Brothers make history with Big Ten titles, but have eyes set on bigger prize

Tyler Rushmeyer

Minnesota wrestling has seen its share of impressive sibling duos over the years, but the one currently in the spotlight continued to make history this past weekend.

For the second consecutive year, junior C.P. Schlatter, along with his younger brother sophomore Dustin Schlatter, did what no sibling pair has done at Minnesota, as both took home Big Ten individual titles in the same season.

The Ohio natives, the third pair of brothers to win Big Ten titles in their careers, helped lead Minnesota to its second consecutive Big Ten team title and fifth in the last seven years.

It was an expected win for Dustin Schlatter, undefeated and the unanimous top seed in his weight class all season, but C.P. Schlatter had to face more adversity this season trying to defend his title.

The junior, who battled back from an early season knee injury, said the No. 4 seed he was given in the Big Ten tournament as its returning champion did not sit well.

“Things like that happen, but I felt like I didn’t get the respect I deserved,” he said. “I wrestled with a chip on my shoulder all weekend.”

And it paid off as he used tight decisions over two of the top-five wrestlers in the nation, to take his title while younger brother Dustin continued his undefeated season and extended his career winning streak to 62 straight en route to the 149-pound crown.

Dustin Schlatter said taking the title before nervously watching his brother do the same was thrilling.

“I think the lower seed for C.P. turned out to be a good thing,” he said. “I just told him to go out and shut up the people who put you there.”

With the Big Ten championship medals resting in their parents’ home, both said late in the season they are not yet fully satisfied.

Assistant coach Marty Morgan, a former Minnesota wrestler and national title winner in 1991, said he expects big things from both the brothers at the NCAA tournament.

“C.P. came up short last year, so he’s got something to prove to the wrestling nation,” he said.

“Dustin, he’s just a big-time wrestler who thrives in pressure situations. They’ll both be raring to go.”

Morgan knows what it’s like to be wrestling alongside a brother.

The former two-time Big Ten Champion in 1990 and 1991 saw his older brother take the 1989 conference crown in a season where both earned All-American status.

The other pair of brothers to take Big Ten titles was Larry Zilverberg, who triumphed in 1974, 1975, and 1976, and Dan Zilverberg, who captured titles in 1979 and 1980.

But even with Big Ten championships under their belts for a second consecutive season, both Schlatters still have a big step to take in accomplishing the feat of adding their names to the list of brothers who have won the NCAA championship in the same year.

C.P. Schlatter said his mindset is completely different this year after falling in the tournament last season, and that a chance to take home a national title alongside his brother would be something special.

“Dustin is expected to win, and I feel I am ready to take the next step,” he said. “To accomplish the ultimate goal together as teammates, let alone brothers, would be amazing.”

Dustin Schlatter said winning the national title last year after watching his brother fail to place has made the goal of taking the titles together the ultimate objective.

“Of course it felt great last year to win it, but I was torn with my emotions,” he said. “Something was missing, and hopefully we can find it this year.”