Gophers wrestling announces 2003-2004 schedule

The three-time defending Big Ten champion Minnesota Gophers wrestling team opens the season Nov. 15 at the Bison Open. J Robinson's squad will host seven dual meets, but it's a Nov. 14 meet that wasn't scheduled that fans wanted to see.

The three-time defending Big Ten Champion University of Minnesota wrestling team has released its schedule for the 2003-04 campaign.

The Golden Gophers play host to seven dual meets on the season, including the Border Brawl against archrival Iowa on February 15. The site for the dual against the Hawkeyes will be announced at a later date. Minnesota also takes on perennial national title contenders Iowa State and Oklahoma State.

The Gophers, however, were unable to schedule a Nov. 14 dual meet to open the season against rival Iowa in Iowa City. The Gophers and coach J Robinson wanted to schedule the meet, but Iowa officials did not agree to the meet.

"Minnesota will not be wrestling Iowa on Nov. 14 as originally planned," said Kevin Kurtt, Minnesota wrestling sports information director. "Iowa has declined to schedule that dual. We may be adding another dual meet to our schedule versus an opponent to be determined. We'll release that info as it becomes confirmed."

Many wrestling fans were hoping to see the two rivals face each other early in the season. The Gophers finished second in the nation after winning back-to-back national titles the previous two seasons. Iowa is traditionally a national power and is favored by many to have the best shot to end the Gophers' conference title run.

The season opens with Minnesota competing at the Bison Open (Nov. 15) and UNO Open (Nov. 22), before heading to Las Vegas to defend its 2002 Las Vegas Invitational title on Dec. 5-6. The Golden Gophers host Iowa State on Friday, Dec. 12, in the 2003-04 home opener at the Sports Pavilion. Minnesota will then compete at the Southern Scuffle in Greensboro, N.C., featuring 32 teams, including Penn State, North Carolina, Virginia, Edinboro and host UNC-Greensboro.

The Golden Gophers return to Minnesota to open the new year, hosting Nebraska and Arizona State on Thursday, Jan. 1, at the University Center Rochester Field House in Rochester, Minn. The Maroon and Gold then heads to Cleveland, Ohio for the National Duals on Jan 17-18, before opening the Big Ten season at Michigan State and Michigan on Jan. 23 & 24. Minnesota hosts Wisconsin and Purdue on Jan. 30 & Feb. 1, in its conference home opening weekend. Minnesota closes the regular season on Sunday, Feb. 22, with a much-anticipated dual against defending NCAA Champion Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla. The Big Ten Championships are March 6-7, in Columbus, Ohio, and the NCAA Championships take place March 18-29, in St. Louis, Mo.

Gopher Illustrated Top Stories