The Gophers wrestling team edged No. 2-ranked Iowa 19-15 on Saturday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, where the Hawkeyes had won 26 consecutive conference dual meets.
Kevin Steinhaus’ 8-6 decision over Sam Brooks at 184 pounds gave No. 4 Minnesota a 15-12 lead, and Scott Schiller’s 16-5 major decision over Nathan Burak at 197 made the score 19-12 and clinched the outcome.
“This is Big Ten, Division I wrestling,” Iowa coach Tom Brands said. “We have to be sharper than that. We have to be ready to battle. It’s pretty clear that we regressed a little bit as a team but made strides individually. That’s probably how you would sum it up.”
Iowa (11-2, 4-1) and the Gophers (8-1, 5-1) both won five matches. The difference in their score was bonus points. Minnesota got three extra in the first match. Unranked Sam Brancale pinned No. 3-ranked Thomas Gilmore in 2:03, ending his nine-match winning streak, to give the Gophers a 6-0 lead. Schiller, who is 23-0 now and ranked No. 1 at his weight, got the fourth bonus point.
Another key Gophers win came at 157. No. 14 Dylan Ness reversed Derek St. John in the final 30 seconds to win 7-4 and put the Gophers ahead 12-6. St. John was ranked No. 2.
Iowa did win the final match between two standout heavyweights. No. 3 Bobby Telford edged No. 2 Tony Nelson 3-1 in overtime.
The announced crowd was 10,588.
Nelson looks at Rutgers
Former Gophers quarterback Philip Nelson has an offer from Rutgers and will make an official visit there Sunday, his father, Pat Nelson, said in an e-mail Saturday night.
Rutgers will be joining the Big Ten this season, but the Scarlet Knights aren’t scheduled to play the Gophers until 2016.
Philip Nelson, who announced he was transferring from Minnesota last week, has been working out in Arizona with Terry Shea, the former Rutgers coach who has instructed such NFL quarterbacks as Robert Griffin III, Sam Bradford and Matthew Stafford.
• In other recruiting news, the Gophers received a verbal commitment from Jonathan Celestin, a linebacker from Jonesboro (Ga.) Mundy Mill High School. He is from the same school as running back Rodney Smith, who committed to the Gophers earlier last week.
Minnesota also lost a recruit. Khari Blasingame, a safety from New Market, Ala., flipped his commitment to Vanderbilt.
Vikings hire RBs coach
Kirby Wilson will be the Vikings running backs coach under new coach Mike Zimmer, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
Wilson was running backs coach for the Steelers, and was a finalist for the Baltimore offensive coordinator position.
He has been on the Steelers staff since 2007 when Mike Tomlin became the team’s head coach. Wilson replaces James Saxon with the Vikings.
Beargrease to begin
Thirty mushers and 300 dogs will compete in the 30th John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon starting Sunday in Duluth.
Ten teams of 14 dogs will start the full marathon, while 20 teams with eight dogs each opted for the 125-mile mid-distance race, which finishes Monday in Tofte.
Three defending champions are entered, including 2013 winner Nathan Schroeder.
U splits in gymnastics
The Gophers women’s gymnastics team edged No. 11 Illinois 196.225 to 195.350 in its Big Ten opener at the Sports Pavilion behind sophomore Lindsay Mable’s dominant meet.
She won the all-around (39.600) and floor exercise (9.975) and tied for first in the vault (9.925), uneven bars (9.825) and balance beam (9.875).
Teammate Jenny Covers tied Mable for first in uneven bars. The No. 13 Gophers are 7-0.
• In an earlier meet at the Sports Pavilion, the Gophers men’s team took first in four events but lost to No. 1-ranked Oklahoma 431.9 to 427.65. Individual events winners for Minnesota were Ellis Mannon in pommel horse (14.95), Sean Bauer in rings (15.10), Zach Chase in vault (15.20) and Paul Montague Jr. in parallel bars (14.80).
• The Gophers men’s swimming and diving team beat North Carolina State 192-159 at the University Aquatic Center to improve to 6-1. Manny Pollard led a 1-2-3 sweep in 1-meter diving for the Gophers, and Carl Newenhouse had a momentum-building win in the 200-yard backstroke in 1:46.71. … The Gophers women’s team also won, beating the Wolfpack 190.5-156.5. Rebecca Weiland won the 100 butterfly in 53.36 for the Gophers (7-0) and swam on the winning 400 freestyle relay.