A group of 14 current Gophers, spanning seven different weight classes, will be wrestling freestyle this weekend at University Nationals in Akron, Ohio. This unique event is restricted to athletes currently taking college classes and progressing toward a degree.
Among those 14, only one Gopher is returning to the event after competing last year – Skyler Petry. After placing eighth at 57 kilograms two years ago, Petry rose to third at 57 last year (pacing all Gopher wrestlers in the field) and looks to be a contender again. He’ll be joined at 57 by 125-pound NCAA finalist Ethan Lizak.
The 57-kilogram bracket is one of several that will feature multiple Gophers. Some of the others include 80 kilograms, where Brandon Krone and Colin Carr will both compete. Three will wrestle at 65 kilograms, with All-American Tommy Thorn and first-time letterwinners Gannon Volk and Ben Brancale all entering at that weight. Finally, four Gophers will all be looking to reach the top of the podium at 97 kilograms: Will Balow, Chase O’Connor, Nate Rose and Bobby Steveson.
There are just three Gophers who won’t have to share space in their brackets with teammates. Steve Polakowski will wrestle at 61 kilograms, John Frisco will return from injury to wrestle at 86, and 2016 U.S Junior National Champion Rylee Streifel looks to bring home gold at 125.
Freestyle action gets going on Saturday at 8 a.m. Central, with the later session set to begin at 2 p.m. The event wraps up on Sunday, with competition again starting at 8 a.m. and wrestling to completion.
Both days of the event will be streamed live on FloWrestling.org. Streaming video requires a paid FloPRO subscription. Fans can also stay updated on what’s happening with Gopher wrestlers throughout the weekend by following Gopher Wrestling on Twitter.
It may by the college wrestling offseason, but there’s no offseason for the Gopher Wrestling program. Whether it’s to hear the latest news about Gopher coaches or athletes during the summer months or just for general news about the program, GopherSports.com is your home for Gopher Wrestling news. Be sure to follow Gopher Wrestling on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest updates.