Lowe, Kish take open division titles at Kaufman-Brand Open in Omaha

Matt Anderson

Minnesota’s wrestling team took home two individual titles and had wrestlers place in nine of 20 individual categories at the Kaufman-Brand Open on Saturday in Omaha, Neb.

Senior Bobbe Lowe went 5-0 in winning the open division 125-pound title, and redshirt freshman Roger Kish was an undefeated 4-0 en route to capturing the 184-pound open championship.

“I was wrestling more intense as the day went on,” Lowe said. “It puts a positive note in my head.”

Mack Reiter and Matt Nagel each earned second-place finishes in the open division. Reiter was beaten 4-3 in the 133-pound championship match by Oklahoma State’s Nathan Morgan, and Nagel dropped a 6-5 decision in the finals to the Cowboys’ Johny Hendricks – the third-ranked 165-pound wrestler in the country.

Gabriel Dretsch went 5-2 to place fifth at 174 pounds in the open division.

The day-long tournament is considered one of the marquee individual tournaments in the country, and Minnesota coaches said they saw this event as an opportunity to measure their young team against the nation’s top wrestlers.

“Our guys showed that they’ve put in a lot of time in the spring and fall,” assistant coach Joe Russell said.

Four Minnesota wrestlers placed in the 20-and-under division. Travis Lang took fifth place at 125 pounds, Tyler Safratowich won fourth at 141 pounds, Justin Bronson was fifth at heavyweight and Matthew Everson placed sixth at 149 pounds.

“I think we have a pretty good picture of where our guys are,” Nagel said. “It’s not an average tournament – it’s grueling.”

Although the lineup for the Big Ten season might not be set until late January, this weekend cleared the picture somewhat.

“It’s helped us to at least set the depth chart for November,” Russell said.

Konrad wrestles tonight

Heavyweight All-American Cole Konrad did not make the trip to Omaha with the team. He instead wrestled at Augsburg College in the Auggie-Brute-Adidas Open, winning the championship with a 4-0 record.

Tonight, Konrad will compete at the Marines All-Star Classic in Edwardsville, Ill.

At the event, the top two wrestlers in the country from each weight class are selected by the National Wrestling Coaches Association to wrestle each other.

No. 2 Konrad will wrestle Oklahoma State junior Steve Mocco, the top-ranked heavyweight in the nation.

Mocco posted a 34-0 record and won the national championship at heavyweight in 2003 while at Iowa. He took last season off while attempting to qualify for the U.S. Olympic team before transferring to Oklahoma State.