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University of Minnesota Big Ten Championships advance press release



Did You Know... that when the Golden Gophers won the Big Ten Championship in 1999, they snapped Iowa's 25-year conference title win streak, said to be the longest such streak for any school in any sport? It was also the first Big Ten crown Minnesota had won in 40 years since capturing the title in 1959 in Iowa City, Iowa, under Head Coach Wally Johnson. Overall, the Maroon and Gold has won seven Big Ten Championships. After winning the 1999 conference crown, Minnesota went on to finish second at NCAAs behind perennial national power Iowa. Following the 2001 Big Ten tournament, Gold Country heads to the NCAA Championships in Iowa City on March 15-17. UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA AT BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS WELSH-RYAN RENA, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY, (EVANSTON,ILL.) SATURDAY-SUNDAY,MARCH 3-4,2001 Minnesota (19-1, 8-0 Big Ten) starters Overall, dual, Big Ten (pins) 125 - No. 3/No. 2 seed Leroy Vega (Jr., Portage, Ind.) 26-5, 16-4, 7-1 (3) 133 - No. 5/No. 3 seed Brett Lawrence (Sr., Sandpoint, Idaho) 21-5, 12-4, 4-2 (5) 141 - No. 7/No. 2 seed Chad Erikson (Jr., Apple Valley, Minn.) 23-4, 14-2, 4-1 (8) 149 - No. 3/No. 2 seed Jared Lawrence (So., Sandpoint, Idaho) 26-5, 14-5, 6-2 (7) 157 - No. 6/No. 2 seed Luke Becker (So., Cambridge, Minn.) 26-6, 15-5, 6-2 (2) 165 - No. 3/No. 3 seed Brad Pike (Sr., Brownsdale, Minn.) 28-5, 17-3, 5-3 (2) 174 - No. 15/No. 4 seed Jacob Volkmann (Fr., Henning, Minn.) 26-10, 7-5, 5-3 (8) 184 - No. 5/No. 3 seed Damion Hahn (Fr., Lakewood, N.J.) 26-4, 16-3, 6-2 (1) 197 - No. 5/No. 1 seed Owen Elzen (Jr., Eyota, Minn.) 20-1, 13-1, 6-0 (7) HWT - No. 2/No. 2 seed Garrett Lowney (Fr., Freedom, Wis.) 14-0, 11-0, 8-0 (1) * Individual rankings from the Feb. 27 Amateur Wrestling News rankings Head Coach: J Robinson (221-81-3 overall, 74-41-2 Big Ten, 15th season) Assistant Head Coach: Marty Morgan Assistant Coaches: Mark Schwab and Joe Russell Marketing and Promotions Coordinator: Tim Hartung Strength Coordinator: Brandon Eggum Development Coordinato: Chad Kraft MINNESOTA SCHEDULE/RESULTS (19-1 OVERALL, 8-0 BIG TEN) www.gophersports.com Date Opponent Time/Result Nov. 11 @ Bison Open (Fargo, N.D.) Nine titles Nov. 18 @ North Dakota State W, 44-0 @ Kaufman-Brand Open (Omaha, Neb.) Two titles Nov. 24 @ Northern Open (River Falls, Wis.) Nine titles Nov. 26 NORTHERN IOWA * # W, 36-3 Dec. 2 @ UNI Open (Non-Varsity) Two titles Dec. 10 @ Hofstra (Hempstead, N.Y.) W, 33-3 @ Princeton (Lakewood HS, N.J.) W, 45-0 @ Seton Hall (Lakewood HS, N.J.) W, 37-2 Dec. 29-30 @ Midlands (Evanston, Ill.) One title Jan. 7 OKLAHOMA STATE % L, 12-25 Jan. 11 @ Nebraska W, 26-12 Jan. 12 @ Boise State W, 22-14 Jan. 20-21 @ National Duals (State College, Pa.) Hofstra W, 22-9 Nebraska W, 30-9 Iowa W, 20-17 Oklahoma State W, 20-12 Jan. 26 MICHIGAN * $ W, 29-6 Jan. 27 PURDUE % W, 31-6 Feb. 2 @ Indiana W, 25-12 Feb. 4 @ Illinois W, 22-12 Feb. 9 MICHIGAN STATE * W, 32-3 Feb. 11 PENN STATE % W, 37-3 Feb. 16 @ Wisconsin W, 33-6 Feb. 18 @ Iowa W, 17-16 Mar. 3-4 @ Big Ten Championships 10 a.m. (Evanston, Ill.) Mar.15-17 @ NCAA Championships 10 a.m. (Iowa City, Iowa) Home matches in bold All match times Central and subject to change * Meet held in Sports Pavilion % Meet held in Williams Arena $ Meet is broadcast live on Midwest Sports Channel # Meet is broadcast tape-delayed on Midwest Sports Channel BATTLIN 'AT BIG TENS Seven members from last year's Minnesota team that finished only eight points behind 2000 Big Ten Champion Iowa return this year for the 2001 Big Ten Championships. Junior Leroy Vega (125), senior Brett Lawrence (133), junior Chad Erikson (141), sophomore Jared Lawrence (149), sophomore Luke Becker (157), senior Brad Pike (165) and junior Owen Elzen (197) each participated for the Golden Gophers last year at the conference tournament. Minnesota's returning starters are a combined 20-11 at the Big Ten Championships. Gold Country's first-year starters for Big Tens are all redshirt freshmen - Jacob Volkmann (174), Damion Hahn (184) and Garrett Lowney (Hwt). All 10 members of the Maroon and Gold starting lineup are nationally ranked in the top 20. The top-ranked Golden Gopher wrestling team finished the 2000-01 dual meet schedule with a 19-1 overall record and an 8-0 mark in the Big Ten. Minnesota competes at the Big Ten Championships on Saturday-Sunday, March 3-4 at Welsh-Ryan Arena on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. LAST YEAR AT BIG TENS:Coming into the 2000 Big Ten Championships, it was clear that the battle for the conference title would be between the No. 1 Hawkeyes and No. 2 Golden Gophers, with the "favorites" label lying solely on the Iowa grapplers. When the dust cleared, the Hawkeyes had taken the crown with 140.5 points to Minnesota's 132.5. In the Big Ten meet, five Golden Gophers blew through the brackets to reach the title match. Seniors Brandon Eggum at 184 pounds and Brock Lesnar at heavyweight each won their second Big Ten title. Jared Lawrence (149), Luke Becker (157) and Brad Pike (165) placed second. With his performance, Lawrence was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, the first Golden Gopher to earn such an honor since Keith Nix in 1988. Four other wrestlers placed in the meet and qualified for the NCAA Championships. Leroy Vega placed third at 125 pounds, Brett Lawrence took fifth at 133 pounds, senior Delaney Berger finished fifth at 174 pounds and Owen Elzen placed fifth at 197 pounds. MINNESOTA 'S TEAM HISTORY AT THE BIG TENS:Minnesota has won seven Big Ten team titles in school history. The Golden Gophers won their first three crowns in the Western Intercollegiate Wrestling, Gymnastics and Fencing Association (the predecessor to the Big Ten) in 1910, 1912 and 1913. The Maroon and Gold won the 1941 Big Ten title in Columbus, Ohio, winning by a point over Iowa and Indiana. Minnesota followed that up with crowns in 1957 in Evanston, Ill., and in 1959 in Iowa City, Iowa, under legendary Head Coach Wally Johnson. Gold Country last claimed the Big Ten Championship in 1999, unseating perennial conference- and national-power Iowa with 139 points to the Hawkeyes' 121. The win snapped Iowa's 25-year conference title win streak, said to be the longest such streak for any school in any sport. It was also the first Big Ten crown Minnesota had won in 40 years. After winning the 1999 conference crown, the Golden Gophers went on to finish second at the NCAA tournament behind the Hawkeyes. MINNESOTA 'S INDIVIDUAL HISTORY AT THE BIG TENS:Overall, Minnesota has claimed 63 Big Ten individual titles and has had one four-time conference champion in Verne Gagne (1944, 1947-49). The Golden Gophers have also had three three-time Big Ten champions in Dick Mueller (1953, 1957-58), Larry Zilverberg (1974-75, 1976) and Tim Hartung (1997-99). Gold Country has had 12 wrestlers who have won two Big Ten titles. In the past four years, Minnesota has had at least one Golden Gopher capture a conference crown. The Maroon and Gold has had four wrestlers earn the Wrestler of the Year Award in the Big Ten - Ed Giese (1986), Dave Zuniga (1990), Marty Morgan (1991) and Tim Hartung (1999). The Golden Gophers have claimed two Big Ten Freshman of the Year Awards in Keith Nix (1988) and Jared Lawrence (2000). Minnesota has also had two grapplers named Wrestler of the Championships - Giese (1986) and Zuniga (1990). J ROBINSON 'S MINNESOTA HISTORY AT THE BIG TENS:Head Coach J Robinson has built Minnesota into a powerhouse in the world of collegiate wrestling during his tenure in Gold Country. In his 15th season, Robinson has one of his best teams poised to make a run at the Big Ten and NCAA Championships. As the head coach at Minnesota, the Golden Gophers have finished in the top three at the Big Ten Championships eight times, including 1999's conference title. Minnesota has finished in the top-six in 13 of 14 seasons during Robinson's tenure. Robinson, a four-time Big Ten Coach of the Year (1989, 1994, 1997, 1999), has also coached 17 indivdual Big Ten Champions during his time in Gold Country. The Golden Gophers look to capture their second conference crown under Ro
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