Hahn, others out again

Aaron Blake

For the third and fourth straight duals, Minnesota wrestling was without its top two grapplers, 197-pound national champion Damion Hahn and 165-pound All-American Jacob Volkmann. Subtract 141-pounder Tommy Owen from that, and it equals five freshmen and just one All-American doing battle for the 12th-ranked Gophers over the weekend in Michigan.

The makeshift lineup got by No. 24 Michigan State 22-16 on Friday in East Lansing, Mich. But in Saturday’s rematch with No. 5 Michigan, to whom the Gophers lost 30-6 in last weekend’s National Duals, Minnesota was unable to pull off the reversal, losing 31-4 in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“We didn’t see as much progress as we would have liked to (against Michigan),” Gophers assistant coach Joe Russell said. “It wasn’t that fun getting beat up that bad.”

Things actually started off on a somewhat good note for Minnesota (7-4, 1-1 Big Ten) against the Wolverines (12-2, 2-0).

After Minnesota’s eighth-ranked heavyweight Cole Konrad dropped a 5-1 decision to No. 6 Greg Wagner, the Gophers’ lone All-American, 125-pound Bobbe Lowe, scored a major decision over Shaun Newton and gave his team a brief 4-3 lead.

From there, it was all Michigan.

Redshirt freshman Danny Williams filled in for the injured Owen at 141 pounds, losing 4-0 to Michigan’s Clark Forward.

True freshman Jeremy Anderson retained his starting role at 149 for the second straight week, but fell 9-1 to Jeremiah Tobias.

At 165, Casey Flaherty got pinned while filling in for Volkmann.

And with Hahn missing the trip due to a family emergency, redshirt freshman Mike Schmidt lost 8-3 to Chase Verdroon.

“It was kind of a rough dual,” Konrad said. “We needed guys to step up – myself included – and we didn’t.”

Even if Saturday’s match was rough, at least Minnesota started the Big Ten season with a win.

Friday, Lowe and 133-pounder Quincy Osborn both scored pins to get things started right for Minnesota in the team’s first Big Ten dual of the season.

The Gophers also notched victories at 157 (Matt Nagel), 174 (Jon Duncombe) and heavyweight (Konrad) against the Spartans (1-6, 0-2).

“It was a little bit closer than we wanted it to be (on Friday),” Lowe said. “Some guys could have scored bonus points, and we had three one-point losses that we could have turned around really easily.”