A couple of natural pairs – the Gophers top 133-pounders and the Pfarr brothers – went undefeated at Sunday’s Journeymen/Asics Collegiate Classic in Troy, N.Y., winning titles in their respective groups in the round-robin, pool-based competition.

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“Some of the guys wrestled really well, and of course you’re proud of them,” said head coach Brandon Eggum. “Some guys didn’t wrestle as well and there are guys in between. It was unique with the pool system. Different guys were in different categories so the competition level varied but, as we expected, we have some work to do. We have things we have to work on and improve, and that starts tomorrow.”

At 133 pounds, both the freshman McKee and the senior Brancale looked impressive. McKee captured the 133A group title by finishing 3-0. McKee did not surrender a single point on the day, winning his first match by tech fall, 16-0, after just one period before grinding out a 5-0 decision in his second contest. He finished his day undefeated thanks to a forfeit in the third match. Meanwhile, Brancale overwhelmed his opponent in his opener, 15-2, before pinning his next two challengers, the first in 4:04 and the second in a mere 58 seconds. Like McKee, Brancale’s final match was a victory by forfeit. With a 4-0 mark, Brancale won the 133B group.

“We pulled McKee out of redshirt and I thought he looked great. He competed really well and that was exciting. He’s proved that he’s ready to go out and compete against top-level guys,” said Eggum.

The Pfarrs, Chris at 184 pounds and second-ranked Brett at 197, each posted 3-0 records on the day. The lighter and younger Pfarr opened with a tight, 4-1 decision. That victory seemed to be the catalyst for a strong day. An 11-5 decision and then a dominant, 15-0 tech fall sealed his 184D group championship. Meanwhile, the senior Pfarr followed a similar path to his younger sibling, grinding out a 6-2 decision in his opening match before opening up for a 19-4 tech fall and a 10-4 decision in which he did not allow a single takedown to claim the title in the 197A group.

No. 17 Nick Wanzek, wrestling in the 174A group, and No. 5 Michael Kroells, competing in the 285A group, both finished third in their pods with 2-1 records. The only defeat for each came to a higher-ranked competitor. Wanzek earned 9-1 and 3-1 victories to endcap an 8-7 loss to No. 8 Ethan Ramos, a match in which Wanzek was in on a single-leg shot late in the third period but ran out of time to finish what would have been the match-winning takedown. Kroells opened his day with a second-period pin before running into No. 2 Connor Medbery, who handed Kroells a rare major decision loss, only the third of senior’s collegiate career.

“Even some of the guys that didn’t win all their matches, and I’m missing some others but guys like Kroells and Wanzek, I thought they did some really good things,” said Eggum. “The most important thing for us is that guys compete with effort. We’ve made it clear to the team. Going out and wrestling with a lot of excitement, energy and effort, those are crucial to this program. Those guys did that, even when they didn’t win.”

Full match-by-match results are listed below for all 13 Gophers who competed in Sunday’s Collegiate Classic.

The Gophers return to action this Saturday against No. 22 South Dakota State, a dual which will be the team’s dual season-opener and home opener. The match is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. Central as the Sports Pavilion.

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Match-by-Match Results


Skyler Petry (1-2), 5th in 125A
Christian Moody (Oklahoma) dec (SV-1) Skyler Petry, 4-2
No. 6 Darian Cruz (Lehigh) fall (3:50) Skyler Petry
Skyler Petry maj dec Patrick Kearney (Citadel), 10-2


Mitch McKee (3-0), 1st in 133B
Mitch McKee tech fall Zach Valcarce (Rider), 16-0 (3:00)
Mitch McKee dec Robbie Rizzolino (N.C. State), 7-0
Mitch McKee forfeit Bryan Lantry (Buffalo)

Sam Brancale (4-0), 1st in 133C
Sam Brancale maj dec Dean Somers (Lehigh), 15-2
Sam Brancale fall (4:04) Lewis Williams (Lock Haven)
Sam Brancale fall (0:58) Andy Szalwinski (Citadel)
Sam Brancale forfeit Maverick Passaro (Hofstra)


Gannon Volk (1-2), 3rd in 141D
Jason Estevez (Buffalo) dec Gannon Volk, 12-7
Gannon Volk maj dec Da’Mani Burns (Cortland), 16-5
DJ Fehlman (Lock Haven) tech fall Gannon Volk, 17-2


Fredy Stroker (1-2), 4th in 149B
Fredy Stroker dec Ty Buckiso (Citadel), 2-1
Josh Maruca (Arizona State) dec Fredy Stroker, 2-1
Colt Cotten (BuffalO) dec (SV-1) Fredy Stroker, 3-1


No. 9 Jake Short (1-2), for 5th in 157A
Joey Moon (North Carolina) dec No. 9 Jake Short, 7-4
Jordan Kutler (Lehigh) dec Jake Short, 5-0
Jake Short dec Izaec Quintanilla (Wisconsin), 8-2

Carson Brolsma (1-2), 3rd in 157B
Carson Brolsma dec Rylan Lubeck (Wisconsin), 4-2
Josh Shields (Arizona State) fall (6:50) Carson Brolsma
No. 19 Aaron Walker (Citadel) fall (1:30) Carson Brolsma


No. 17 Nick Wanzek (2-1), 3rd in 174A
No. 17 Nick Wanzek maj dec Tyler Wood (Lock Haven), 9-1
No. 8 Ethan Ramos (North Carolina) dec No. 17 Nick Wanzek, 8-7
No. 17 Nick Wanzek dec Lee Davis (N.C. State), 3-1


Bobby Steveson (1-2), 5th in 184B
Brett Perry (Buffalo) dec Bobby Steveson, 9-8
Andrew Price (Lehigh) dec Bobby Steveson, 5-2
Bobby Steveson maj dec Matthew Rundell (North Carolina), 10-0

Chris Pfarr (3-0), 1st in 184D
Chris Pfarr dec Deuly Espinal (Cortland), 4-1
Chris Pfarr dec Jake Ashcraft (Ithaca), 11-5
Chris Pfarr tech fall Martin Duane (Citadel), 15-0


No. 2 Brett Pfarr (3-0), 1st in 197A
No. 2 Brett Pfarr dec Daniel Chaid (North Carolina), 6-2
No. 2 Brett Pfarr tech fall Sawyer Root (Citadel), 19-4
No. 2 Brett Pfarr dec Brad Johnson (Oklahoma), 10-4


No. 5 Michael Kroells (2-1), 3rd in 285A
No. 5 Michael Kroells fall (4:00) Rex Shotts (Oklahoma)
No. 2 Connor Medbery (Wisconsin) maj dec No. 5 Michael Kroells, 10-0
No. 5 Michael Kroells forfeit Thomas Haines (Lock Haven)

Rylee Streifel (0-3), 6th in 285B
Cory Daniel (North Carolina) dec (SV-1) Rylee Streifel, 5-3
No. 7 Ross Larson (Oklahoma) maj dec Rylee Streifel, 11-1
Michael Boykin (N.C. State) dec Rylee Streifel, 10-6

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