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Gophers wrestlers to battle Hawkeyes for Big Ten lead

  • Article by: STAFF, NEWS SERVICES
  • January 26, 2013 - 12:34 AM

Two national college wrestling powers will meet when the third-ranked Gophers face No. 4 Iowa at 3 p.m. Saturday at Williams Arena.

The Gophers (11-1, 5-0 Big Ten) are coming off an 18-14 comeback victory over No. 6 Illinois on Monday. They will try to expand their one-half game lead in the Big Ten over the Hawkeyes (14-1, 4-0) and Penn State (7-0, 4-0), tied for second place.

The dual will feature two defending NCAA champions -- Iowa 125-pounder Matt McDonough and Gophers heavyweight Tony Nelson -- among 10 wrestlers ranked among the top 10 in their weight classes by Amateur Wrestling News.

A couple of marquee matchups for the dual, which will be televised on BTN, will be Iowa's No. 2-ranked Tony Ramos against the Gophers' No. 7 Chris Dardanes at 133, and Minnesota's No. 2 Logan Storley against the Hawkeyes' No. 4 Mike Evans at 174.

U to host National Duals

The Gophers have been selected as the host of the National Wrestling Coaches Association/Cliff Keen National Dual Championships, which will be Feb. 22-23 at Williams Arena.

The tournament will feature eight teams, four of which will come out of regional competition.

The Gophers, Iowa, Illinois and Ohio State received automatic berths in the final eight.

Quarterfinals will be held at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. the first day, with semifinals at 1 p.m. the second day and the final at 7:30 that night.

"It's exciting for the state of Minnesota," said Gophers coach J Robinson, whose team won the title last year. "... It's a chance to showcase how good Minnesota is. There aren't too many times where you get a chance to do that."

Swarm collapses on road

The Swarm lost 13-12 to the Toronto Rock before an announced crowd of 10,503 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

The Swarm (0-2) led 12-8 in the third period but the Rock scored twice before the period ended. Toronto (3-1) then got the first two goals of the fourth period on a two-man advantage to tie the score at 12-12. Stephan Leblanc's goal with six minutes left was the game-winner.

Josh Sanderson had four goals and two assists for the Rock.

Kiel Matisz had a hat trick for the Storm and Ryan Benesch and Callum Crawford had two goals apiece.

U men lose in tennis

The No. 34 Gophers men's tennis team lost to No. 32 Virginia Commonwealth 5-2 on Friday on the first day of ITA Kick-off Weekend in Athens, Ga. The Gophers (1-1) took an early 2-0 when its first and second doubles teams won, but lost at third doubles and in all five singles matches. Rok Bonin and Mathieu Froment won 8-3 at first doubles for the Gophers, Juan Pablo Ramirez and Leandro Toledo won 8-7 (7-2) at second doubles.

U swamps UND in pool

The Gophers men's swimming and diving team won all 16 events in beating North Dakota 198-90 in a dual meet at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. Greg Norsten won two individual events, the 200 butterfly in 1 minute, 53.20 seconds and the 200 individual medley in 1:55.28.

• The women's team also won every event in beating UND 196-94. Kierra Smith was a triple winner, finishing first in the 100 and 200 breaststroke (1:04.94, 2:17.89) and the 200 IM (2:05.94).

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