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NCAA Wrestling Championships 2012: Tournament Begins Thursday For Minnesota Golden Gophers

The 2012 NCAA Wrestling Championships mark the end of the college wrestling season and, for nine of the Minnesota Golden Gophers, it will also allow for them to go out on top. The Gophers took second at the Big Ten wrestling championships, but the men will look for individual honors in St. Louis starting Thursday.

Zach Sanders, Chris Dardanes, Nick Dardanes, Dylan Ness, Logan Storley, Cody Yohn, Kevin Steinhaus, Sonny Yohn and Tony Nelson will all take the mat this weekend in hopes of earning All-American status. In addition to the individual brackets, the Gophers will also be looking to earn their first National Championship since the 2006-07 season

Sanders will be the wrestler to watch this week as he's already a three-time All-American in the 125-pound weight class. The senior enters the tournament as the No. 2 seed and a 26-3 record with all three losses coming to Iowa Hawkeyes wrestler Matt McDonough. If Sanders is able to be earn All-American honors again this weekend, he'll become just the fifth Gopher wrestler in team history to accomplish the feat.

Thursday's matches, beginning at 11 a.m., will be broadcast on ESPN3 while Friday and the majority of Saturday's matches will be televised on ESPNU. The championship round is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on ESPN.

For more on the Minnesota Golden Gophers, check out The Daily Gopher.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.