WRESTLING


11/10/2014, 12:00am

Gophers dominate field at Bison Open

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.


11/6/2014, 12:00am

Minnesota begins season on top

The beginning of any season brings high hopes and expectations. For the Gophers wrestling team, which will begin the season as the No. 1 team in the nation, those high expectations aren’t unfounded. Minnesota finished second at the NCAA championships in March, just behind Penn State.


3/24/2014, 12:00am

Nelson, Ness place second, Gophers can’t overcome Penn State

A wild weekend for the Gophers wrestling team featured upsets, disappointments and avenged losses at the NCAA tournament. Minnesota placed second when it was all said and done, racking up 104 team points and falling shy of Penn State’s 109.5 points. The Gophers looked poised to win the competition, holding the team-score lead heading into the final round with two wrestlers competing for individual titles. Still, neither two-time defending heavyweight champion Tony Nelson nor 157-pounder Dylan Ness was able to come away with a title.


3/10/2014, 12:00am

Nelson wins, Gophers take third at Big Tens

The No. 1 Gophers wrestling team looked poised to capture the Big Ten crown after the first session of the Big Ten tournament. Minnesota was alone in first place and had nine wrestlers competing in semifinal matches. The team slid Saturday night, though, losing eight of those nine semifinal matches. It culminated in a somewhat disappointing third-place finish at the Big Ten tournament. The Gophers finished with 114.5 points, behind Penn State (140.5) in first place and Iowa (134) in second place.


3/6/2014, 12:00am

Minnesota prepares for Big Ten meet

No. 1 Minnesota has done its part this season to prove it’s the best in the nation. This weekend, the Gophers will travel to Madison, Wis., with an opportunity to solidify their spot in the rankings at the Big Ten tournament. The tournament features the No. 2 and No. 3 teams in the nation and will serve as yet another test for Minnesota. The Gophers boast a lineup featuring eight wrestlers ranked in the top 10 of their respective weight classes. Minnesota has held the No. 1 ranking as a team since upsetting Penn State on Feb. 9.


3/5/2014, 12:00am

Ness brothers motivate each other

In the basement of the Bierman Field Athletic Building, a life long rivalry between an All-American and a former NCAA champion brews at every practice. Dylan Ness, the All-American, and his older brother, Jayson Ness, the former champion, still compete against one another. Jayson, now an assistant with the Gophers, said there’s never been much of a rivalry, though — because his younger brother never stood a chance when they were kids.


2/24/2014, 12:00am

Minnesota closes dual season with win

It takes a special kind of dominance to safely rest three starters in a matchup against a top-20 team. No. 1 Minnesota did just that against No. 17 Iowa State over the weekend. And the Gophers still cruised to a 27-12 win over the Cyclones to move their record to 14-1 this season. “We’re the best dual-meet team in the country,” head assistant coach Brandon Eggum said. “There isn’t anybody out there who can match our intensity up and down the lineup.”


2/20/2014, 12:00am

Schiller searches for rebound win

No. 1 Minnesota has been nothing short of dominant this year, with the exception of its one loss to Michigan in January. Aside from that match, the Gophers have won every dual — and most of them in resounding fashion. And for most of the season, No. 5-ranked 197-pounder Scott Schiller has proven to be no less impressive — until the last week and a half.


2/18/2014, 12:00am

Gophers win third straight National Duals

If anyone was wondering whether the Gophers wrestling team deserves its No. 1 ranking, the team put those qualms to rest Monday with a dominant 24-15 win over No. 4 Cornell to win the NWCA National Duals. The Gophers have now won three straight National Duals titles. No. 1 Minnesota has picked up head-to-head victories over No. 2 Penn State, No. 3 Iowa and No. 4 Cornell this season. The Gophers’ weekend, capped by the win over Cornell in the National Duals final, also featured overwhelming wins over No. 20 North Dakota State and No. 13 Ohio State.


2/17/2014, 12:00am

Gophers advance with 35-3 win over NDSU

No. 1 Minnesota defeated No. 20 North Dakota State 35-3 on Sunday at the NWCA National Duals in Columbus, Ohio. The Gophers advanced to the semifinals with the win and will wrestle again Monday afternoon. Minnesota received a first-round bye before taking on NDSU. The Bison defeated No. 19 Chattanooga in the first round to earn the right the take on the Gophers. Minnesota wrestlers David Thorn (133 pounds) and Dylan Ness (157) both pinned their opponents to take a commanding lead for the team.


2/13/2014, 12:00am

Gophers try for three- peat at National Duals

If beating the No. 1 team in the nation wasn’t enough to show its merit, No. 2 Minnesota will be afforded an opportunity to bolster its resume this weekend. The team will face a slew of the nation’s top teams at the NWCA National Duals in Columbus, Ohio.


2/10/2014, 12:00am

Gophers upset Penn State in front of sold-out crowd

No. 2 Minnesota upset No. 1 Penn State and won a share of the Big Ten title Sunday in front of packed crowd of about 5,600 fans at the Sports Pavilion. A thrilling dual came down to the final match of the afternoon, and two-time NCAA heavyweight champion Tony Nelson did not disappoint. Nelson, who had lost his previous three matches, beat Penn State’s Jon Gingrich to give his team an 18-17 victory. Nelson said he relishes the opportunity to win the dual for his team.


2/10/2014, 12:00am

Column: Raucous crowd lifted Gophers, ya feel me?

Tony Nelson took his time exiting the locker room after Minnesota’s dual against No. 1 Penn State on Sunday. Nelson exchanged pleasantries with fans, posed for pictures and signed autographs for young admirers — all of whom watched the two-time NCAA heavyweight champion wrestle at the Sports Pavilion for the last time. He surely gave them something to remember. An announced crowd of 5,603 packed the Pav to the rafters, with more than half of those fans showing up at least an hour early.


2/6/2014, 12:00am

Minnesota preps for No. 1 Penn State

No. 1 versus No. 2. Check. A sold-out arena. Check. A rivalry matchup to close out the dual season. Check. The matchup has been building, and now all that’s left are the actual matches. No. 2 Minnesota will host No. 1 Penn State this weekend in a battle of Big Ten and NCAA powerhouses. The Gophers wrestling team has lost only one dual this year — an upset loss to then-No. 19 Michigan. The Nittany Lions haven’t lost yet.


2/4/2014, 12:00am

Column: Only the postseason matters for Nelson, ya feel me?

It’s one of the oldest clichés in all of sports: It’s not about how you start; it’s about how you finish. It became a cliché because it’s applicable to almost every situation in sports. It’s about how you finish out halves or periods. It’s about how you finish out games or matches. It’s about how you finish out seasons. And in senior star wrestler Tony Nelson’s case, it’s about how you finish out a career.


2/4/2014, 12:00am

Off the mat, an even fiercer fight

Gophers wrestling matches at the Sports Pavilion usually start off with a 125-pound bout. If head assistant coach Brandon Eggum had his way, though, the matches would instead kick off with a fashion show. A catwalk, flashing lights, bumping walk-out music — anything that would allow the Gophers coaching staff to “strut their stuff” down the runway in the name of winning best-dressed. Minnesota’s coaches have been competing for the honor at every home dual meet since 2011, and they take it seriously.


2/3/2014, 12:00am

Gophers pummel Hoosiers 35-6

In its first dual since moving back to No. 2 in the NCAA rankings, the Gophers wrestling team pounced on Indiana from the get-go in a 35-6 rout. It was a dominant win, but it didn’t come without a speed bump — two-time defending NCAA heavyweight champion Tony Nelson dropped another match, his third loss in a row and fourth in his last six matches. Nelson expressed respect for his opponent after the match, but said he’s looking forward to meeting him again in the Big Ten and, potentially, the NCAA tournaments.


1/30/2014, 12:00am

Nelson hopes to rebound

Senior heavyweight Tony Nelson doesn’t lose often. And losing twice is almost unheard of. In fact, the two-time defending NCAA heavyweight champion’s 2-3 record in the last three weeks matches his losses from the last two seasons combined. So, what’s going on? His teammate, junior Logan Storley, said he thinks Nelson has a target on his back. “Guys wrestle him hard,” Storley said. “They are trying to slow him down.” And so far, they have ­— to a degree.


1/27/2014, 12:00am

Gophers bounce back, beat Hawkeyes

No. 4 Minnesota traveled to Iowa City, Iowa, this weekend and handed the No. 2 Hawkeyes their first conference loss of the season. The Gophers’ (8-1, 5-1 Big Ten) win came at an opportune time — the team was upset by Michigan a week ago. It also came in a tough environment — in front of more than 10,000 fans at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Minnesota head assistant coach Brandon Eggum said he was pleased with his team’s turnaround.


1/23/2014, 12:00am

Minnesota looks to bounce back at Iowa

While bouncing back from a loss isn’t always easy, doing so on the road against the No. 2 team in the nation in one of college wrestling’s oldest rivalries isn’t any easier. That’s exactly what the No. 4 Gophers are tasked with this weekend as they travel to Iowa City, Iowa, to take on the Hawkeyes. After a disappointing loss to then-No. 19 Michigan on Sunday afternoon, the Gophers know the importance of this match. “We have a lot to prove,” junior Logan Storley said after Sunday’s loss.