Things are about to get under way here at the Sports Pavilion, where the Gophers officially start their Big Ten dual meet season against Michigan State. The highlight match of the afternoon will be at 133-pounds, with Minnesota’s Jayson Ness taking on the Spartans’ Franklin Gomez. Gomez is the top-ranked individual in the country, while Ness is No. 6. Wrestling begins with the 125-pound weight class, I’ll check in between each match with updates.
125 – No. 7 Zach Sanders cruised past Michigan State’s Eric Olanowski with a 15-5 major decision. Sanders dominated a clearly fatigued Olanowski in the second and third periods. 133 – It was the upset everyone at the Sports Pavilion wanted to see. No. 6 Ness squeezed out a 6-5 decision over top-ranked Gomez thanks to a quick escape at the beginning of the third period. As the final seconds ticked off, Gophers fans rose to their feet to salute Ness’ win. 141 – Minnesota’s 9th-ranked Mike Thorn pinned the Spartans Collin Dozier with 24 seconds remaining in the second period to give the Gophers another six points and a 13-0 lead after three matches. Once again, Minnesota’s lighter weights have asserted their dominance. 149 – Joe Grygelko dropped a 6-2 decision to Michigan State’s David Cheza and the Spartans are on the board. 157 – Then came the upset the pavilion didn’t want to see. Michigan State’s Anthony Jones topped No. 14 Tyler Safratowich 7-6, in the meantime trimming Minnesota’s lead to 13-6 as we enter intermission. After intermission is was all Gophers. Minnesota swept the heavier weight classes and cruised to a 30-6 win. Gordon Bierschenk and No. 18 Ben Berhow added the exclamation point with major decisions at 197 and 285, respectively, and the Gophers cruised to a 30-6 win.