The No. 1 University of Minnesota Golden Gopher wrestling team claimed the EAS/NWCA National Dual Championship for the third consecutive year with a 24-15 victory over fourth-ranked Cornell. This is the eighth championship for the Golden Gophers who advance to 12-1 on the season.
Minnesota won its third straight National Duals titleThe Gophers were able to claim six of the ten bouts, including three majors and a fall, en route to the National Duals championship.
The final started with a tough battle between Sam Brancale and No. 1 Nahshon Garrett of Cornell. Brancale stayed close to Garrett and while he was unable to defeat him, he was able to score a point by escaping Garrett's hold in the last few seconds of the bout in order to keep Garrett's victory to a decision and giving Cornell only three points.
No. 8 David Thorn picked up the Gophers first major decision of the dual by defeated No. 15 Mark Grey of Cornell, 11-3. No. 5 Chris Dardanes was able to win his first bout of the day with a major decision over Logan David, 16-6 and No. 3 Nick Dardanes won by sudden victory over Christopher Villalonga. Dardanes was awarded the winning point as Villalonga was tabbed for his second stalling call of the dual. After four bouts, the Gophers were leading 11-3.
No. 5 Dylan Ness had another standout performance with a fall 1:13 into the bout and scored six crucial team points for the Golden Gophers. The Gophers were up 17-3 going into 165.
Danny Zilverberg was defeated by Dylan Palacio of Cornell after a hard fought battle ended in a fall at 7:43. No. 6 Logan Storley won by decision over Craig Eifert of Cornell, 8-2 while No. 8 Kevin Steinhaus fell to Gabriel Dean of Cornell, 3-2. Steinhaus was looking to avenge an earlier loss to Dean at the Southern Scuffle but came up short.
No. 4 Scott Schiller came back after a loss in the dual against Ohio State to win by major decision over Jace Bennett of Cornell, 11-1. The Gophers led 24-12 going into the final dual of the afternoon.
Stepping in once again for Tony Nelson, Michael Kroells was defeated by Jacob Aiken-Phillips of Cornell when he was able to escape with seconds left in regulation. The final score would read 24-15 as the Gophers won their third consecutive National Duals championship.
The Gophers will hit the road for their final dual meet of the year as they travel to Ames to battle the Iowa State University Cyclones on Sunday, Feb. 23. The dual kicks off at 2:00 p.m. CT. Follow @GopherWrestling on Twitter for live scoring updates.
125: No. 1 Nahshon Garrett (Cornell) dec. Sam Brancale (Minnesota), 12-5
133: No. 8 David Thorn (Minnesota) maj. dec. No. 15 Mark Grey (Cornell), 11-3
141: No. 5 Chris Dardanes (Minnesota) maj. dec. Logan David (Cornell), 16-6
149: No. 3 Nick Dardanes (Minnesota) dec. No. 6 Chris Villalonga (Cornell), 5-4 SV2
157: No. 5 Dylan Ness (Minnesota) pinned No. 10 Brian Realbuto (Cornell), 1:13
165: No. 14 Dylan Palacio (Cornell) dec. Danny Zilverberg (Minnesota), 7:43
174: No. 6 Logan Storley (Minnesota) dec. Craig Eifert (Cornell), 8-2
184: No. 3 Gabe Dean (Cornell) dec. No. 8 Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota), 3-2 TB
197: No. 4 Scott Schiller (Minnesota) maj. dec. Jace Bennett (Cornell), 11-1
285: Jacob Aiken-Phillips (Cornell) dec. Michael Kroells (Minnesota), 7-6