Seven Gophers Will Enter Season Ranked

InterMat announced today their preseason NCAA Division I wrestling rankings for the 2017-18 season. Seven Gophers will begin the 2017-18 season as top-20 wrestlers, with the team coming in at No. 6 in the dual meet rankings and No. 7 in the tournament rankings.

InnerMat’s rankings are routinely used on broadcasts of Gopher wrestling events and will be used throughout the season to identify where Gophers are ranked at that current time, with rankings coming out weekly.

2017 NCAA finalist Ethan Lizak is the top-ranked Gopher of all the individual rankings. He ranks No. 4 in the 125-pound division. Last season, Lizak finished with a 30-7 overall record and aims to head to the NCAA Championships for the third time in his career this season. Lizak is also ranked at No. 4 by FloWrestling.

2017 All-American Tommy Thorn enters the 2017-18 season as No. 6 in 141-pounds. As a sophomore last season Thorn finished with a 20-10 record and defeated three top-10 opponents last season, including two at the NCAA Championships.

Sophomore Mitch McKee will look to build on his tremendous offseason with his No. 6 ranking at 133-pounds. As a freshman last season, McKee had an overall record of 22-19 and faced 15 All-Americans as a freshman. McKee this offseason captured a silver medal at the Junior World Championships in Finland and then followed that up by locking a spot on the U23 Team USA team in Rochester just a few weeks ago. FloWrestling also ranks McKee at No. 6 in their preseason rankings.

Transfer Steve Bleise will enter his first season with the Gophers as the No. 7 ranked wrestler at 149-pounds. The junior comes to Minnesota from Northern Illinois, and finished with a 29-10 record last season, along with finishing in the round of 12 at the 2017 NCAA Championships. FloWrestling also placed Bleise at No. 7.

Rounding out the Gophers in the top-10 is senior Jake Short. The two-time NCAA qualifier enters his final season as No. 10 at 157-pounds. He finished with a record of 26-14 last season and was just one match shy of an All-American finish at the 2017 NCAA Championships.

Fellow senior Nick Wanzek joins Short in the top-20 InterMat rankings. Wanzek sits at No. 11 in the preseason and aims to make his third consecutive NCAA appearance in 2018. Last season, Wanzek finished with a 29-14 record and was just one match shy of an All-American honor at the NCAA Championships. FloWrestling had Wanzek as a top-10 wrestler in their preseason rankings.

At 174, senior Chris Pfarr enters the 2017-18 season as the No. 20 ranked wrestler. Pfarr was an NCAA qualifier last season and finished with a record of 18-15, which included two top-20 victories. is your home for Gopher Wrestling news. Be sure to follow Gopher Wrestling on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest updates.

2017-18 Single Match Tickets // 2017-18 Wrestling Schedule

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