Big Ten Action Set to Take Place; Minnesota and Konrad Gain No. 1 Ranking

Jan. 18, 2006

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There's a new No. 1 atop the USA Today/NWCA/InterMat Division I Coaches Poll and it's 2006 National Duals champion Minnesota.

The Golden Gophers snapped Oklahoma State's 30-match winning streak with a 21-14 win over the Cowboys on Jan. 15 at the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

In another monumental bout between the nation's top heavyweights, Minnesota's Cole Konrad pinned previous No. 1 Steve Mocco of Oklahoma State to seal the win for the Gophers. Konrad had beaten Mocco previously at the NWCA All-Star Meet in November, but the bout was unofficial.

In all, nine of the 11 Big Ten squads are currently ranked in the nation's top 25.  This week's matchups are highlighted by a battle of No. 7 Iowa at top-ranked Minnesota on Sunday.

Cole Konrad, Minnesota
JR, HWT, Freedom, Wis./Freedom HS

Konrad earns his third weekly award this season after being named Most Outstanding Wrestler at the National Duals. Konrad pinned top-ranked and two-time NCAA Champion Steve Mocco of Oklahoma State to clinch Minnesota's 21-14 upset of the No. 1 Cowboys. Minnesota ended OSU's consecutive winning streak at 30, while Konrad snapped Mocco's 85-match winning streak. Mocco defeated Konrad three times last year, including an overtime decision in the finals at the NCAA Championship. In the Golden Gophers' first round matchup against Hofstra, Konrad pinned Jon Andriac in 1:44 to become the 26th wrestler in school history to reach 100 career wins. In the semifinals, Konrad clinched Minnesota's 20-15 win over Central Michigan with a 9-1 major decision against 18th-ranked Bubba Gritter. Konrad is now 24-0 on the year and has won 53 of his last 54 matches.