Behind All-Americans, Big Ten success continues

Zach Sanders and Mike Thorn each tallied a fall on the weekend in convincing wins over Purdue and Illinois.

Derek Wetmore

The fifth-ranked Minnesota wrestling team (12-3, 3-0 Big Ten) continued its run of early Big Ten success, sweeping the weekend with conference wins at No. 23 Purdue, 26-15, and at No. 15 Illinois, 21-16.

As is becoming routine, All-Americans Zach Sanders (125 pounds) and Mike Thorn (141) led the way.

Sanders earned a major decision and a fall on the weekend, and Thorn picked up a decision and a fall to send the Gophers out of the gates quickly both nights.

âÄúItâÄôs good to get the two wins in the Big Ten and on the road,âÄù assistant coach Joe Russell said. âÄúIf we can keep raising our game we can have a good season.âÄù

SundayâÄôs dual opened at heavyweight, where Tony Nelson picked up his second of two decisions on the weekend.

David Thorn (133), who has been hot as of late, posted a technical fall Friday against PurdueâÄôs Matt Fields but was pinned Sunday against No. 7 B.J. Futrell.

In perhaps the most anticipated matchup of the weekend, No. 8 Scott âÄúThe MummyâÄù Glasser earned a 4-2 decision over PurdueâÄôs No. 9 Luke Manuel.

Generally, nicknames are saved for the WWE, but in GlasserâÄôs case, itâÄôs an apt title reflective of his beat-up body and its resulting wraps and tapings.

Matt Mincey (149) has struggled with academic issues but worked his way back to eligibility and wrestled Friday, picking up a technical fall (15-0) in his dual debut.

After being ruled academically ineligible, Mincey went to junior college and, during the fall semester, wrestled unattached at the Kaufman-Brand and Bison opens.

âÄúItâÄôs actually pretty impressive what he did,âÄù Russell said. âÄúItâÄôs a tribute to him that he was able to do that.âÄù

On Sunday, Danny Zilverberg took over at 149 and dropped a 5-2 decision.

âÄúIt was good to see Matt get that win and get the first dual meet under his belt, but we planned going into the weekend that Zilverberg would go against Illinois,âÄù Russell said.

Cody Yohn battled for a 1-0 decision Sunday but was pinned Friday against unranked Kyle Mosier of Purdue.

Though Minnesota is technically undefeated in the Big Ten, one of its losses this season was to Wisconsin in the National DualsâÄô third-place match.

Minnesota will square off with the Badgers next looking for revenge, and captain Mike Thorn said last week that he and the team have had next weekâÄôs bout circled on the calendar for a while.

âÄúCanâÄôt wait,âÄù Thorn said.