197: No. 19 Riley Orozco (CSUB) dec. Joe Nord (MINN), 10-4
I didnâ€™t even recognize Nord at 197â€¦ Itâ€™s not even that he looks sucked out; he literally just looks like a different person. Body morphology aside, he did not look very impressive, and I donâ€™t think heâ€™s going to be the answer that Gopher faithful have been yearning for at 197. Orozco is a legit top 20 guy so itâ€™s not surprising that he came away with the victory, but Nord was never even in the match. I think he had one decent attempt at offense that didnâ€™t get him anywhere, and other that it was mostly Orozco scoring on leg shots.
Itâ€™s really a shame that Geiger left, I think the gophers would be title contenders with him on the team.
HVY: No. 4 Mitch Monteiro (CSUB) dec. No. 8 Ben Berhow (MINN), 4-1
The first period opened up with your typical heavyweight battle, lots of hand fighting and belly bumping. Monteiro hit a great single and converted for a TD then rode Ben really tough. Berhow was in danger at least twice from tilts, and I was impressed by Monteiro’s riding ability (he is a guy I have not had a chance to watch a lot of footage on).
Towards the end of the 2nd period was probably the most exciting part of the match. Ben and Mitch got into a great scramble and Monteiro had Big B in trouble for quite a while before Berhow came around and almost got two of his own. Monteiro managed to explode out of it and get away before any points were scored.
For most of the 3rd Ben was the aggressor, but his shots were sloppy and slow and he never had Monteiro in much danger. Big Ben is a guy Iâ€™m a huge fan of because he always leaves it all on the mat, and this match was no exception. Unfortunately the result was not as close as the score, Monteiro looked clearly superior from all positions and Bens only good scoring chance was that scramble in the second. Even when he got to his underhooks he wasnâ€™t able to use them to set up a decent shot. Iâ€™m not hopping off the Big B Man bandwagon quite yet, but this was definitely a reality check for my lofty expectations of Big Ben this year.
125: No. 4 Zach Sanders (MINN) tech. Tyler Iwamura (CSUB), 21-5; 6:04
Sanders looked likeâ€¦ well he looked like Zach Sanders. He was against an inferior opponent and he made sure everyone knew it, dominating the entire match before ending it in a techfall. He did get a little sloppy in some instances, such as trying a throw that probably would have cost him at least 2 against any real competition.
One thing that did worry me a little bit is that Zach did not have great penetration on a lot of his shots. He was able to score regardless, because he outclassed Iwanura by several orders of magnitude. However against better opposition taking shots from so far outside might be ill-advised.
133: No. 2 Jayson Ness (MINN) fall Justin Durham (CSUB), 2:20
Ness got a little sloppy at the start and actually managed to give up the first TD, before coming back to get a TD of his own and pin the kid. Thatâ€™s honestly all there is to tell here.
Jayson â€œBig Leverâ€ Ness, this yearâ€™s 133 pound NCAA champ.
141: No. 4 Mike Thorn (MINN) maj. Elijah Nacita (CSUB), 9-1 / 15-6
I refuse to get off my rankings high horse in saying that Thorn is criminally overranked at #4, as he in no way deserves such a high mark. However I have to admit that tonight he looked like someone who might end up earning that ranking at some point. He came off the whistle aggressive and stayed that way the entire match, putting an impressive beating on a very solid Elijah Nacita (who should probably be ranked top 20). Nacita looked game but also over matched, and even when he was able to create the kinds of scrambles he wanted he was unable to score.
I like Thorns aggressive style, and Iâ€™m encouraged by the progress he has made over the last few years. I
He did look fairly sloppy on a few of his attacks, but considering what a good defensive wrestler Nacita is I think he showed impressive finishing ability, and despite being put in danger in a few scrambles he avoided giving up any points (although he did almost get broken in half at one point, luckily the ref jumped in to call PD).
149: Luke Mellmer (MINN) maj. Anthony Box (CSUB), 9-1
Instead of getting our first glimpse of blue chip recruit Mario Mason we got to see hometown hero Luke Mellmer in action, who is probably best known for wrestling literally 10 ranked guys in a row while Schlatter was sitting out with an injury two years ago. Most incoming freshman get a redshirt year to warm up to college wrestling. Mellmer got to get beat on by guys like Brent Metcalf.
After that brutal stretch of varsity competition, it was nice to see a little bit of Karmic justice tonight with Mellmer getting the win. He looked quite good and has clearly improved over the past year or so. The guy he was wrestling was nothing special, but I was still impressed by the explosiveness of Mellmer’s shots. I still donâ€™t think he gives Palmer a run for his money, but Mellmer is a quality backup, and you can never have too many of those (See 165â€¦)
Iâ€™d never seen Box wrestle before, but I think his lack of a real California tan is clearly holding him back, and it might have been contributing factor in Mellmerâ€™s victory. Also, the dudes name is â€œBoxâ€. Heheâ€¦
(Side Note: Someone was going nuts at the end of the bench the whole match, It looked a little like Ness but it wasnâ€™t. Heâ€™d sit down and then jump out of his seat every 10 seconds, or whenever there was serious action occurring. Made me laugh. It might have been Zilverberg)
157: Joe Grygelko (MINN) dec. Andrew Balch (CSUB), 8-7
Grygelko started this match really strong and faded quite a bit down the stretch. I have mixed feelings about this one. Grygelko showcased some nice shots from neutral, but looked completely lost on top. Iâ€™m not sure if he wrestles Dustin every day and isnâ€™t used to being in that position or what, but he didnâ€™t achieve riding time until after his 4th TD. As a result of his inability to ride, a match that could have ended 9-1 (see Mellmer match) ended up becoming a 2 point deal when Grygelko got headlocked near the end of the 3rd. He managed to stay off his back and win the match, but it was definitely a lot closer then it needed to be.
Another thing that kind of bugged me about this match is that it featured the conspicuous absence of Olympian Jake Deitchler, who has yet to set foot on a mat for the Gophers. Iâ€™ve heard everything from he has a concussion, to weight problems, to J redshirting him. I honestly have no idea what the deal is, but I sincerely hope we get to see him on the mat soon.
165: Joey Granata (CSUB) dec. Brian Peterson (MINN), 10-3
This is a match that really showcased how the lack of depth can be a problemâ€¦ After Schlatter’s history of injury problems it should not be surprising that he is getting the Nickerson treatment this year, especially considering that he is just coming off peaking for Worlds.
When the Gophers put Peterson on the mat I was thinking that there was no way he was the best backup they have for 165. Then I looked at the roster, and realize that if the slightly bigger Grygelko is in at 157 then Peterson IS the best backup they have at 165. Yeah, you heard me right; our 3rd+ stringer at 149 is also our backup 165. I donâ€™t know if some guys got bigger than expected, or what, but we have eight guys at 174 and only five at 157/165, which includes redshirting freshman Alec Ortiz. Not exactly a thrilling proposition when you consider that our starting 165er will likely be wrestled sparingly this year.
As for the match itself, I have to give Peterson credit. He got in on some nice shots and kept wrestling the whole 7 minutes, scoring an escape with about 30 seconds left to keep this to a regular decision. He had several spurts of good offense but was just far too small to keep up.
174: Cody Yohn (MINN) maj. Trevor Hall (CSUB), 13-3
I have to be honest here; this is one of the most unimpressive majors I have ever seen. I know what some of you are thinking, an unimpressive major, how can such a thing be? But I assure you, tonight it was. Cody Yohn came out like Brad Pataky on steroids and scored 12 points within the two minutes of the match, and then proceeded to do absolutely NOTHING for the next five minutes. Didnâ€™t mount a strong ride, didnâ€™t take a single shot, and didnâ€™t even escape from bottom. Why? Because he took neutral…After spending three minutes standing around with a collar tie he apparently felt like minutes four & five would be his time to shine (or maybe he is just awful from the bottom). They werenâ€™t, and JRob actually got annoyed enough that at one point he got up off the bench and started yelling at Cody.
I have to expect that Glasser is going to end up being the long term starter here after his decisive victory at the Bison. If Yohn doesnâ€™t have more offense then he showed tonight he is going to be in for some rough matches against the B10 174ers.
184: No. 16 Sonny Yohn (MINN) tech. Mike Larson (CSUB) 15-0; 4:29
Sonny Yohn isâ€¦ aâ€¦ BEAST!!!
Heâ€™s a guy who showed a lot of potential last year but never really seemed to be able to find his groove or his gas tank after coming off major surgery. I think now that he is healthy he is going to show everyone why he was such a highly rated recruit coming out of high school.
He dominated this match from start to finish and looked like an absolute monster on top. Granted, Mike Larson is not the stiffest of competition, but Yohn’s earlier season results this year point me towards big things for the Gopher sophomore. At last yearâ€™s KB Open Yohn lost an 11-4 match to future Iowa 184 pounder Grant Gambrall. This year he posted a 4-0 victory in a match that wasnâ€™t even close.
I look for Sonny to be 4th at worst in the B10 and take home AA honors this year.
It was a fun meet even if we had to delay our first glimpse of Deitchler and Mason. Sanders, Ness, and Berhow all look to be picking up where they left off, while Yohn and Thorn appear to have made significant strides in the right direction. I think this is going to be a much better year for the Gophers then last season was, and I expect them to be contending for a national title in March.
Iâ€™ll be doing a preview of the Okie State match next Friday, so stay tuned for that. Until next time people.