This week in Division I wrestling

By Craig Sesker | Nov. 28, 2001, 12 a.m. (ET)
The college wrestling season is nearly a month old, but it finally kicks into high gear with some great wrestling on the schedule for this weekend. The highlight of the weekend will be Sunday's dual meet between top-ranked Minnesota and second-ranked Oklahoma State at 2 p.m. CST in Stillwater, Okla. The teams met twice last season with Oklahoma State winning 25-12 in Minneapolis in early January. Two weeks later, Minnesota avenged that loss with a 20-12 win in the finals of the National Duals in State College, Pa. The Gophers went on to win the national championship with the Cowboys finishing third. As expected, there are some excellent matchups in the Oklahoma State-Minnesota dual. At 125, No. 2 Leroy Vega of Minnesota will face No. 3 Skylar Holman of Oklahoma State. At 133, No. 1 Johnny Thompson of OSU is slated to wrestle No. 5 Ryan Lewis of Minnesota. At 157, No. 2 Shane Roller of OSU will battle No. 3 Luke Becker of Minnesota. At 174, No. 3 Jacob Volkman of Minnesota is scheduled to tangle with No. 5 Ty Wilcox of Oklahoma State. At 184, No. 3 Pat Popolizio of OSU is slated to meet No. 7 Damion Hahn of Minnesota. The Gophers return eight All-Americans. Seven of the nation's top 13 teams are among the 50-plus teams entered at the Cliff Keen Invitational on Friday and Saturday in Las Vegas. Fourth-ranked Michigan, No. 8 Lehigh, No. 9 Illinois, No. 10 Arizona State, No. 11 Nebraska, No. 12 Edinboro, No. 13 Fresno State are among the teams scheduled to compete. Among the top-ranked wrestlers expected to compete are Fresno State's Stephen Abas (125), Eric Larkin of Arizona State (141), Bryan Snyder of Nebraska (157), Josh Koscheck of Edinboro (174) and John Lockhart of Illinois (heavyweight). Abas, who just returned from the World Championships, has said he will compete in Las Vegas after winning the event the past three seasons. Abas will be challenged by No. 4 A.J. Grant of Michigan and No. 5 Jason Powell of Nebraska at 125. Third-ranked Oklahoma is scheduled to wrestle in dual meets at Rutgers and Rider on Saturday. The fifth-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes will open their dual-meet season at Pennsylvania on Friday before wrestling at Hofstra and Princeton on Saturday. Sixth-ranked Iowa State is scheduled to compete at the Simpson Duals on Saturday in Indianola, Iowa. Cyclone senior Cael Sanderson enters the meet with a 127-0 record.