Gophers have yet another tough, early season road trip

Minnesota will face Central Michigan and Oklahoma State.

Minnesota's Kevin Steinhaus (184) attempts to get a hold on North Dakota State's Mac Stoll during their match Sunday at the Sports Pavilion.

Mark Vancleave, Daily File Photo

Minnesota’s Kevin Steinhaus (184) attempts to get a hold on North Dakota State’s Mac Stoll during their match Sunday at the Sports Pavilion.

Drew Claussen

Two weeks after taking down then-No. 2 Penn State, the No. 4 Gophers wrestling team will get its second chance of the season to defeat a second-ranked team.
Minnesota (2-1, 1-0 Big Ten) will take on Central Michigan (5-1) on Friday and travel to Stillwater, Okla., on Sunday to do battle with No. 2 Oklahoma State.
âÄúItâÄôs a tough travel week really, going from Central Michigan all the way down to Oklahoma State on Sunday,âÄù head assistant coach Brandon Eggum said. âÄúThese guys are young enough that I think their attitudes are pretty good and hopefully they wonâÄôt let the travel affect them too much and push through it.âÄù
Aside from the travel, though, two tough teams await the Gophers, who have dealt with a few injuries in the first part of the season.
True freshman Logan Storley (174 pounds) is expected to wrestle in his first collegiate dual this weekend. Storley strained his ankle in the season-opening Bison Open and has been sidelined since.
The Gophers are coming off of a defeat of North Dakota State in their first home dual of the season 29-9.
The Bison chose to draw in last weekâÄôs dual, which randomizes the weight that the dual starts at rather than starting at the standard 125 pounds. More teams could potentially draw against Minnesota this season because of its strong lightweights, Eggum said.
âÄúI could see more teams doing it to us because our lighter weights âÄî with [Zach] Sanders leading âÄî theyâÄôre pretty ferocious guys,âÄù Eggum said. âÄúDepending on where your strengths are, maybe you donâÄôt want a team like us to get the ball rolling.âÄù
Eggum said, however, that most programs like to start at 125 pounds because thatâÄôs the format that most of the big tournaments follow.
The Cowboys (1-0) will wrestle the Gophers in only their second dual of the season after postponing two duals earlier this month after the deaths of OSU womenâÄôs basketball head coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna.
The majority of the wrestlers on the Cowboys and Gophers are ranked individually, making SundayâÄôs matchup particularly interesting. OSU has nine wrestlers ranked in the InterMat top-20 rankings; Minnesota has 10.
No. 6 David Thorn (133) has a tough draw Sunday in OSUâÄôs No. 1 Jordan Oliver. Oliver, a junior, is coming off of a stellar sophomore campaign in which he went 29-0 and was an NCAA Champion.
âÄúIâÄôve actually never wrestled him before,âÄù Thorn said. âÄúIâÄôm going to watch some film on him this week and know what to stop as far as his attacks, but IâÄôm not going to change a whole lot, just go and wrestle him and see what I can do.âÄù
Another match to pay attention to is 165, where No. 8 Cody Yohn is pitted against No. 11 Dallas Bailey.
âÄúI definitely know heâÄôs dangerous, IâÄôve wrestled him before,âÄù Yohn said. âÄúI had a decent lead on him and he ended up coming back and beating me the first time we wrestled. Last time we wrestled, I ended up pulling out a win by about one point.âÄù
CodyâÄôs older brother, No. 3 Sonny Yohn (197), will face off against No. 2 Cayle Byers. ItâÄôs another tough test for Sonny Yohn, who fell to No. 1 Cam Simaz earlier this season when Minnesota wrestled Cornell.
Kevin Steinhaus (184) will face two top-10 wrestlers this weekend: CMUâÄôs No. 9 Ben Bennett on Friday and OSUâÄôs No. 8 Chris Perry on Sunday.
âÄú[Steinhaus] has had some great competition early in the season,âÄù Eggum said. âÄúHis win over [Quentin] Wright was really exciting and heâÄôs got two more great matches this weekend.âÄù
One other notable match from FridayâÄôs dual against CMU is at heavyweight, where No. 2 Tony Nelson will face off against No. 9 Peter Sturgeon.