Gopher Underclassmen Head To Junior Nationals

More than a dozen Gopher wrestlers are heading to Las Vegas this weekend for the United World Wrestling Junior Greco-Roman and Freestyle National Championships. In all, 13 current Gophers will be competing in the tournament, with the entire baker’s dozen competing in freestyle. They’ll get started on Friday, with opening matches at 6 p.m. Central, and wrap up on Saturday night.

The group of Gopher competing in the tournament includes nine rookie wrestlers who just finished their freshman seasons, as well as four second-year grapplers who recently completed their redshirt freshman seasons.

Minnesota GophersThe full list of competing Gophers includes: Gresh Jones (63kg), Ben Brancale and Fredy Stroker (66kg), Carson Brolsma and James Berg (70kg), Larry Early III and Dalton Clark (74kg), Darius Wright, Colin Carr and Tijani Karaborni (79kg); Bobby Steveson and Faris Karaborni (84kg); and, Rylee Streifel (120kg).

That spread means Minnesota will be represented in seven of the tournament’s 11 weight classes, with multiple participants at five of those weights.

Last season, six Gophers competed in the event, four of whom placed. Tommy Thorn led the way, claiming the tournament title at 63kg. The lone returning placewinnners will be Colin Carr, who took seventh at 79kg last year. The other two placewinners were Ethan Lizak (sixth at 55kg) and Chris Pfarr (eighth at 84kg).

The opening session for freestyle will run for approximately four hours, wrapping up at 10 p.m. Central. Action resumes on Saturday with the second session beginning at 11 a.m. Central. The third and final session starts at 5 p.m. Central Saturday evening and will include semifinals, consolation quarters and semis, as well as all placer matches.

Matches from the tournament can be watched live on (requires a FloPRO subscription) and live stats are available on is your home for updates about future Gophers, current Gophers, former Gophers — basically every Gopher still on the wrestling scene. To stay up-to-the-minute on everything surrounding the Minnesota program, be sure to follow Gopher Wrestling on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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