Another solid showing against a tougher field

Derek Wetmore

Against a much tougher field than in their season-opener, 14 Gophers wrestlers placed and two won titles in a successful follow-up to last weekâÄôs dominance.

Competition at the Kaufman-Brand Open was segmented into two divisions, elite and amateur, allowing some inexperienced wrestlers to compete.

Mike Thorn (141 pounds) and Tony Nelson (285) each won titles in the elite division, while Dylan Ness (149) and Nick Dardanes (141) won their classes as amateurs.

The team intends to redshirt Ness, and Dardanes is behind Thorn on the depth chart at 141.

Ness, a true freshman, pulled a page from his older brother JaysonâÄôs book, pinning his opponent in 1:54 of the first round of the title match.

Last yearâÄôs heavyweight national qualifier Ben Berhow returned from injury Saturday, taking third at 285 after defeating teammate Jake Kettler in the consolation final.

The team is using the early season open meets to gauge where each wrestler is at and set a roster when the Big Ten season begins. The four weights that remain open are 133, 149, 157 and 184.

Thane Antczak (133) finished fourth in the elite division, losing a tie-break in the wrestle-back finals for a 7-6 decision. David Thorn is expected to return from injury next weekend, and the team will likely bring multiple wrestlers to the Southern Scuffle in December to finalize the roster prior to Big Ten action.

Cody Yohn lost his elite championship match in the 169-pound weight class.

Scott Glasser dropped a tie-breaker for a 2-1 decision in the elite title match at 174.

Redshirt freshman Kevin Steinhaus (184) continued his impressive run, taking second in the elite bracket, losing a 2-1 decision.

âÄúHeâÄôs doing a great job, just improving every week,âÄù volunteer assistant coach Luke Becker said. âÄúHeâÄôs setting himself up real good for our starting spot at 184.âÄù

Senior Joe Nord took second at 197 in the elite bracket.

Zach Sanders (125) and Sonny Yohn (197) didnâÄôt make the trip because they were in Fresno, Calif., wrestling in the All-Star Classic.

The Gophers will wrestle at the Northern Quad on Nov. 27 in the final tune-up before the nonconference schedule begins.

Becker said the team is in wait-and-see mode and is holding off making roster decisions until the coaching staff can get a better grasp of what each wrestler possesses.

âÄúWeâÄôre just going to continue to let guys progress and get into the season and see where theyâÄôre at a little bit further down the road,âÄù he said.