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Minnesota handles Wisconsin in Big Ten opener

MINNEAPOLIS -- The No. 3 Minnesota wrestling program defeated the visiting No.9 Wisconsin Badgers 20-14 on Friday night as the Gophers celebrated the return of Brock Lesnar for the 20th Anniversary of his 2000 NCAA Championship.

Minnesota took home six individual victories, including the first five of the night, to pull away from the Badgers with ease and continue a winning streak lasting more than a decade.

The night was headlined by the Gophers' three ranked victories as led by No.2 Gable Steveson, No. 5 Brayton Lee, and No. 20 Owen Webster. Steveson defeated No. 6 Trent Hillger, Lee defeated No. 16 Cole Martin, and Webster defeated No.10 Johnny Sebastian.

"The atmosphere was incredible," Steveson said. "People showed love to us as a whole team and it makes everything here pretty fun. It was great having Brock around."

Besides the wrestling on the mat, the night was special for the return of WWE and UFC Brock Lesnar. Lesnar was honored during the first half of the dual and then took a picture with over 300 kids on the mat during the final break of the dual.

In his first home dual in Maroon and Gold Hunter Ritter took home the thrilling victory at 197-pounds over Wisconsin's Taylor Watkins, his former teammate in Madison. Ritter got the first takedown to se the tone and closed things out with a huge takedown in sudden victory as time was dwindling to defeat his former squad.

Both Webster and Ritter's victories came in winner-take-all sudden victory to draw the over 4,000 in attendance to their feet.

The evening was also a big one for career milestones and accomplishments. Both Pat McKee and Lee secured their first career Big Ten dual victories while Ritter earned his first while at Minnesota. Skatzka's major decision gives him 99 in his career with a chance to hit the century mark next weekend in his native state of Michigan.

The dual also marked Jake Gliva's and Bailee O'Reilly's first Big Ten dual action.

Minnesota continues Big Ten competition next weekend when they hit the road for a pair of duals against Michigan and Michigan State. The Gophers then return home for their second home dual, this time against the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Results:
174: No.7 Devin Skatzka major dec. (11-3) over Jared Krattinger (Minnesota leads 4-0)
184: No. 20 Owen Webster SV1 (3-1) over No. 10 Johnny Sebastian (Minnesota leads 7-0)
197: Hunter Ritter SV1 (6-4) over Taylor Watkins (Minnesota leads 10-0)
285: No. 2 Gable Steveson dec. (10-5) over No. 6 Trent Hillger (Minnesota leads 13-0)
125: No. 15 Pat McKee major dec. (9-0) over Eric Barnett (Minnesota leads 17-0)
133: No. 1 Seth Gross tech. fall (15-0) over Jake Gliva (Minnesota leads 17-5)
141: No. 11 Tristan Moran dec. (7-6) over No. 3 Mitch McKee (Minnesota leads 17-8)
149: No. 5 Brayton Lee dec. (7-4) over No. 16 Cole Martin (Minnesota leads 20-8)
157: Drew Scharenbrock dec. (6-1) over Carson Brolsma (Minnesota leads 20-11)
165: No. 5 Evan Wick dec. (6-1) over Bailee O'Reilly (Minnesota wins 20-14)

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