Gophers welcome rest before Big Tens

Minnesota has a two-week layoff before traveling to Iowa City, Iowa.

Matt Anderson

Mack Reiter said he planned on sleeping all day Monday.

That’s the kind of luxury Reiter and his fellow Minnesota wrestlers can enjoy with no practice Monday, the result of a two-week layoff before they compete March 5 at the Big Ten Championships.

Coach J Robinson said the breather will affect the way practices are run in the time before the Big Ten meet.

“You don’t have to worry about breaking them down, and you don’t have to worry about making weight and them being tired,” Robinson said. “Now you can put the heat on them, and when you put the heat on them, it works.”

The last time the Gophers had this long a break was from Jan. 9-22, before the NWCA National Duals in Cleveland. At the National Duals, they finished third and defeated No. 5 Lehigh and No. 6 Michigan.

Reiter, ranked fourth at 133 pounds, said he thinks this time off from competition will be just as beneficial for the team as its January break was.

“The body really needs a little recovering time,” he said. “I think two weeks will be great for everyone on the team and we’ll have a solid Big Ten tournament.”

Junior Matt Nagel said he agreed with Reiter’s assessment of the advantage the time off will bring.

“You get to rest, you get a clear mind,” Nagel said. “I don’t even know that there is a real disadvantage.”

Returns please Robinson

When sixth-ranked 184-pounder Roger Kish returned during the weekend from a skin infection that kept him

out for six matches, he was thrust into the fire immediately.

Kish faced Wisconsin’s eighth-ranked Brady Reinke Friday and fourth-ranked Brian Glynn of Illinois on Sunday.

Fellow redshirt freshman C.P. Schlatter faced just as daunting a return at 157 after missing two matches with a skin infection, when he faced 12th-ranked Tyler Turner on Friday at Wisconsin and fourth-ranked Illinois’ Alex Tirapelle on Sunday.

Kish and Schlatter each lost both matches, Kish 10-8 to Reinke and 5-3 in overtime to Glynn, and Schlatter 10-6 to Turner and 8-3 to Tirapelle.

Nevertheless, Robinson said he was impressed with both of their performances.

“(Schlatter) can still get some more conditioning, but I think that he made some great mental progress,” he said. “Kish did too. Some of the coaches worked with him really well, and it made a difference.”

Koz starter at 197

Redshirt freshman Matt Koz was named Minnesota’s starter for the Big Ten tournament on the strength of his performance this weekend.

Koz started both duals, defeated Wisconsin’s 13th ranked Ryan Flaherty 6-5 on a takedown at the final buzzer Friday and was impressive in his 8-4 loss to 11th-ranked Tyrone Byrd of Illinois on Sunday.

“With Koz, it’s exactly what we told him,” Robinson said of Friday’s win. “He shot and he took a guy down. He didn’t shoot the whole time; at the end he starts shooting half-shots and shots, he gets a takedown.”