Gable Steveson made a move few wrestlers have in their repertoire on Thursday night.
In the heavyweight second round, the Gophers senior jumped over his opponent, Zach Elam, as the Missouri wrestler, from his knees, tried to grab Steveson’s legs.
Instead, Steveson was suddenly behind Elam and scored two points for a technical fall (23-8) in the third period. It was Steveson’s second technical fall in his first two matches of the NCAA wrestling championships in Detroit.
Steveson, who beat Tyrell Gordon of Northern Iowa 25-10 in the first round, is now 15-0 this season and three wins away from winning his second national title. He is the top seed.
Senior Jake Bergeland of the Gophers is also undefeated in Detroit. He won twice at 141 pounds.
Bergeland, third in the Big Ten tournament, won a 9-1 major decision in his first match then beat Northwestern’s Frankie Tal Shakar 5-3 in the second round.
Sophomore Isaiah Salazar also won in the first round for Minnesota at 184 pounds but lost 5-3 to third-seeded Trent Hidlay of North Carolina State in the second.
The Gophers had nine wrestlers at nationals, but six lost in the opening round, dropping them to the consolation bracket.