Gophers bounce back at Daktronics Open

Nolan O'Hara

After their shocking dual loss to Rider University, the Gophers wrestling team redeemed themselves Sunday, earning seven individual titles and finishing in first place at the Daktronics Open in Brookings, South Dakota. 

Redshirt freshman Patrick McKee bounced back from his loss in the Rider dual, winning the 125-pound title with a pin in quarterfinals, a technical fall in semifinals and earning the decision to win his second open title this season. At 141 pounds, senior Mitch McKee kept his momentum rolling, starting the day off with two pins. The second notched his fifth consecutive. He earned a decision in the semifinal round, and a major decision in finals to win his second open title of the year. Mitch McKee is already 10-0 on the season. 

Freshman Baylor Fernandes also earned a title at 157 pounds, getting two decisions before getting a major decision in finals. Fernandes was competing unattached. Redshirt senior Carson Brolsma got injured in his second match and took the medical forfeit. The Gophers also took the title at 165 pounds, redshirt sophomore Bailee O’Reilly had a major decision in quarterfinals and took decisions in semis and finals to take the title. 

Redshirt senior Devin Statzka responded to his dual loss on Friday by dominating the 174-pound Round Robin. Statzka had pins in his first three matches and earned a technical fall over South Dakota State’s Cade King to take the title. Senior Owen Webster carried the momentum from his win Friday, earning a major decision in quarterfinals, a decision in semis, before his opponent Zach Carlson had to medically forfeit in finals. 

The Gophers took the heavyweight title as well. Redshirt senior Bobby Stevenson earned decisions in each round to secure his first individual title of the season. The Gophers competing unattached were the runners-up in the Daktronics Open. 

Next up for the Gophers will be a trip to Stillwater, Oklahoma, where they’ll take on Oklahoma State for their third dual of the season.