Gophers fourth after day one in St. Louis

Jayson Ness’ pin brought him one closer to the season school record.

by Trevor Born

Mack Reiter said that there is a little competition going on between Gophers roommate pairs at the NCAA wrestling championships in St. Louis.

Reiter and his roommate Jayson Ness are winning the competition, each scoring a pin and a major decision and helping the Gophers to 24 team points, good for a tie for fourth after the first day of competition.

“I think me and Jayson are doing alright,” Reiter said.

Other roommate pairs include Justin Bronson and Manny Rivera, Gabe Dretsch and Roger Kish, and brothers C.P. and Dustin Schlatter.

Iowa leads the competition with 29.5 points, with Nebraska (26.5) in second and Iowa State (25) in third.

Ness scored his 19th pin of the season in his first round match, putting him just one shy of the team record held by assistant coach Marty Morgan.

The sophomore spent the entire season ranked No. 1 before losing in the championship match of the Big Ten tournament to Indiana’s Angel Escobedo, who received the top seed in the national tournament.

“Sometimes those losses happen, but as long as they don’t happen here then you can still redeem yourself,” Ness said.

The Schlatter brothers would seem to be Ness and Reiter’s toughest competition, but fifth-seeded C.P. was upset by No. 12 Josh Zupancic of Stanford.

C.P. forfeited out of the Big Ten tournament after aggravating a nagging knee injury. Against Zupanic, he needed injury time during the match to tend to it.

“It’s a tough loss for him,” Dustin Schlatter said. “Those things happen in the NCAA tournament. He has to get it going because we need him if we’re going to win this.”

Dustin, who missed most of the season with a hamstring injury, won a pair of close decisions. He said his hamstring is “doing okay.”

Eighth-seeded Roger Kish, wearing what looked like a wet suit cut in half to keep his ailing shoulder in place, won both of his matches. Like C.P. Schlatter, Kish couldn’t stay healthy in the Big Ten tournament and had to forfeit. It was unclear after the tournament whether Kish would be able to wrestle this week.

“I’ve gotten a lot of encouragement from everybody just to get back and wrestle so I can help the team in some way,” Kish said.

Gabe Dretsch, also an eighth seed, was upset in the first found, losing in overtime to unseeded Nathan Lee of Boise State but won his second match. Heavyweight Ben Berhow also lost his first match but won his wrestleback.