MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota wrestling team notched their first home victory of the season in dominating fashion with five bonus point victories en route to a 35-6 dual victory over South Dakota State. It is the Gophers' second time scoring over 30 points in a dual this season after a 33-3 victory over Air Force on Nov. 9.
Wrestling hard throughout the match and scoring early points were a key stressed by coach Brandon Eggum throughout this week, so he was pleased to see the Gophers put the plan into action.
"I'm really impressed with the team's energy from the start until the end," Eggum said. "Those bonus points are big when it comes to the Big Ten Championships or the NCAA Tournament so getting in that mindset early is important. They were thinking about scoring."
125-pound No.5 Sean Russell got the Gophers started early in the dual with a 18-3 victory. Russell got the first takedown of the match and scored two nearfalls within the first period. After taking a sizable first period advantage Russell scored a technical fall less than a minute into the second period for his first career victory at Maturi Pavilion.
"Coach said he wanted our guys shooting in the first three seconds so I was focused on just doing that and coming out hard to set the tone for the rest of the team," Russell said.
133-pound Ethan Lizak, ranked seven in the nation, took a quick lead with two nearfalls in the first period over Spencer Huber. After a stellar first two periods Lizak's reversal to start the third period gave him the necessary 15 points for a technical fall.
Lizak had accumulated over three minutes and 30 seconds in riding time.
No.5 Mitch McKee continued the Gophers roll at 141-pounds with a first-period (2:28) pin of Rylee Molitor after an early nearfall.
At 174-pound No. 20 Devin Skatzka got his first victory at Maturi Pavilion since transferring to the university in a dominating 16-0 technical fall victory over Brett Bye.
No. 2 Gable Steveson got his first takedown only ten seconds into the match and then got another only 20 seconds later. By the end of the first period the freshman heavyweight held a 12-3 advantage. Steveson finished off his technical fall 24 seconds into the second period.
No. 17 Tommy Thorn notched a victory for the Gophers with an 11-5 minor decision over No. 14 Henry Pohlmeyer with over three minutes of riding time. Thorn had lost to Pohlmeyer in the Daktronics Open final early this season.
After dropping bouts early in the season both Carson Brolsma and Dylan Anderson got their first home victories of the year. Brolsma got four takedowns plus the riding time point for a 10-3 win. Anderson rode out Samuel Grove for the entire second period and then escaped Grove's ride after less than ten seconds towards an 8-2 victory.
Making his first dual start of the season was 157-pound Miles Patton. Patton battled in a close match with Colten Carlson but fell in the third period for the Gophers first dropped bout of the day to put the Jackrabbits on the board.
184-pound Owen Webster dropped his decision with Zach Carlson by a score of 8-6. Even in the matches the Gophers dropped, Eggum was proud of the effort.
"Even in those I thought the guys made a lot of progress," Eggum said. "Our bottom wrestling was good and something we talked about this week was getting out from the bottom faster and being more aggressive. It's not so much technique as it is attitude."
The Gophers hit the road for Cliff Keen Invitational this upcoming weekend in Las Vegas. Their next home dual will be against Rutgers on January 6.
125: No. 5 Sean Russell tech. fall Gregory Coapstick 18-3 | Minnesota 5-0
133: No. 7 Ethan Lizak tech. fall Spencer Huber 16-0 | Minnesota 10-0
141: No. 5 Mitch McKee fall (2:28) over Rylee Molitor | Minnesota 16-0
149: No. 17 Tommy Thorn dec. No. 14 Henry Pohlmeyer 11-5 | Minnesota 19-0
157: Colten Carlson dec. Miles Patton 10-5 | Minnesota 19-3
165: Carson Brolsma dec. Logan Peterson 10-3 | Minnesota 22-3
174: No. 20 Devin Skatzka tech. fall Brett Bye 16-0 | Minnesota 27-3
184: Zach Carlson dec. Owen Webster 8-6 | Minnesota 27-6
197: Dylan Anderson dec. Samuel Grove 8-2 | Minnesota 30-6
285: No. 2 Gable Steveson tech. fall Blake Wolters 18-3 | Minnesota 35-6