For me, the countdown to baseball season begins in earnest only after the NCAA Wrestling Championships, which wrapped up on Saturday in St. Louis. The Gophers entered the weekend having won the national dual meet title, but off a second place finish at the Big 10 Championships to a powerful Penn State team. Penn State figured to have more potential national champions, so the Gophers’ hope seemed to lie with a strong showing in the wrestlebacks combined with some upsets involving Nittany Lions.
One of the two happened in the end. The Gophers produced a tournament-high seven All-Americans, including Heavyweight champion Tony Nelson. Penn State did not falter, however, and ended up running away with their second consecutive championship. Minnesota finished a strong second, however, and return five of their seven All-Americans next year. Penn State doesn’t lose much from their championship team either, but the future looks bright for the Gophers.