|Schlatter named TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
Note: To nominate a wrestler for TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week, send the athlete's name, accomplishments for the week and career accomplishments to Gary Abbott at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dustin Schlatter (Massillon, Ohio/Univ. of Minnesota) has been named TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week for the week of January 10-16.
Each week, TheMat.com will select an Athlete of the Week, based upon performance within wrestling for that week. The selection committee will consider any level of wrestling, from youth programs through the Senior level. The announcement will be made each week on Wednesday.
Schlatter, a freshman who competes at 149 pounds, won all of his matches during the 2006 NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals, held in Cedar Falls, Iowa, Jan. 14-15. Schlatter's victories helped lead the Gophers, ranked No. 2 going into the event, to the team title with a thrilling victory over No. 1 Oklahoma State.
Along the way, Schlatter, who had a No. 8 national ranking in his weight class prior to the weekend, beat three athletes who were seeded higher than him nationally, including the defending NCAA champion.
In the first round dual meet, Schlatter defeated No. 3 John Masa of Hofstra, 6-0. Minnesota won the dual meet over Hofstra, 28-7.
In the quarterfinal round dual meet, Schlatter scored an 11-1 major decision over Jason Knipp of Iowa State. Minnesota won the match over Iowa State, 32-6.
In the semfinal match, Schlatter stopped No. 4 Mark DiSalvo of Central Michigan, 4-1. Schlatter avenged his only loss of the season, a 1-0 loss to DiSalvo in a dual meet against CMU held during the Northeast Duals held in Albany, N.Y. on November 26. Minnesota won their National Duals semifinal match 20-15 over Central Michigan.
In the championship finals dual meet, Schlatter upset defending NCAA champion and No. 2 ranked Zack Esposito of Oklahoma State in a wide open 8-7 battle. His victory, along with heavyweight Cole Konrad's pin over OSU's NCAA champion Steve Mocco, were among the highlights of Minnesota's 21-14 win over Oklahoma State.
Based upon his success at the National Duals, Schlatter jumped to a No. 2 national ranking in his weight class in the NWCA/Intermat Div. I Individual Rankings released January 17. In addition, Minnesota took over the No. 1 team ranking in the national poll, moving ahead of Oklahoma State for the top spot.
Schlatter came to Minnesota as one of the nation's top recruits. He was a four-time Ohio state high school champion, graduating from Massillon Perry High School. Schlatter was the ASICS High School Wrestler of the Year after his junior year. He captured two Junior National titles, three Cadet National titles and a NHSCA National High School title.
Schlatter has not yet declared a major for his studies.