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Minnesota downs Northwestern for fifth straight win

MINNEAPOLIS -- The No. 12 Gopher wrestling team (7-2) won eight of 10 matches in a 29-10 win against No. 11 Northwestern (2-6) at Maturi Pavilion on Sunday. Gable Steveson completed his third undefeated regular season, while sophomore Patrick McKee upset No. 7 Michael DeAugustino at 125 pounds.

Coming out of intermission with Minnesota leading the dual, 15-4, Steveson cruised to a 16-1 technical fall against the Wildcats' Jack Heyob at heavyweight. He led 8-0 after the first period with a takedown and six near-fall points en route to his 26th consecutive victory. Steveson is now 9-0 on the season and 59-2 in his career, including a 48-0 regular-season mark.

Ranked 15th in the country at 125 pounds, McKee followed with a 9-6 decision against DeAugustino. McKee dominated the first period with a takedown and over two minutes of riding time, but DeAugustino opened the second period with a reversal and near fall to take the lead. Trailing 5-4 with 50 seconds left in the match, McKee's takedown and two-point near fall completed the comeback.

After Northwestern began the dual with a major decision by top-ranked Ryan Deakin at 157 pounds, the Gophers responded with six straight wins. True freshman Andrew Sparks improved to 8-1 in his first season with a 14-11 decision against David Ferrante at 165 pounds.

After junior Jake Allar's decision at 174 pounds, true freshman Isaiah Salazar picked up his first career pin in his second dual start at 184 pounds to extend the lead to 12-4. Sophomore Garrett Joles added a 10-8 decision against Jon Halvorsen at 197 pounds.

Redshirt freshman Marcos Polanco and sophomore Michael Blockhus closed out the dual with wins. Polanco's takedown late in overtime sealed a 3-1 decision at 141 pounds. Blockhus upset No. 14 Yahya Thomas, 3-2, with the match's lone takedown in the final minute of regulation at 149 pounds.

Winners of its last five dual meets, Minnesota will compete at the 2021 Big Ten Championships, which will be hosted by Penn State, March 6-7.

Results:
157: #1 Ryan Deakin (NU) maj. dec. #6 Brayton Lee (UM), 12-0 (NU 4, UM 0)
165: #17 Andrew Sparks (UM) dec, David Ferrante (NU), 14-11 (NU 4, UM 3)
174: Jake Allar (UM) dec. Troy Fisher (NU), 6-5 (UM 6, NU 4)
184: Isaiah Salazar (UM) pinned Jack Jessen (NU), 5:32 (UM 12, NU 4)
197: Garrett Joles (UM) dec. Jon Halvorsen (NU), 10-8 (UM 15, NU 4)
HWT: #1 Gable Steveson (UM) tech. fall Jack Heyob (NU), 16-1 5:05 (UM 20, NU 4)
125: #15 Patrick McKee (UM) dec. #7 Michael DeAugustino (NU), 9-6 (UM 23, NU 4)
133: #12 Chris Cannon (NU) pinned Boo Dryden (UM), 4:13 (UM 23, NU 10)
141: Marcos Polanco (UM) dec. Colin Valdiveiz (NU), 3-1 SV1 (UM 26, NU 10)
149: Michael Blockhus (UM) dec. #14 Yahya Thomas (NU), 3-2 (UM 29, NU 10)

Extra Matches:
133: Jake Gliva (UM) maj. dec. Matt Vinci (NU), 16-4
149: Jake Bergeland (UM) dec. Trevor Chumbley (NU), 2-1
157: Maxx Mayfield (NU) dec. Ryan Thomas (UM), 7-4
174: Bailee O'Reilly (UM) tech. fall Ankhaa Enkhmandakh (NU), 16-1

*Extra Matches: Due to only wrestling within the conference, the Big Ten will permit schools to hold extra matches on competition dates. Though they will not count towards dual scoring, they will count towards an individual's varsity record for purposes of seeding for the conference and national tournament.

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