Gophers defeat Cyclones in last regular season dual

The team had two consecutive pins at 149 and 157 pounds at Williams Arena.

Junior Brandon Kingsley pins an Iowa State opponent Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer Friday night at Williams Arena. Kingsley made one of two pins for the teams 30-10 victory.

Image by Sam Harper

Junior Brandon Kingsley pins an Iowa State opponent Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer Friday night at Williams Arena. Kingsley made one of two pins for the team’s 30-10 victory.

by Jack White

When redshirt junior Brandon Kingsley pinned Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer, the Williams Arena crowd erupted.
Minnesota earned its second consecutive technical fall with the victory and took an 18-3 lead over No. 14 Iowa State. The Gophers dominated the first duals of their last regular season meet and held on for a 30-10 victory Friday night.
“Anytime you can get some momentum, I think [it’s] really good, and the way they wrestled was really good,” head coach J Robinson said. “Brandon Kingsley, he hung in there, and I think he’s seeing the difference of what intensity and some focus and endurance can do.”
Redshirt freshman Steve Polakowski opened the dual for Minnesota at 125 pounds. He earned the first points of the night with an escape in the second period and later had a takedown in the third. He held on for a 3-2 victory to give the Gophers a 3-0 lead.
Redshirt junior Ben Morgan lost a 10-5 decision in the next match, and Iowa State tied the dual. But Minnesota won the next three matches.
No. 6 Tommy Thorn won his match in a 4-0 decision, riding out the victory in the third period.
No. 16 Jake Short pinned his opponent at 149 pounds in the first period to earn a technical fall and give Minnesota a 12-3 lead.
Kingsley had a near fall in the next match to take a lead and finished his match by getting the pin.
“A pin is always my ultimate goal,” Kinglsey said. “It got me really fired up to see [Short] get that pin. It’s always a big momentum-booster for whoever’s coming out next.”
Redshirt freshman Brandon Krone avoided a pin in the following match but lost 13-2 by major decision to No. 10 Tanner Weatherman.
The Gophers came right back with another victory as redshirt sophomore Nick Wanzek used a third period takedown to win his fourth match in a row.
“In the third period, that’s how we train,” Wanzek said. “[Robinson] talks about how our whole team, our [strength] is in the third period. When their guys get tired, we get to take advantage and wrestle through periods when guys might take breaks.”
Redshirt sophomore Chris Pfarr lost his match 9-2, but the Gophers led 21-10 with two matches to go.
Minnesota dominated the two heaviest weight classes to end the dual, starting with No. 3 Brett Pfarr earning a major decision at 197 pounds. No. 9 Michael Kroells capped the dual with a 15-0 victory in the heavyweight class, which earned him a technical fall. 
“There’s some improvement from last week, and that’s the way you want to look,” Robinson said. “You want to feel positive about what we’re doing, where we are. The hard work we’re putting in, it’s going to pay off for us.”