MINNEAPOLIS – For the second year in a row, Minnesota beat Oklahoma State to win the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals. The third-ranked Golden Gophers handled the No. 1 Cowboys 28-9 on Saturday in the 2013 championship dual at Williams Arena, marking the eighth time that Minnesota has captured the title.
The Gophers blasted through a strong Oklahoma State lineup, winning a total of seven bouts, and tallied two pins against top-three opponents. David Thorn got Minnesota off to a solid start at 125 pounds with a 5-2 win against Eddie Klimara. Chris Dardanes (133 pounds) followed with an overtime victory against Jon Morrison. The two went seven rounds before Dardanes capitalized on a reversal with 20 seconds remaining and rode out to the 4-2 score. Getting revenge against Julian Feikert, Nick Dardanes (141 pounds) scored bonus points with a 14-5 major decision to give the Gophers a 10-0 lead after only three wrestlers.
Oklahoma State won the next three bouts to come within one of Minnesota’s team score. No. 1 Jordan Oliver edged Dylan Ness 6-4 at 149 poiunds, Alex Dieringer narrowly defeated Danny Zilverberg 3-1 at 157 pounds, and Tyler Caldwell bested Cody Yohn 7-2 at 165 pounds.
Then Logan Storley (174 pounds) took to the mat. Storley’s lone loss of the season came from OSU’s Chris Perry at the Southern Scuffle. In Minneapolis, Storley got revenge. Another bout that went into overtime, Storley went in for the kill and shocked the Cowboys by pinning Perry at 8:20. At 184 pounds, Kevin Steinhaus worked for a 4-3 decision against Chris Chionuma and Scott Schiller followed with a 6-2 decision versus Blake Rosholt at 197 pounds.
Nelson put an exclamation point on the evening against OSU’s Alan Gelogaev. The Gophers didn’t need the extra points, but Nelson delivered them anyway, pinning Gelogaev late in the second period.
Gophers beat No. 2 Iowa in semifinals
Minnesota advanced to the finals with a 22-15 victory against No. 2 Iowa 22-15 in the semfinals Saturday.
The Gophers exacted their revenge on the Hawkeyes by winning six of 10 bouts. Minnesota’s final four wrestlers won out the match, but it was Nick Dardanes and Ness that made the difference. Dardanes wrestled for a major decision (12-4) against Mark Ballweg after losing to him earlier in the season. The match was tight in the beginning but Dardanes dished out takedown after takedown to dominate the bout. Ness added to the momentum when he followed with an uproarious pinning of Michael Kelly at the 2:39 mark.
Storley cemented his place as the No. 1-ranked wrestler in the 174-pound weight class with a 3-1 decision against Mike Evans. Steinhaus bested Grant Gambrall 4-0 to bring Minnesota back on top of the team score 16-15. Schiller defeated Nathan Burak 9-3 and Nelson capped off the dual with a 3-1 victory against Bobby Telford.
Iowa got wins from top-ranked wrestlers Matt McDonough (125 pounds) and Derek St. John (157). Both won by decision, McDonough against Thorn 8-2 and St. John versus Zilverberg 7-4. Tony Ramos, ranked second at 133 pounds, won by fall at 6:40 against Chris Dardanes and Nick Moore won a 4-2 decision versus Yohn for Iowa’s other team victories.