Minnesota won its second straight NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals title (Photo/Mark Beshey, The Guillotine)
MINNEAPOLIS -- On Saturday night, in the finals of the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals, Minnesota's Logan Storley delivered when his team needed it the most.
Minnesota and Oklahoma State split the first six matches, and the Gophers held a 10-9 lead when the nation's top two 174-pound wrestlers, Storley and second-ranked Chris Perry stepped on the mat.
Logan Storley earned a defensive fall against Chris Perry (Photo/Mark Beshey, The Guillotine)After a scoreless first period, the two wrestlers traded escapes in the final two periods to send the match to overtime with the score tied 1-1. After a scoreless sudden victory period, Storley started the tiebreaker period in the down position and was able to capitalize on Perry's mistake and pick up a defensive fall.
"I hipped over and grabbed his head and kept running over the top with it. All of a sudden I heard the crowd and Eggum was pointing, and they called the fall. I can't argue with it," said Storley, who improved to 22-1 and also avenged his only loss of the season, which came to Perry at the Southern Scuffle.
Storley's pin not only widened Minnesota's lead to 16-9, but also ignited the Gophers. Minnesota won the next three matches to close out a convincing 28-9 victory over Oklahoma State. It marks the second straight NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals title for Minnesota.
"We looked at it on our wall and we have won it in two-year increments," said Minnesota assistant head coach Brandon Eggum. "So we won it last year and we said it must be history repeating itself. We'll win it again tonight ... and we did."
Oklahoma State coach John Smith didn't want to dwell on the negative following the finals loss.
"It gives us a chance to evaluate and move forward," said Smith. The team gave a pretty good effort. We have wrestled a lot in the last seven days. We have traveled a lot. For the most part I really believe we can grow from this and get better."
The Gophers started the dual meet strong by winning the first three matches. David Thorn and Chris Dardanes picked up decisions at 125 pounds and 133 pounds respectively, before Nick Dardanes earned a major decision victory at 141 pounds to open up a 10-0 lead.
Top-ranked Jordan Oliver won 6-4 over Dylan Ness at 149 (Photo/Mark Beshey, The Guillotine)The Cowboys climbed back in the dual meet with three straight wins of their own from 149 pounds through 165 pounds. Top-ranked Jordan Oliver won a hard-fought match, 6-4, over Dylan Ness at 149 pounds. Ninth-ranked Alex Dieringer won a low scoring battle, 3-1, over Danny Zilverberg at 157 pounds. At 165 pounds, third-ranked Tyler Caldwell earned a 7-2 victory over Cody Yohn to cut the deficit to 10-9 with four matches remaining.
After Storley's defensive fall over Perry at 174 pounds, Minnesota's Kevin Steinahaus, ranked fifth, came from behind to defeat No. 11 Chris Chionuma, 4-3, at 184 pounds. Steinhaus trailed 3-2 in the third period before picking up the go-ahead takedown with ten seconds on the clock.
"It's tough to wrestle him," said Steinhaus. "He's really offensive, but at the same time he'll keep his distance so it's kind of hard to get my hands on him. They slow down a little bit throughout the match, so I would say that's why the scoring happens at the end. I just struggled a little more than normal tonight."
Scott Schiller, ranked 11th, sealed the victory for Minnesota with a 6-2 victory over eighth-ranked Blake Rosholt at 197 pounds. The win put Minnesota in front 22-9 going into the final match of the dual meet.
NCAA champion Tony Nelson pinned Alan Gelogaev (Photo/Mark Beshey, The Guillotine)At heavyweight, Minnesota's Tony Nelson took the mat against Alan Gelogaev, who was coming off a victory over top-ranked Dom Bradley of Missouri. After a scoreless first period, Nelson started the second period in the top position and was able to turn Gelogaev and record a pin to close out the dual meet.
"We already had the dual locked up," said Nelson, a returning NCAA champion. "I just wanted to go out there to gain the No. 1 spot. It will help me at the end of the year with seedings. He's a tough wrestler. I was able to wear him out on top and get the pin."
Storley believes the Gophers are peaking at the right time.
"After our Big Ten season, we had that loss to Iowa, we really kicked it into a new gear training-wise," said Storley. "The Dardanes are back wrestling better than ever. To have Thorn and all those guys back, our lighter weights at a hundred percent, it makes a big difference. Ness went up ten levels from the Southern Scuffle to now, giving Oliver one heck of a match. I think everyone is feeling good and we're all coming together as a team at the right time."
Luke Becker and Brandon Eggum coaching in the finals (Photo/Mark Beshey, The Guillotine)Noticeably absent from the National Duals was top-ranked and two-time defending NCAA champion Penn State. The Gophers and Nittany Lions did not face each other during the dual meet season.
"Obviously, with a great team like Penn State, you want to have them here," said Eggum. "That just kind of helps with the excitement. They have a great fan base. All those things. It makes it important. I know there is talk of them coming next year. I think that would be great."
Minnesota will now prepare to compete at the Big Ten Championships, which take place March 9-10 in Champaign, Ill. Oklahoma State will host the Big 12 Championships on March 9.
125: No. 13 David Thorn (Minnesota) dec. Eddie Klimara (Oklahoma State), 5-2
133: No. 8 Chris Dardanes (Minnesota) dec. No. 7 Jon Morrison (Oklahoma State), 4-2 SV2
141: No. 9 Nick Dardanes (Minnesota) maj. dec. Julian Feikert (Oklahoma State), 14-5
149: No. 1 Jordan Oliver (Oklahoma State) dec. No. 6 Dylan Ness (Minnesota), 6-4
157: No. 9 Alex Dieringer (Oklahoma State) dec. Danny Zilverberg (Minnesota), 3-1
165: No. 3 Tyler Caldwell (Oklahoma State) dec. No. 14 Cody Yohn (Minnesota), 7-2
174: No. 1 Logan Storley (Minnesota) pinned No. 2 Chris Perry (Oklahoma State), 8:20
184: No. 5 Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota) dec. No. 11 Chris Chionuma (Oklahoma State), 4-3
197: No. 11 Scott Schiller (Minnesota) dec. No. 8 Blake Rosholt (Oklahoma State), 6-2
285: No. 2 Tony Nelson (Minnesota) pinned No. 3 Alan Gelogaev (Oklahoma State), 4:50
Missouri defeats Iowa to claim third place
Missouri defeated Iowa 18-16 on the strength of upset victories from Alan Waters (125) and Kyle Bradley (157) to claim third place at the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals.
Waters earned a 4-0 shutout over two-time NCAA champion Matt McDonough. The Missouri junior scored a takedown 30 seconds into the match, and added an escape in the second period and a riding time point to earn the victory. With the win, Waters improves to 26-0 this season.
Bradley's upset victory came over top-ranked and previously unbeaten Derek St. John at 157 pounds. St. John held a 3-2 lead in the third period before Bradley scored a go-ahead takedown off a double leg with 27 seconds remaining in the match. He then rode out St. John for the victory.
The Tigers trailed by seven points after 174 pounds, but swept the final three matches, getting wins from Mike Larson (184), Brent Haynes (197), and Dom Bradley (285) to take the dual meet. Bradley's victory came in sudden victory over Bobby Telford.
125: No. 4 Alan Waters (Missouri) dec. No. 1 Matt McDonough (Iowa), 4-0
133: No. 2 Tony Ramos (Iowa) won by forfeit
141: Josh Dziewa (Iowa) maj. dec. Nick Hucke (Missouri), 10-2
149: No. 15 Drake Houdashelt (Missouri) dec. Brody Grothus (Iowa), 6-2
157: No. 19 Kyle Bradley (Missouri) dec. No. 1 Derek St. John (Iowa), 4-3
165: No. 13 Nick Moore (Iowa) dec. No. 16 Zach Toal (Missouri), 3-1 SV
174: No. 3 Mike Evans (Iowa) dec. No. 13 Todd Porter (Missouri), 5-2
184: No. 12 Mike Larson (Missouri) dec. No. 14 Ethen Lofthouse (Iowa), 3-2
197: No. 18 Brent Haynes (Missouri) dec. No. 19 Nathan Burak (Iowa), 1-0
285: No. 1 Dom Bradley (Missouri) dec. No. 6 Bobby Telford (Iowa), 4-2 SV