A final tune-up before home dual meet

Mike Thorn wrestles redshirt freshman Bart Reiter during a practice November 2 at Bierman Athletic Complex.

Joseph Michaud-Scorza, Daily File Photo

Mike Thorn wrestles redshirt freshman Bart Reiter during a practice November 2 at Bierman Athletic Complex.

Derek Wetmore

While the greater population is gorging themselves for Turkey Day, University of Minnesota wrestlers will be meticulously counting calories to assure they make weight for SaturdayâÄôs dual meets. The Gophers will travel to Rochester, Minn. for the Northern Quad, a tune-up for the teamâÄôs first home dual against No. 3 Oklahoma State. Minnesota will take 15 wrestlers for the three dual meets. It will open with Appalachian State, followed by Central Michigan and North Dakota State. âÄúItâÄôs a good meet with Division-I teams from all different conferences, weâÄôll get to see teams we donâÄôt normally see,âÄù assistant coach Joe Russell said. The format allows the No. 7 Gophers to bring multiple competitors at several weight classes, and since each program represents a fresh dual, they can opt to switch out wrestlers to get a better look at the undecided weights. For example, no one has claimed the starting spot at the 133-pound weight class, so the team will take three wrestlers: Thane Antczak, Bart Reiter and David Thorn. Antczak is the slight favorite based on his performance so far, but Thorn hasnâÄôt been healthy enough to compete live yet this year and will make his debut Saturday. âÄúWeâÄôve got three guys at 133 that are really stepping up and showing they can be the guy. This weekend we plan on bringing them all three down,âÄù Russell said. âÄúI donâÄôt know if theyâÄôll all get a match or not but theyâÄôll all be with the team so we can watch their progress.âÄù Since this weekend will be an official meet, wrestlers who the team intends to redshirt, like Dylan Ness, wonâÄôt compete. âÄúThere are still more open meets for guys like that so they can keep getting experience and growing without burning a redshirt year,âÄù Russell said. Those open meets will come after the season is in full swing. Kaleb Young (184) is still battling a neck injury and likely wonâÄôt wrestle this weekend, Russell said. Kevin Steinhaus will again start at 184 and has ran with the opportunity thus far, winning the Bison Open and taking second at the Kaufman-Brand Open. Heavyweights Ben Berhow and Tony Nelson will both make the trip and will likely each get at least one start, Russell said. After missing the Kaufman-Brand Open to compete in the All-Star Classic, Zach Sanders (125) and Sonny Yohn (197) will accompany the team and start all three duals at their respective weights. The Northern Quad should provide an interesting array of matchups with the teams that the Gophers wouldnâÄôt normally get to see, like Appalachian State, which competes in the Southern Conference. The strongest test of the weekend should be No. 6 Central Michigan. âÄúCentral Michigan is ranked ahead of us in some polls so thatâÄôll be a good test for us,âÄù Russell said. âÄúNorth Dakota State is always a fun one because they have a lot of Minnesota guys on their team. ThatâÄôs been a good rivalry for fans.âÄù