Petry finds footing after yearlong wait

In his first matches competing for the team, the redshirt freshman went 3-0.

by Jack White

Redshirt freshman Skyler Petry finished last year with little collegiate experience. 
 
Petry wrestled in five open tournaments last season, making it to the championship match of three of them, but always competed unattached.
 
He wrestled for the Gophers the first time in the regular season last weekend at the Gopher Duals and finished 3-0.
 
“I think Skyler is doing really well,” head coach J Robinson said. “I think he’s building some confidence in his endurance and his thought process while he’s 
competing. Over the weekend he was a little nervous to begin with, but I think that as time goes on he will become more and more confident both from a technical standpoint
and competition standpoint.”
 
To get ready for the season, Petry competed on the junior side of the World Team Trials in June in Madison, Wis., with redshirt freshman Colin Carr.
 
“Neither of us did as [well] as we wanted,” Carr said. “[Petry] learned from his losses over the summer. He lost to really good guys. I think he looked back at those matches and really built on what he needed to improve on to beat guys like that more constantly.”
 
Petry is expected to compete with sophomore Ethan Lizak for the starting position at 125 pounds. Petry and Lizak faced off in the finals of the Wisconsin Open in December last season, and Petry won the 125 pounds title at the event.
 
Petry was given the starting nod at the team’s first meet of the regular season and defeated then-No. 16 Nick Herrmann of Virginia in one of his matches.
 
The Waterville, Minn., native considered other college options besides staying in-state. Petry said he considered North Dakota State and Iowa as well.
Iowa had a special connection to Petry because his cousin, Ryan Morningstar, used to wrestle for the school and is now a member of the Hawkeyes coaching staff.
 
“When I was younger, a lot of my relatives were Hawkeye fans, and I kind of changed when I grew older,” Petry said. “I thought I would do better here, and I thought I would fit in better here.”
 
Robinson has liked the progress Petry has made in his matches this season.
 
“I think he’s working on his feet more with [assistant coach Luke Becker] a lot and being able to get off the bottom,” Robinson said. “I think if he gets off the bottom, he kind of dictates the tone of the match where [he’s] going to wrestle. He’s better on his feet.”