Wrestlers dominate Northern Open

Allison Younge

Gophers wrestlers keyed on a goal Friday in Madison, Wis., to dominate the Northern Open unattached tournament.
“Our No. 1 goal for this year is to develop an aggressive and dominating style,” Coach J. Robinson said.
And that’s exactly what they did, sending six wrestlers to the finals and winning four individual titles. No other team at the tournament had a champion in more than one weight class.
Juniors Brandon Paulson (118 pounds) and Shelton Benjamin (heavyweight), and sophomores Chad Kraft (150) and Tim Hartung (190) captured first-place finishes.
Paulson won by injury default over freshman teammate Brett Lawrence to claim the title.
“Paulson is continuing his wave at 118,” Robinson said.
Kraft downed Indiana’s Dan Weber 17-2 in the final, and Hartung defeated Aaron Stark of Wisconsin 2-0 for his title.
Benjamin captured the heavyweight crown with a 9-3 victory over Aaron Richardson of Michigan.
Junior Jason Davids, ranked No. 2 at 142 pounds, was downed in the title match by Indiana’s No. 1-ranked Roger Chandler 9-4, but Robinson had a positive outlook on the loss.
“Davids wrestled a good match,” Robinson said. “We learned a lot about Chandler from this match and now have three months to work on things before the Big Tens.”
Robinson was also very pleased with Lawrence’s second-place performance at 118. “Lawrence wrestled great for us,” Robinson said. “Our freshmen wrestled very aggressively, which was good to see.”
Minnesota sophomores Pat Connors (126), Troy Marr (134) and Josh Holiday (158) took third-place finishes.
Freshman Brent Boeshans claimed fifth place in the heavyweight division, and senior Nick Antila (134) and sophomore Jesse Krebs (150) took sixth in their weight classes.
“The team wrestled harder and with more confidence than ever before,” Robinson said. “We need to keep extending ourselves and become even more aggressive for our upcoming meets”.
The Gophers return to dual-meet action Dec. 6 when they host Northwestern at 7:30 p.m. at Williams Arena.