minnesota again

The Big Ten dual season championship was there for Minnesota to take Sunday, but a come-from-behind effort was quashed on a day that must have been bittersweet for J Robinson, who was honored before the meet for 25 years at the helm of the program. âÄúItâÄôs great, you donâÄôt think about it much, but I guess 25 years is a long time,âÄù Robinson joked after his teamâÄôs 19-12 loss at the hands of Iowa. âÄúWe had a chance to win it, we just didnâÄôt do what we needed to do.âÄù


2/17/2011, 12:00am

Honoring J, then wrestling for a title

In his quarter century with Gophers wrestling, J Robinson has vaulted the program to new heights. The team will return the favor Sunday, putting Robinson on a pedestal rather than the other way around. When the No. 3 Hawkeyes come to Williams Arena on Sunday, Robinson will be honored for his 25 years at the helm of Minnesota wrestling. There figures to be plenty at stake for Robinson and his Gophers this weekend. For starters, Iowa is carrying a 76-dual unbeaten streak, matching the longest since Oklahoma StateâÄôs 14-year streak that ended in 1951.


2/14/2011, 12:00am

Big 10 supremacy no clearer after tie

Filling one of the biggest holes in the GophersâÄô lineup, Sonny Yohn came back Sunday from a knee injury and a 10-week hiatus with the dual on the line. Yohn entered with No. 5 Minnesota trailing No. 3 Penn State by a point, much to the delight of the 4,020 fans gathered at the Sports Pavilion. They roared as the All-American, who has been out since the Southern Scuffle, burst from the locker room.


2/10/2011, 12:00am

Season nearing a close with top-10 opponents on tap

After dominating Ohio State last weekend, the Gophers wrestling team has a difficult weekend ahead. Minnesota (14-3 overall, 6-0 Big Ten) first heads to Ann Arbor to take on No. 10 Michigan, a good team, but not the biggest obstacle of the weekend. The biggest challenge will come Sunday at the Sports Pavilion when No. 3 Penn State comes to town. Penn State, which was recently ranked No. 1, features ranked wrestlers at eight out of 10 weight classes and will likely contend for a national title.


2/7/2011, 12:00am

Wary of an upset, Minnesota dominates

The Gophers wrestling team controlled the action from start to finish Saturday as they throttled underdog Ohio State 31-9. Though the dual didnâÄôt start at 125 pounds, where the teamâÄôs strength at lower weights often gives it an early lead, 4th-ranked Minnesota (14-3, 5-0 Big Ten) still found a way command the evening. Joe Nord (197) was the victim of a fall, and the Gophers trailed 6-3 after two matches, but then they hit the gas and never bothered to look in the rearview mirror.


2/3/2011, 12:00am

Beware the ‘Bucks; Gophers not taking Ohio State lightly

While it would be easy to overlook an Ohio State team coming off a 27-9 defeat at the hands of then-No. 13 Michigan, Minnesota wrestling assistant head coach Joe RussellâÄôs message to the team this week has been, donâÄôt sleep on the âÄôBucks. In his words: âÄúYou canâÄôt go to any Big Ten dual and not expect it to be a fight. There are always good guys and itâÄôs never easy.âÄù Though Ohio State has dropped consecutive duals âÄî before Michigan it took a 33-3 shellacking from Iowa âÄî Minnesota has a tough stretch coming up and needs Big Ten wins wherever it can get them.


2/1/2011, 12:00am

Volkmann stays firm on Prez bashing

Not many high school coaches have had the displeasure of a Secret Service visit interrupting a wrestling practice. But then again, not many high school wrestling coaches have said publicly that they would like to âÄúknock some sense into that idiotâÄù about President Barack Obama. Former Gophers All-American Jacob Volkmann, an Ultimate Fighting Championship competitor, coaches the White Bear Lake Area High School wrestling team two days a week. After winning his most recent fight with Antonio McKee on Jan. 1 at UFC 125, Volkmann was asked who heâÄôd like to fight next.


2/1/2011, 12:00am

Volkmann stays firm on Prez bashing

Not many high school coaches have had the displeasure of a Secret Service visit interrupting a wrestling practice. But then again, not many high school wrestling coaches have said publicly that they would like to âÄúknock some sense into that idiotâÄù about President Barack Obama. Former Gophers All-American Jacob Volkmann, an Ultimate Fighting Championship competitor, coaches the White Bear Lake Area High School wrestling team two days a week. After winning his most recent fight with Antonio McKee on Jan. 1 at UFC 125, Volkmann was asked who heâÄôd like to fight next.


1/27/2011, 12:00am

Plenty of confidence and a shot at revenge with Badgers in town

After dropping a close dual earlier this season to its border rival, No. 4 Minnesota will host No. 3 Wisconsin Sunday, looking for revenge. The two teams met in early January at the National Duals where Wisconsin edged the Gophers (12-3 overall, 3-0 Big Ten) by a 19-17 margin. âÄúWisconsin is a tough team, but I think the confidence that [we] have hopefully going into this weekend will show on the mat,âÄù assistant coach Brandon Eggum said. That confidence is inspired by a number of circumstances that seem to tilt the tables MinnesotaâÄôs way in this bout.


1/26/2011, 12:00am

Subbing for Sonny, senior Nord a starter at last

One might think that when fifth-year senior Joe Nord was tapped to replace injured All-American Sonny Yohn at 197-pounds, he would jump at the opportunity. Not so fast. âÄúIf I could give anything, IâÄôd have Sonny in the lineup, because itâÄôs better for the team,âÄù Nord said. âÄúBut itâÄôs not the way itâÄôs worked out.âÄù Come again? âÄúIt really seems like our team has a legit shot to win the national title, and I just want to be a part of that any way I can. If thatâÄôs keeping Sonny healthy [and] in the lineup, then thatâÄôs [what I want to do].âÄù