It may be true rankings are just a number on a piece of paper, but the Minnesota wrestling team proved its number means something.
Ranked second in the Intermat polls, the Gophers took on No. 15 Northern Iowa on Sunday and sent the Panthers home with a 36-3 loss.
Minnesota (2-0) notched three technical falls in the match, awarded to Brett Lawrence (133 pounds) , Jared Lawrence (149) and Brad Pike (165). Minnesota coach J Robinson said he was pleased with the match.
“Some of our guys wrestled really well,” Robinson said. “Brett Lawrence pretty much epitomized the way we want to wrestle. He’s changed a lot from last year. He went out there tonight and forced his guy to wrestle the way he did. He got him tired and won because of it.”
Brett Lawrence, Jared’s older brother, started slow against Northern Iowa’s Chad Boudreaux. Scoring just two points in the first period, Lawrence recorded 19 in the next two periods compared to just seven for Boudreaux — all of which came on one-point escapes Lawrence answered with a two-point takedown.
Robinson wants agressive wrestling throughout the year and so far it has worked. And even though Sunday at the Sports Pavilion there were no Minnesota pins recorded, he said they will come.
“If you push the aggressive style, the pins will come,” Robinson said. “When you are the one to dictate the pace, everything else will eventually come.”
Northern Iowa’s lone points came when heavyweight Paul Hynek beat Minnesota’s Mike Flanagan 6-1. Flanagan was originally introduced to the Pavilion crowd as Garrett Lowney, 2000 Sydney bronze medalist at 97 Kilos in Greco-Roman wrestling. Lowney is currently appealing the Big Ten’s decision to keep the redshirt freshman out of competition until the start of the second semester.
Last year’s Big Ten and NCAA heavyweight champion Brock `The Rock’ Lesnar made a cameo appearance on the Minnesota bench Sunday.
Buffing up for the World Wrestling Federation by training in Louisville, Kentucky for Ohio Valley Wrestling, Lesnar said he hopes to be competing in the WWF next fall.
“It’s a lot different, this is the entertainment industry,” he said. “It’s like being in the movies. I want to look for the people and myself.”
Brian Stensaas covers volleyball and wrestling and welcomes comments at [email protected]