This Sunday the University of Minnesota will honor current and past Minnesota Storm Wrestling Club members in their dual against Fresno State. The dual, starting at 1 pm at the Maturi Sports Pavilion, will have a number of Storm legends in attendance. Including past Olympic and World medalists, along with current Storm wrestlers that are part of the USA National and World Teams. The highlight of the event will feature an exhibition match between current Storm Freestyle Athlete Jayson Ness and Fresno State Regional Training Center Athlete Anthony Abidin. This will be a treat for Minnesota fans to see the former NCAA Champion and the most recent Gopher Hodge Trophy winner come out of the tunnel one more time.
The Minnesota Storm can trace roots back to its ties with the University of Minnesota program over 60 years ago. Verne Gagne, who was a two time NCAA Champion for the Gophers, went on to become the first Minnesota wrestler to qualify for the Olympics in 1948. Alan Rice, quickly followed Gagne’s footsteps, who placed fifth in the 1956 Olympic games in Melbourne, Australia. Rice would become a 1972 Olympic Coach and the driving force behind Minnesota Wrestling Club, which eventually became the Minnesota Storm, as we know it today.
The list of Gopher alumni to have international success continued throughout the years with names like:
Dan Chandler: 3 Time Olympian (1976, 1980, 1984), 3 time Olympic Team Coach
Jim Martinez: 1984 Olympic bronze medalist, 1985 World bronze medalist
Michael Foy: 1988 Olympian and World Silver medalist
John Morgan: 1988 Olympian, 3x World Team Member
Gordy Morgan: 1996 Olympian, 4x World Team Member
Marty Morgan: 2x World Team Member
David Zuniga: 1996 Olympian, 4x World Team member
Brandon Paulson: 1996 Olympic Silver Medal, 2001 World Silver Medalist, 3x World Team Member
Jason Klohs: 2x World Team Member
Garrett Lowney: 2000 Olympic Bronze Medalist
Brandon Eggum: 2001 World Silver Medalist
Tim Hartung: World Team Member
Dustin Schlatter: World Team Member
Jake Clark: 2x World Team Member
Jake Dietchler: 2008 Olympian
Pat Smith: World Team Member
For a complete history of Minnesota Storm World and Olympic team members check out the legends page on mtcstorm.com. Come out to support the strong relationship between the Minnesota Storm and the Minnesota Gophers and get a glimpse of the next generation of Storm legends taking the mat against the Fresno State Bulldogs.