Gophers get started with Bison Open

by Drew Claussen

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.

Wrestlers will compete against foes from NDSU, Minnesota State-Moorhead, Concordia, Northern State, Southwest State, St. Johns, Jamestown and the University of Mary.

With the varied field of smaller schools, Minnesota is expected to dominate.

âÄúThis is a good tournament to go to âÄî you see a lot of different teams,âÄù Eggum said. âÄúA lot of our guys we are expecting to make the finals hopefully and do very well there.âÄù

The open format means that wrestlers will compete for titles individually by weight class with no team titles awarded. Last season the Gophers won nine of 10 weight classes.

Redshirt sophomore Jake Deitchler is expected to make his return during the Bison Open after sitting out last year with concussion complications.

The Gophers are No. 4 in the nation in the preseason rankings by the USA Today/NWCA polls. Big Ten opponents Penn State and Iowa are ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.

Minnesota wrestlers Seth Lange, Matt Mincey, Logan Storley, Joel Bauman and Scott Schiller have already seen some action this season, competing in the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open in South Dakota last weekend. Mincey, Storley and Schiller all claimed titles while Bauman finished second and Langue finished third.

âÄúThey did real well,âÄù Eggum said. âÄúIt was good to see Storley go out and win, and he had a couple good wins over some older wrestlers that have showed some promise in Division II.âÄù

Storley, a true freshman, is in competition for the starting spot at 174.