Wrestling Final: Minnesota 28, Nebraska 14

by Austin Cumblad

 For anyone unfamiliar with Williams Arena (aka The Barn), a quick note: the floor is raised slightly, giving those in the front row a unique vantage point – nearly eye level with the floor. It’s the same with the press table and I look forward to a different angle to watch the proceedings tonight. Whether it adds anything to the experience I can’t determine, but if you find my comments especially insightful tonight, that may be why. Starting at 184, Nebraska (wisely) chose to draw. I’ll provide a match-by-match blog but it won’t be play-by-play; rather I’ll try to provide a little insight into how the dual is going. We’re about two minutes from getting underway, see you on the other side.

184 – No. 18 Sonny Yohn vs. Josh Ihnen Yohn notched an almost immediate takedown in the first period and spent the last 2:50 of the period trying to turn Ihnen. He nearly did late in the first but managed only a 2-point nearfall. Not much happening in the second, only an escape from Yohn. Both were clearly gassed in the third and though Ihnen notched two takedowns and immediately let Yohn escape, he never got terribly close and Yohn staked the Gophers a quick 3-point lead with an 8-4 decision. 197 – Joe Nord vs. No. 2 Craig Brester Brester wasted no time putting Nord on his back for a fall just over a minute into the match. No mystery why he’s No. 2 in the country. Hwt – No. 11 Ben Berhow vs. No. 7 Tucker Lane Momentum seemed on Lane’s side after the first (2 takedowns), but a late escape propelled Berhow into the second, where he notched an important takedown after Lane escaped from the down position, about halfway through the period. An almost immediate escape in the third trimmed Berhow’s deficit to a single point. A takedown vaulted Berhow into the lead with a takedown but Lane managed to escape. To overtime we went, and just as assistant coach Brandon Eggum predicted yesterday, 11th-ranked Berhow upset No. 7 Lane with a takedown shortly into the sudden-victory period. 125 – No. 4 Zach Sanders vs. David Klingsheim The differences between the way heavyweights and 125-pounders wrestle are remarkable. Watching them back-to-back is the definition of contrasting styles. Sanders and Klingsheim spent most of the first period dancing around each other, but Sanders scored a takedown late. Apparently he was just waiting for the second period to pour it on. He mounted a 10-4 lead before nearly pinning Klingsheim late in the period. Instead, he managed only a 3-point nearfall. Sanders didn’t slow with the takedowns, and continued forcing Klingsheim to wrestle, taking him down and letting him escape. He tallied a technical fall in the third with time to spare. 133 – No. 2 Jayson Ness vs. C.J. Napier Question for discussion: Does Jayson Ness ever get tired of pinning people? Less than a period and he had the freshman Napier on his back for his ninth fall in 10 matches this season. 141 – No. 6 Mike Thorn vs. Mike Koehnlein Thorn dominated the first period with a takedown and a nearfall, and dominated the end of the second with another nearfall after the wrestlers exchanged reversals. Carrying a 10-2 lead into the third, Thorn wasted little time notching another reversal, a nearfall, and one final takedown for Minnesota’s second technical fall of the evening. 149 – No. 9 Mario Mason vs. Chris Hacker Mason appeared to injure his shoulder in the second period but continued to wrestle. It appeared to bother him slightly but didn’t stop him from scoring a takedown with less than 40 seconds remaining in the match which he rode out to win 3-1. That snaps a string of three straight bonus point matches for the Gophers, but it’s enough to statistically seal the match for Minnesota. 157 – Joe Grygelko vs. No. 1 Jordan Burroughs This one was never going Grygelko’s way. Just as Brester, showed why he’s ranked No. 2 at 197, Burroughs fully asserted his dominance at 157, sending Grygelko all over the mat for a 24-9 technical fall. 165 – No. 4 Dustin Schlatter vs. James Nakashima Ever seen a cat play with a mouse its caught? Then you have some idea of how Schlatter’s match went. There was no urgency, no furious attempt at a pin as seen with Sanders, Ness and Thorn. And yet he seemed as dominant as all of them in an 8-3 decision. Nakashima got nothing more than the escapes Schlatter essentially allowed him. 174 – Scott Glasser vs. No. 3 Stephen Dwyer Dwyer comfortably took the matchup 9-3, though Glasser garnered big applause for a third-period takedown. Minnesota wins the dual 28-14