Minnesota wins seven titles at Open tourney

The Gophers won in every weight class except 133, 157 and 165.

Nate Gotlieb

The Gophers won seven of 10 titles at the Harold Nichols Open in Ames, Iowa, on Saturday without two of their top wrestlers in the lineup.

David Thorn and Dylan Ness, Minnesota’s 133- and 157-pound wrestlers, did not make the trip because of schoolwork and minor injuries, head assistant coach Brandon Eggum said.

Eggum said both could have wrestled Saturday and both will return Friday for Minnesota’s dual meet against Purdue.

The Gophers displayed their depth and durability without Ness and Thorn.

Redshirt juniors Nick and Chris Dardanes won the 149- and 141-pound titles, respectively. Junior Logan Storley recorded two pins and won the 174-pound title, redshirt freshman Brett Pfarr won at 184 pounds and redshirt junior Scott Schiller captured the 197-pound title.

Redshirt senior Tony Nelson, the nation’s top-ranked heavyweight wrestler, recorded three pins and won the heavyweight title. Redshirt freshman Sam Brancale, a 125-pound wrestler, went 5-0 and won his first title at Minnesota.

Brancale and Pfarr are the only newcomers in an otherwise veteran Minnesota lineup. Pfarr could lose his spot once All-American Kevin Steinhaus returns from an ACL injury.

Eggum has said he expects Steinhaus, a redshirt senior, to return in early December.

Pfarr has won back-to-back titles to start the season and said he’s enjoying the opportunity to wrestle for the Gophers.

Minnesota’s only non-first-place finishes Saturday came at 133, 157 and 165 pounds. Freshman Nate Thomas lost in the second round at 133 pounds, and redshirt freshman Brandon Kingsley finished in third place at 157 pounds. Redshirt senior Danny Zilverberg took second at 165 pounds.

The Gophers open their dual-meet season next weekend with a match against Purdue and will also face Wyoming at the Sports Pavilion.