Six wrestlers with close ties to the Minnesota program will be in action this weekend in Madison, Wis., at the World Team Trials, which run June 12 through June 14 at Alliant Energy Center. These half-dozen wrestlers are split evenly across the senior and junior brackets, with three competing on each side. The senior Gophers are current volunteer assistant coach Jayson Ness, graduate assistant Dustin Schlatter and former graduate assistant Kevin LeValley. On the junior side, current Gophers in the field are Chris Pfarr, Colin Carr and Skyler Petry.
Ness automatically qualified for the field in Madison by winning the 65 kilogram title at the Phil Portuese Northeast Regional in early May. In that event, Ness won four of his five matches by technical fall. He also competed at the U.S. Senior Open last month, finishing seventh.
Schlatter has dominated all but one match in his last two events. In April, Schlatter marched through the Pan American Championships in Chile at 70 kilograms with four wins by a combined score of 41-0. At the U.S. Senior Open in May, he began his tournament run with four more wins, running up a 42-0 combined score on his opponents, before suffering a 4-2 loss in the finals.
Former graduate assistant LeValley, who recently joined the staff at his alma mater, Bucknell, saw his run at the at U.S. Open cut short by Schlatter. LeValley rallied after losing to his then-colleague in the semifinals and placed fourth at the event.
Among the current Gophers wrestling this weekend, Pfarr is the only one who saw varsity action last season, stepping in for an injured Scott Schiller in several early-season duals. In freestyle competition this summer, Pfarr earned an eighth-place finish at the Junior National Championships-UWW Age Group at 84 kilograms.
After finishing his redshirt season with back-to-back runner-up tournament finishes, Carr jumped into the summer season by placing seventh at 79 kilograms in the Junior National Championships in Las Vegas.
While Petry did not place at 55 kilograms in Vegas, he returned to action at University Nationals two weeks ago and finished seventh at 57 kilograms. In his four wins at University Nationals, Petry defeated each of his opponents by technical fall, allowing them to score only two combined points.
This weekend’s junior competition will take place on Friday, followed by the senior side on Saturday and Sunday. The winners at each weight in both age groups qualify for the U.S. World team and will compete at their respective world championships. The UWW Junior World Championships will be held this August in Brazil, while the senior World Championships will be in Las Vegas this September.
Streaming video of this weekend’s action will be available on Flowrestling.org, which requires a subscription. Live results will be available throughout the event on TrackWrestling.com.
For the latest news about current and former Gophers in competition this summer, make a habit of checking on GopherSports.com and be sure to follow Gopher Wrestler on Facebook and Twitter.