PITTSBURGH – Four Gophers, including once-beaten Gable Steveson, won two matches on Thursday at the NCAA Wrestling Championships to advance to the quarterfinals on Day 2.
Steveson, a freshman from Apple Valley, won his first match over Zach Parker of Ohio on a technical fall in the second period. In his second match, Steveson beat Brian Andrews of Wyoming 21-8, a major decision.
Minnesota also has wrestlers in the quarterfinals at the three lightest weights: Sean Russell at 125 pounds, Ethan Lizak at 133 and Mitch McKee at 141. Russell got two major decisions. Lizak won each of his matches by two points. McKee had a technical fall and a three-point win.
Russell and Lizak — the NCAA runner-up at 125 pounds in 2017 — are sixth seeds, McKee a seventh.
In the team competition, the Gophers are tied for fourth place with Oklahoma State at 19.5 points. Penn State was in first (32.5), followed by Ohio State (25) and Iowa (24). The Nittany Lions have won seven national titles the past eight years.