Shaking things up at 149 and 157 proves beneficial

C.P. Schlatter's move to 157 pounds ended up benefitting both weights in a big way.

Matt Anderson

With Nik Lentz’s loss at 157 pounds against Michigan State on Jan. 28, Minnesota’s wrestling team dropped to 0-10 on the season at the weight class.

Also, Danny Williams, the assumed 149 starter for the Big Ten Championships, went 1-5 at 149 in dual meets through the regular season.

But after the Big Ten Championships, Minnesota qualified both the 149 and 157 spots for the NCAA Championships Thursday through March 19 in St. Louis. And it happened with wrestlers who, heading into the season, were supposed to be at different weight classes.

Sophomore Quincy Osborn, wrestling for the second time at 149, and redshirt freshman C.P. Schlatter, at 157, each turned in surprise top-five finishes at Big Tens to give Minnesota NCAA qualifiers at all 10 weight classes.

Osborn, who wrestled at 141 for the regular season and 133 last year, said his adjustment period at the new weight class is ongoing.

“I’ve just got to be conscious, because, a bigger guy, he can catch you out of position, and he’s going to capitalize on it,” he said. “Maybe, where I’m wrestling a 141-pounder, I can get out of something. A big guy catches me there, I might get stuck.”

Osborn, who placed fifth at Big Tens, wouldn’t have even had a chance to wrestle against the bigger wrestlers at the Big Ten Championships if not for Schlatter’s midseason bump to 157.

After having trouble in January making weight at 149 in his first month back from an anterior cruciate ligament injury, Schlatter moved up Jan. 30 against Michigan.

He finished the regular season 2-3, but at Big Tens, he performed as well as he had all year in taking fourth place with wins over sixth-seeded Tyler Turner of Wisconsin and fifth-seeded Brandon Becker of Indiana.

“I still think I have a lot more that I could do better,” Schlatter said. “I upset, I guess, two guys who were supposed to be ahead of me. So that was pretty well. But I think I should have at least taken third.”

Minnesota coach J Robinson said that without Osborn bumping up to 149 and Schlatter at 157, his team probably wouldn’t have qualified for the NCAAs at either spot.

“We struggled through those weight classes throughout the whole year,” Robinson said. “Any coach is trying to get the best team on the mat by the end of the year, and I think that’s what ended up happening for us.”

And with Osborn and Schlatter each up a weight, Osborn said, very few Gophers starters are worrying about cuttting weight, which is a huge advantage heading into the NCAAs.

“If you know anything about cutting weight, it’s really mentally draining,” said Osborn, who struggled to make weight at 133 last year and 141 this year. “It’s hard to prepare yourself to wrestle. Right now, as a team, we’re really focused, we’re ready to go. And for nationals, that’s all we’ve really got to do, is concentrate on wrestling there.”