Gophers watch weight

Wrestlers have to watch what they eat at Thanksgiving dinner this year.

Nate Gotlieb

Gophers wrestlers won’t indulge in an extra slice of pumpkin pie or portion of mashed potatoes Thursday, even as the average American consumes 4,500 calories.

The wrestlers need to stay conscious about what they’re eating Thanksgiving Day because they have a dual meet against No. 18 Oregon State two days later.

“They can’t snack as much as some of us like to,” head assistant coach Brandon Eggum said, “but they should be able to eat a full meal.”

A wrestler who doesn’t make weight automatically forfeits his match, giving the opposing team six points.

Last year’s Gophers-Oregon State dual was decided by three points, so a forfeit could dramatically alter the outcome.

“It’s important that they’re smart about their food intake,” Eggum said, “especially as they get closer to competition.”

Redshirt senior Danny Zilverberg, who will celebrate his 23rd birthday Thursday, said he will eat smaller portions and less dessert. Zilverberg moved up a weight class before the season, and said he’ll be able to eat more because of the move.

Redshirt junior Conrad Rangell said it’s important for wrestlers to stay away from high-carb and sugary foods.

“You’ve got to remember your goals,” he said. “A bad match could mean an injury or a drop in ranking.”

Redshirt junior Dylan Ness said he doesn’t get to eat as much dessert on Thanksgiving, but he doesn’t really keep track of what he eats.

“I just eat until I’m full,” he said.

Ness, the third-ranked 157-pound wrestler in the nation, will face the sixth-ranked 157-pound wrestler Saturday. It should be fun to go up against a top opponent, Ness said.

Oregon State has three nationally ranked wrestlers, including the top 197-pound wrestler, redshirt junior Taylor Meeks.

Eggum said he thinks the Gophers’ Scott Schiller, the second-ranked 197-pound wrestler, is capable of beating Meeks.

Eggum said he was pleased with the team’s performance last weekend when it won a pair of dual meets. He said he was pleased with redshirt freshman Brett Pfarr, who won a major decision against the 18th-ranked 184-pound wrestler.

“It was good to see him go out and get that win early in his career,” Eggum said.

All-American Kevin Steinhaus is getting ready to return from an ACL injury, Eggum said, and will eventually assume the starting role at 184 pounds upon his return.

Eggum said Steinhaus will compete next weekend, though he didn’t know if Steinhaus would compete with the varsity squad against Oklahoma State or with the rest of the team at an open meet.