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.

1/21/2014, 12:00am

Minnesota loses its first dual of the season

No. 2 Minnesota split a pair of duals on its road trip to Michigan over the weekend. The Gophers fell to No. 19 Michigan 19-14 on Sunday afternoon, just two days after they dominated Michigan State 35-3. The Gophers (7-1, 4-1 Big Ten) fell behind early Sunday after losing five of the first six matches against Michigan (7-2, 3-0 Big Ten), but they won three straight matches down the stretch to pull within two points heading into the heavyweight bout.

12/9/2013, 12:00am

Steinhaus leads team past Oklahoma State

Gophers redshirt senior Kevin Steinhaus won a major decision in his return to the lineup as No. 2 Minnesota beat No. 5 Oklahoma State 16-15 on Sunday in Stillwater, Okla. The Gophers and Cowboys both won five matches, but Steinhaus recorded the bonus point that ultimately decided the dual. “That was a big win for us,” head assistant coach Brandon Eggum said of Steinhaus’ match, “especially going out there and getting the major decision.”

12/5/2013, 12:00am

Schiller leads team as a redshirt junior

Gophers wrestler Scott Schiller was a 4-year-old and had just lost his first match. He was sitting in his father’s lap sobbing when another dad asked if Scott would wrestle his son. Scott said yes. He won the match, kept wrestling and went on to become a three-time North Dakota state champion. “He experienced the trials and tribulations of wrestling in a very quick way,” said Scott’s father, Brad Schiller. “And he was hooked.”

12/3/2013, 12:00am

Rangell trades paintball for the mat

Not many athletes can say they’ve embarked on a professional athletics career before college. Gophers wrestler Conrad Rangell can. Rangell spent five years playing professional paintball and returned to school in 2010. He won California community college state wrestling championships in 2010 and 2011 before transferring to Minnesota in fall 2012. At 26, Rangell is the Gophers’ oldest wrestler, even though he’s just a redshirt junior.

12/2/2013, 12:00am

Gophers beat Oregon State

Redshirt freshman Sam Brancale won his first dual match and redshirt junior Scott Schiller defeated the nation’s top-ranked 197-pound wrestler, as the No. 2 Gophers defeated No. 18 Oregon State 28-12 on Saturday in Corvallis, Ore. The Gophers won eight of 10 matches in the dual — a year after squeaking past the Beavers with an overtime decision in the final match. “We just started out on a really good note,” head assistant coach Brandon Eggum said. “Right now, they’re all competing very well.”