The Gophers wrestling team dropped its first dual meet of the season Sunday afternoon, losing 23-9 to No. 2 Oklahoma State before an announced crowd of 3,633 at the Maturi Pavilion.
The Gophers, ranked ninth, won three of the weight classes by decision, including a victory by fifth-ranked heavyweight Gable Steveson of Apple Valley in his Maturi Pavilion debut. Steveson, the top incoming freshman recruit in the nation, beat third-ranked Derek White 8-2.
"Last year I was sitting on the bench and ready to go out there right now," Steveson said. "This opportunity I could not pass on, I had to come out today. The vibe and feeling was crazy. The fans were crazy and I loved it."
No. 8 Mitch McKee got the Gophers' first team points of the day in his battle with Kaid Brock at 141 pounds. McKee trailed heading into the third period, but an escape at the beginning of the period followed by a clutch takedown got the Minnesota senior the minor decision.
"For a lot of these matches the guy who wrestled harder for seven minutes won," McKee said. "I knew that if I wrestled as hard as I possibly could good things would happen. And they did."
No. 11 Steve Bleise, competing with an injured hand, fell behind to the Cowboys' Andrew Shomers but was able to rally in the third period. Bleise took down Shomers and quickly exposed his back for crucial near fall points to secure the 8-6 victory.
OSU has won four straight against the Gophers.