Minnesota filling up the record books

Tyler Rushmeyer

Although Minnesota wrestlers are focusing on earning a place in the record books with the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments approaching, five Minnesota wrestlers have already joined historic company.

Redshirt freshman Jayson Ness, sophomore Dustin Schlatter, juniors Roger Kish and Manuel Rivera and senior Cole Konrad all ended their regular seasons with 20 dual-meet victories.

To put it in perspective, just 12 other wrestlers in Gophers history have accomplished this feat.

Coach J Robinson said that although the mark is impressive, the goal is to get even better.

“These records are great for the fans. For us they’re more of a mark of where our program is,” he said. “What we should have are 10 guys with 20-win seasons. Until we get there, we haven’t done anything yet.”

The five wrestlers have combined for a 100-2 dual-meet mark this season, scoring bonus points at impressive rates – particularly Konrad and Ness – who have outscored their opponents 104-0 and 83-3, respectively.

For Ness, who has defeated the last 10-ranked opponents he’s faced, the marks are something he can perhaps reflect on after the season.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet. Right now we’re concentrating on Big Tens and Nationals,” he said. “The 20-win thing is kind of in the background.”

Dual-meet records

Aside from the individual records picked up by Minnesota wrestlers, the team as a whole has also made history.

For the first time in school history, the Gophers have won 20 dual meets in back-to-back seasons.

After going 20-1 in 2005-06, Minnesota followed it up

with an identical record this season.

Junior Mack Reiter, 4-1 in dual-meet competition since re-entering the lineup after sitting out most the season with a knee injury, said it is an honor to be part of both squads.

“It’s real exciting. Both teams have had such a bond,” he said. “To finish the job and take the conference and national titles this year would be something special for all of us.”

Junior Gabe Dretsch, also a part of each team, said racking up wins does not dissuade the team from the ultimate goals.

“It’s always nice to get as many wins as you can. It’s great for building momentum and intimidation along the way,” he said. “But none of it matters if we don’t finish strong.”

Last season, Minnesota took its 20-win season to the Big Ten tournament, which it proceeded to win before finishing second at the NCAA tournament to Oklahoma State.

Junior C.P. Schlatter said the loss is fresh in the minds of the team.

“We’re more business-like this season,” he said. “We’ve done everything to make sure we stay at No. 1 throughout.”

Streaking continues

Three Minnesota wrestlers, who have combined to go 89-0 overall and 60-0 in dual-meet competition, continue their climb up the record charts.

Konrad, Dustin Schlatter and Rivera currently all have winning streaks that rank in the top five in the nation.

Konrad’s streak sits at 67straight, the second longest in the country, while Schlatter is in third with 59 straight. Rivera holds the fifth-longest streak in the country with 34 straight.