Gopher Wrestling today announced the signing of two wrestlers to National Letters of Intent (NLIs), Mitchell McKee and Hunter Marko. The pair are high school seniors this season and will join the Minnesota program for the 2016-17 campaign.
McKee joins the Gophers from St. Michael-Albertville High School, the alma mater of current Gopher Tommy Thorn and two-time All-Americans Mike and David Thorn. McKee’s resume includes four appearances in the Minnesota state finals. He was the runner-up at 106 pounds in both 2012 and 2013 before winning the state title at 120 in 2014 and 126 last season. McKee has been a mainstay in the championship bouts of major national tournaments for the past two seasons as well. He claimed the 126-pound title at Fargo junior nationals in 2014 and added a USA Wrestling folkstyle national title at 132 in 2015. He was the runner-up at Fargo in freestyle at 132 last summer, and also finished runner-up at 60 kilograms wrestling freestyle at the UWW Junior Nationals. At the cadet level, McKee was the 2012 Fargo national champ at 100 pounds in Greco, and finished as the FILA Cadet runner-up that year in both Greco and freestyle.
Hunter Marko, from Amery, Wis., is a three-time Wisconsin state champ, winning the 2013 title at 106 pounds before moving up to 113 in 2014 and 126 last season. Marko is wrestling 132 for Amery High School this season. On the national scene, Marko has earned All-America honors three times at junior nationals in Fargo, including a freestyle national title at 106 pounds in 2013. Marko has also reached the finals of USA Wrestling’s Folkstyle National tournament twice, first in 2013 and then again last year. At the cadet level, he was a double national champ in Fargo in both freestyle and Greco in 2012.