Gophers wrestling inks two recruits

Recruiting has been key for J Robinson and his Gophers wrestlers. The three-time Big Ten champs current freshman class is considered the best in the nation. The Gophers recently added two recruits for next season. Read about that and other Gophers news, including a Big Ten tennis champion from the U.

The University of Minnesota wrestling team has signed a pair of recruits to national letters of intent to compete for the Gophers beginning in 2004-05.

Tyler Safratowich is a two-time Minnesota state champion at Park Rapids High School. Entering his senior season, he is tied for fifth in school history for wins with a 105-26 career record. A Junior National All-American, Safratowich is projected to wrestle at 133 or 141 for Minnesota.

A native of Gainesville, Fla., Nick Davis won the Florida 2A, 171-pound title and compiled a perfect 45-0 record at Gainesville High School last year. His state title was the fourth earned by a member of his family. His older brother, John, won the 189-pound title in 2001, while his father, Jeff, won a pair of state championships and wrestled for the University of Florida. Davis is projected to wrestle at 174 for the Golden Gophers.

The Gophers current freshman class is considered the top recruiting class in the nation. Among that group is highly-touted Roger Kish, who set a national high school record for wins in his career, and C.P. Schlatter, from Ohio, among others. All current freshmen are expected to redshirt for coach J Robinson this season. The Gophers, the three-time defending Big Ten champs, are ranked third in the nation in preseason poll.

Gopher Volleyball Player Honored

Senior opposite hitter Cassie Busse (Prior Lake, Minn.) was named First-Team Academic All-District for the second year in a row. The first-team honor allows Busse to qualify for Academic All-American honors, which will be named in early December.

Busse currently leads the Big Ten in service aces, is third in kills and is sixth in hitting percentage. She comes into the week averaging 4.73 kpg, 2.20 dpg, 0.81 blpg, 0.48 sapg and is hitting .311. Busse leads the team in kills, hitting percentage, service aces, is second in blocks and third in digs.

The Minnesota volleyball team moved up two spots in the USA Today/AVCA Top 25 poll to No. 22. The Golden Gophers received 293 points in this week's poll.

Minnesota Tennis Player Big Ten Singles Champ

Minnesota men's tennis player Chris Wettengel (Bentonville, Ark./Bentonville HS) won the 2003 Big Ten Singles Championship Monday in Ann Arbor, Mich., going 5-0 at the fall season-ending tournament. Wettengel, a senior, defeated the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds en route to the first Big Ten Singles Championship crown of his career.

Wettengel, the No. 7 seed, cruised through the draw without losing a set. He defeated Dima Ishtuganov of Indiana, 7-6 (3), 6-2 in the first round, Troy Havens of Purdue), 6-3, 6-4 in the second round, Ryan Heller of Michigan, 6-3, 6-3 in the third round, and Cameron Marshall of Michigan State, 7-5, 6-2 in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Wettengel upset second-seeded Andy Formanczyk of Michigan State, 6-3, 7-6 (2). He then shocked No. 1 seed Michael Rubin of host Michigan in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.

Gopher Football Banquet Tonight

The 86th annual Golden Gopher football team awards banquet will be held Tuesday evening at the Radisson Plaza Hotel, 35 South 7th Street in Minneapolis. A social hour will kick things off from 6 – 7 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m., and then the program.

In addition to the individual and team awards, the traditional "Passing of the Torch" ceremonies by former Golden Gopher team captains will take place. Past captains spanning over 50 years will be in attendance.

Gopher Illustrated Top Stories