Five different current Gophers and two Minnesota greats from past seasons will be in Rochester, Minn. this weekend to take part in the U23 Team USA Trials looking for a chance to earn a spot on Team USA. Champions will then travel to Bydgoszcz, Poland from Nov. 21-26, 2017 to compete in the Senior U23 World Championships.
Only the winner from each weight in the freestyle tournament will be guaranteed a spot on Team USA.
Looking at the current Gophers, junior Skyler Petry of Waterville, Minn. will take part in the 57-kilogram bracket. Petry has experienced success at the junior national level in Greco-Roman with a title in 2014 at 120-pounds, but none in freestyle.
Mitch McKee enters the national stage once again after his success this offseason at the United Junior World Wrestling tournament in Tempere, Finland. McKee captured a silver medal at the event, and now shifts to the U23 level and will wrestle at 61-kilograms, just slightly higher than his 60-kilogram weight class this offseason.
Steve Polakowski also enters the 61-kilogram bracket. The Libertyville, Ill. native will be looking to make his national team debut. The Gophers transfer Steve Bleise will enter the USA team trial in the 70-kilogram bracket.
In the 86-kilogram bracket, junior Faris Karaborni will look to make some noise and make his first USA team.
There will be a pair of Minnesota alum that will take part in the U23 Team Trials. First is two-time Gophers All-American Brett Pfarr. Pfarr won 120 matches at the U of M, which is the 16th-best in program history. Pfarr will join Karaborni in the 86-kilogram bracket.
The second Gopher alum is Michael Kroells, who will compete in the 125-kilogram bracket in Rochester. The three-time All-American has been a part of MN/USA Wrestling since 2007 and will be looking to earn his first ever Team USA spot.
No current or former Gophers will compete until Sunday, Oct. 8 no earlier than 9:00 a.m.
Fans can stream all the action from the USA Team Trials live on trackwrestling.com, with access to the live video stream requiring a Trackwrestling subscription. For those looking to keep up with the Gophers on Sunday, updates will be provided on the Gopher Wrestling’s Twitter feed.