The Gophers wrestling team overcame a 12-point deficit by reeling off five consecutive victories in a 23-18 victory over Purdue on Sunday at the Sports Pavilion.
The Boilermakers led 15-3 after winning three consecutive bouts with bonus points, including a major decision by seventh-ranked Chad Welch at 165 pounds. A major decision by No. 4 Brett Pfarr gave the Gophers life going into halftime. The Gophers kept that momentum going when Ben Morgan picked up a pin at 133 pounds in his career debut. Those wins were key in a five-match winning streak that turned the meet around.
“It was a great statement to the guys, being down and coming back. That’s what athletics is about,” Gophers coach J Robinson said. “I told the guys at halftime, tough periods don’t make character, what they do is reveal it. I think those five guys came out and did what they had to do to win.”
Morgan’s bout with Luke Welch was scoreless midway through the first period when a single-leg shot appeared like it would earn a takedown for Welch. Along the edge of the mat, Morgan went on his back and kicked Welch over the top, flipping him to his back and earning the fall at 1:29.
The Gophers’ next dual is Friday at No. 2 Iowa.
Diggins anchors U.S ski relay
Afton native Jessie Diggins anchored the U.S. women’s cross-country ski team to a silver medal in a World Cup relay, marking the highest-ever finish by an American women’s relay team on the World Cup circuit. Diggins skied a strong final leg in the 4x5-kilometer relay in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic. Norway won the race by 42.1 seconds over the Americans, with Finland third.
“I’m just so proud of our whole team,’’ Diggins said. “It was such a wonderful feeling crossing that line and skiing straight into the arms of my teammates, knowing we just accomplished something big.
• The Gophers women’s tennis team beat South Alabama 4-1 at the ITA Kickoff in College Station, Texas. It was the Gophers’ first victory at the kickoff tournament in program history. … The Gophers men’s team lost its ITA Kickoff match 4-0 to No. 16 Columbia in New York.