Sep 232016

Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm) can taste it. It has been right there, dangling in front of his eyeline, taunting him like the echo of a bully’s laughter. It’s an odd notion, considering we’re talking about an athlete who on most occasions, has played the role of bully himself. After all, that is what Smith is known for on the mat. There are few US Greco Roman wrestlers who adopt a more aggressive, face-first style tailor-made to wear opponents out. And it has served him well; despite having come up short in a couple of high-profile domestic finals, Smith is widely seen as one of the country’s most promising competitors. He came close to breaking all the way through in April at the 2016 Olympic Trials, where he forced RaVaughn Perkins (NYAC) to a third and decisive bout that ultimately slipped away in the cruelest of fashions.

That’s rear-view mirror stuff now, relegated to the past as much as yellow Sony Walkman headphones and civil political discourse. Smith has been given the chance to rewrite how his year ends thanks to the advent of the Greco Roman Non-Olympic Weight World Championships set for December in Budapest, Hungary. It is another shot to represent the country, a reason to exhale, bite down and saunter into battle once more at an important event. The first step will be the Non-Olympic World Team Trials, which are scheduled for November 12th at the Bill Farrell Open in New York. Naturally, Smith has his blinders on when it comes to what he is trying to accomplish: “Make my first World team and win my first World medal.” Continue reading at

Sep 232016

bp53_markhall740x400Episode 53 of the USA Wrestling Bonus Points podcast features 2016 Junior World champion in men’s freestyle wrestling Mark Hall.

The 19-year-old Hall won men’s freestyle gold for the U.S. at the 2016 Junior World Championships in Macon, France with a remarkable performance at 74 kg/163 lbs.

Hall won five matches over the top Junior wrestlers in the World to win his first Junior crown. Two of Hall’s five wins came by technical fall with one other coming by pin.

Continue reading »

Sep 222016

Gable Steveson (Apple Valley, Minn.) has been selected as Athlete of the Week on Sept. 14, 2016.

Last Sunday, Steveson made history by winning his second-straight gold medal at the Cadet World Championships, joining teammate Yianni Diakomihalis as the only two wrestlers in U.S. history to do so.

Competing at 100 kg/220 lbs., Steveson won four matches at the Cadet Worlds held at New Sports Palace in Tbilisi, Georgia, outscoring his opponents 32-2, while not surrendering a single takedown on his road to gold.

Steveson won a physical 5-1 battle over Russian foe Adam Beterbiev in the championship match. Early in the first Beterbiev ran Steveson off the raised finals platform to take a 1-0 lead, but that was all the Russian could muster. Steveson went on to score a takedown, turn and step out, controlling the remainder of the bout. Continue reading at

Sep 202016

The Annual Wrestling Officials’ Clinic will be held at Elk River High School at 900 School Street. Registration is from 7:30 AM to 8:30 AM with the rules meeting at 8:30. The clinic will end by 12:30 PM with no lunch provided. There is no cost!

The clinic will be held in conjunction with the Minnesota Wrestling Coaches Clinic. It will start with a joint session of the NFHS 2016-17 Rules Interpretation. Continue reading »

Sep 182016

TBILISI, Georgia – History was made on the final day of the 2016 Cadet World Championships with Yianni Diakomihalis and Gable Steveson becoming the first two Americans to ever win two Cadet World gold medals, and Travis Wittlake grasping bronze to give the U.S. seven total medals in men’s freestyle.

Diakomihalis was the first American up on Sunday evening at New Sports Palace in Tbilisi, Georgia, and he stayed true to his championship form. In the 63 kg/138.75 lbs. gold medal match, Diakomihalis was dominant in all phases to secure an 8-0 win over two-time Cadet European medalist Stefan Tonu of Moldova.

“That was probably the best match I wrestled all day,” an energetic Diakomihalis said after winning gold. “So, like, it’s good that I won, but it’s good that I finished off wrestling well. Overall I was completely wrestling from setup to finish. It was good.” Continue reading at

Sep 182016

TBILISI, Georgia – Day two of the men’s freestyle competition at the 2016 Cadet World Championships yielded similar results as day one for the U.S. with three Americans advancing to a medal match at New Sports Palace in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Defending Cadet World champions Yianni Diakomihalis and Gable Steveson proved their mettle once more by advancing to the finals for the second-straight year in impressive fashion.

Diakomihalis cruised through his first three matches at 63 kg/138.75 lbs., scoring technical falls over Tobias Portmann of Switzerland, Daniel Markarashvili of Georgia and Ulan Tolegen of Kazakhstan. In the semifinals, the New York native was tested by Japan’s Jintaro Motoyama in a rematch of last year’s World final at 58 kg. Trailing by one point in the second period Diakomihalis executed a duck under to trapped arm gutwrench combination and pulled away for a 9-3 win. Continue reading at

Sep 172016

TBILISI, Georgia – The final five U.S. athletes have weighed in and received their draws for Sunday’s men’s freestyle competition the 2016 Cadet World Championships in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Wrestling for the U.S. tomorrow will be Malik Heinselman (Castle Rock, Colo.), Roman Bravo-Young (Tucson, Ariz.), Yianni Diakomihalis (Rochester, N.Y.), Travis Wittlake (Myrtle Point, Ore.) and Gable Steveson (Apple Valley, Minn.).

“These guys have watched how our day one Cadet World Team members wrestled today, and to see that we have four guys wrestling for medals, we almost had all five of our guys wrestling for medals, I think to see two of their teammates in the finals tonight, it’s got these guys excited,” said U.S. coach Brandon Slay. Continue reading at

Sep 172016

Minnesota’s Cashman falls short of bronze medal match

TBILISI, Georgia – It was a banner morning for the U.S. men’s freestyle team at the 2016 Cadet World Championships with four wrestlers booking a spot in one of tonight’s medal matches at New Sports Palace in Tbilisi, Georgia.

First-time World Team members Kurt McHenry and Vitali Arujau buzz sawed all comers on their way to the championship finals at 42 kg/92.5 lbs. and 58 kg/127.75 lbs.

McHenry picked up a clutch first round win over Iran’s Seyed Azimisiyacheghaei, 6-4, before torching both Armenia’s Arakel Movsesyan and Russia’s Magomed Abdurakhmanov by technical fall. He will face Cadet European champion Mahir Mammadzada of Azerbaijan in the gold medal match. Continue reading at

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