Marr making his move in polls

by Sarah Mitchell

Gophers wrestler Troy Marr seemed lodged in the InterMat collegiate wrestling poll, never budging from mid-teen rankings. But the 14th-ranked 149-pounder’s distance from the top is about to change.
The Gophers senior recorded a pair of upsets as No. 2 Minnesota picked up three wins, defeating St. Cloud State and No. 24 Northern Iowa at home on Friday, and No. 4 Nebraska on Sunday.
“It’s kind of put the fear factor out there,” Marr said.
Marr’s most impressive win couldn’t have come at a better time. Minnesota faced Northern Iowa at home on Friday and the aura of Senior Night was behind Marr as he faced No. 4 Tony Davis.
Behind a reversal early in the third period, Marr tied the score at three. Marr eventually broke the gridlock, taking down the higher-ranked opponent with just 14 seconds remaining in the final period.
Marr’s comeback sent the Gophers bench into a frenzy, as the entire team clung to the edge of the mat. Davis scored just one more point, off an escape, before Marr walked off the mat to the sounds of a standing ovation.
“I’m so proud of him,” junior Delaney Berger said.
The story was quite different on the other side. Panthers coach Mark Manning singled out Davis’ match when asked to comment on his team’s overall performance.
“Good except at 149,” Manning said. “I should have never wrestled him. He’s been out all week with a sprained knee. I should have just forfeited.”
Berger was forced to root from the stands on Friday and did not make Sunday’s trip to Nebraska after reinjuring his shoulder last weekend. The team’s starting 174-pounder initially injured his shoulder during the Great Plains Open in early January.
Freshman Matt Kraft served as Berger’s replacement. Kraft went 2-1 over the weekend, gaining confidence with a 6-5 defeat over Huskers sophomore Charles McTorry on Sunday. A takedown gave Kraft a one-point edge with just eight seconds remaining in the third period.
“Matt did a good job,” Gophers assistant coach Mark Schwab said. “He’s starting to believe in himself.”

Josh Holiday experienced the affection of Gophers backers firsthand following the Senior Night matches on Friday. During the post-match celebration, a mother approached the 165-pounder and told him how her young son Charlie broke down when he realized Holiday was wrestling in his final home match.
“She said he lost it in the stands,” Holiday said. “He was just bawling.”
Charlie witnessed a strong performance from his favorite Gophers grappler. Holiday recorded a 16-7 major decision over Northern Iowa’s Nate Lawrenz.
After breaking Lawrenz on the mat, Holiday showed his softer side to the young fan.
“He started crying and I said, `I’ll be back next year,'” Holiday said. “I wanted to pick him up.”