Inexperience hurts Minnesota at Big Tens

For seven of MinnesotaâÄôs ten wrestlers, the Big Ten tournament over the weekend was their first conference championship experience. Such inexperience took its toll, as the Gophers failed to finish first or second as team for the first time since 1999, instead placing fifth with 86 points, miles behind champion Iowa, which ran away with the Big Ten title with 141 points. Minnesota failed to have a single wrestler appear in the championship match at his respective weight. Senior Tyler Safratowich was the Gophers top individual finisher at 157. After falling to eventual champion Michael Poeta in the semifinals, he advanced through the consolation bracket to take third. Still, four other men in addition to Safratowich earned automatic berths to the NCAA tournament. Redshirt freshman Zach Sanders (125 pounds), junior Jayson Ness (133), and sophomores Mike Thorn (141) and Ben Berhow (Hwt) will all join Safratowich in the championships. Meanwhile, redshirt freshman Sonny Yohn (184) and juniors Matt Everson (174) and Gordon Bierschenk (197) must wait to learn whether they garner an at-large berth to the national tournament. The five at-large selections at each weight class will be announced this week.