Wrestling looks to up its energy over weekend

Minnesota wrestling fans will get their first chance to see the 1999-2000 Gophers grapplers this weekend at the Sports Pavilion.
Fresh off a 33-9 win over North Dakota State last weekend in Fargo, third-ranked Minnesota (1-0) returns to campus to open the home season against St. Cloud State and No. 18 Hofstra on Sunday.
Returning All-Americans Brock Lesnar (heavyweight), Leroy Vega (125) and Brandon Eggum (184) led the Gophers last weekend.
After finishing last season as NCAA runners-up, coach J Robinson hopes the success will continue into this season.
“We’re going to use (last season) as a motivating factor to get to the top,” Robinson said.
If the loss of good talent is a motivator, the Gophers should be chomping at the bit. They lost All-Americans Chad Kraft and Tim Hartung to graduation, and Robinson said he would like to see the Gophers’ freshmen step in strong, like Vega did last season.
Robinson’s expectations are certainly high.
“I’m looking for everyone to step up,” he said. “It’s not good enough just to come in and be an All-American for a couple years — you need to come in and be a four-time All-American. That is the expectation of the team.”
Robinson said last weekend’s win against the Bisons was a good warm-up to see where the Gophers are, but he added there are still things Minnesota has to work on this weekend.
“For our first home dual meet I would like to see us come out and wrestle aggressive,” Robinson said.

John R. Carter covers wrestling and welcomes comments at [email protected]