Las Vegas, Nev. – Twenty-one wrestlers took the mats in Las Vegas on Friday, with four wrestlers between Freestyle and Greco-Roman making the finals.
Of the 21 wrestlers, nine of them have already qualified for the 2018 Senior World Team Trials Challenge Tournament.
Hayden Zillmer ran through his competition at 92-kilograms to earn a final appearance against Olympic medalist J’den Cox. Zillmer fell behind early in his semifinal match, but scored 13 unanswered points including a pair of four-point exposures to earn the finals birth.
Current University of Minnesota Volunteer Assistant Coach Zach Sanders had a spectacular showing in Freestyle at 57-kilograms on Friday. Sanders cruised through his first three matches, outscoring his opponents 24-1, including a 4-1 win over 2017 NCAA Champion Darian Cruz of Lehigh. Sanders would run into Anthony Ramos, the No. 1 seed, and despite scoring first, fell 8-4.
In Greco-Roman, Minnesota Wrestling alumnus Pat Smith made yet another U.S. Open finals appearance by making quick work of his four opponents. Smith fell to RaVaughn Perkins in the final.
Two other Minnesota Greco-Roman wrestlers made the finals. Joe Rau along with Barrett Stanghill finished with 3-1 records along with their birth to the World Team Trials next month. Rau dominated through his three matches, outscoring his opponents 20-0 while Stanghill outscored his opponents 26-3.
In his first run at the senior level, 17 year-old Gable Steveson wasted no time proving that he belonged on the senior level. He earned two tech falls to reach the quarterfinals against Michigan’s Adam Coon. Although Steveson lost in the highly anticipated match against Coon, he impressed many with his offense throughout the tournament. Steveson outscored his opponents 35-0 in his three wins.
Another incoming Minnesota wrestler Brayton Lee was performing well on the junior level. Lee, wrestling at 70-kilograms, finished the day 3-1 including a pair of tech falls. Lee still has an opportunity to make the Team Trials, but will likely have to win two matches to cement his place.
Other big days for the Gophers came from some familiar names. Former NCAA Champion Jayson Ness would be ousted by Jaydin Eierman of Missouri, but Jayson would rattle off three more wins to reach the consolation round of four in the 65-kilogram Freestyle bracket.
Jayson’s brother Dylan, a former NCAA Finalist himself, had a similar path in the tournament. Ness was defeated by Alec Pantaleo of Michigan in the quarterfinals but bounced by later on in the day to pick up a big 14-4 tech fall to reach the consolation round of four.
Tony Nelson came out and represented Minnesota well once again in the 125-kilogram bracket. Nelson, a two-time NCAA Champion, reached the consolation round of four with a 3-1 record, which included a 25-3 score advantage in his three wins.
Some other notable results included Skyler Petry at 57-kilograms. Petry would take down No. 3 seed Frank Perrelli in his first match of the tournament, 9-8. Although Petry fell in his next match, he continued to press forward and will wrestle in the consolation round of four for the right to face his coach Zach Sanders in the consolation semifinals.
Current Gopher Carson Broslma is also still in the running for a 2018 Senior World Team Trials Challenge Tournament qualifier in the 74-kilogram bracket with his 2-1 record on day one in Freestyle.
Daniel DeShazer, Steve Bleise, and Rylee Streifel all were eliminated during the day in their respective weight classes on the senior level of Freestyle.
On the junior level, Patrick McKee along with Dylan Anderson both were eliminated on the first day. McKee, an incoming freshman next season, wrestled at 57-kilograms during the tournament and had some crazy scoring matches including a 13-6 win, 19-16 loss and a 15-14 win. Dylan Anderson also wrestled in the junior division, finishing 1-2 on the day.
Zach Sanders (3-1, Challenge Tournament Qualifier)
Round of 32: Zach Sanders tech Blake Huffman (Warhawk WC), 10-0
Round of 16: Zach Sanders tech James Hicks (Army), 10-0
Quarters: Zach Sanders over Darian Cruz (Lehigh), 4-1
Semis: Anthony Ramos (Sunkist Kids WC) over Zach Sanders, 8-4
Cons Semis: Zach Sanders vs
Skyler Petry (2-1)
Round of 32: Bye
Round of 16: Skyler Petry over Frank Perrelli (TMWC), 9-8
Quarters: David Terao (DCAC) over Skyler Petry, 12-8
Cons Rnd of 8 (2): Skyler Petry over Austin Assad (Michigan RTC), 10-8
Cons Rnd of 4: Skyler Petry vs Brent Fleetwood (Bison WC)
Daniel DeShazer (1-2)
Round of 32: Bye
Round of 16: Daniel DeShazer over Edward Klimara (TMWC), 8-2
Quarters: Dalton Fix (TMWC) over Daniel DeShazer, 4-0
Cons Rnd of 8 (2): Brent Fleetwood (Bison WC) over Daniel DeShazer, 1-1
Jayson Ness (4-1)
Round of 32: Jayson Ness tech Noah Blakley-Beanes (Roadrunner WC), 10-0
Round of 16: Jaydin Eierman (Missouri Wrestion RTC) over Jayson Ness, 7-4
Cons Rnd of 16 (2): Jayson Ness tech James Eggemeyer (Alaska), 10-0
Cons Rnd of 8 (1): Jayson Ness tech Logan Smith (Mat Savvy WC), 10-0
Cons Rnd of 8 (2): Jayson Ness over Anthony Abidin (NYAC), 9-8
Cons Rnd of 4: Jayson Ness vs Robbie Mathers (Sunkist Kids WC)
Dylan Ness (3-1)
Round of 32: Dylan Ness tech Matt Collum (xTreme Training), 14-4
Round of 16: Dylan Ness tech Tim Edmonson (Western Colorado Wrestling), 10-0
Quarters: Alec Pantaleo (MRTC) tech Dylan Ness, 11-1
Cons Rnd of 8 (1): Dylan Ness tech Matthew Kolodzik (NJRTC), 14-4
Cons Rnd of 4: Dylan Ness vs Griffin Parriott (Boilermaker RTC)
Steve Bleise (3-2)
Round of 32: Hunter Stieber (TMWC) over Steve Bleise, 6-6
Cons Rnd of 16: Steve Bleise tech Jon Errico (Pennsylvania RTC), 12-2
Cons Rnd of 16 (2): Steve Bleise tech Tim Edmonson (Western Colorado WC), 13-2
Cons Rnd of 8 (1): Steve Bleise over Mike Depalma (TMWC) by pin (2:19)
Cons Rnd of 8 (2): Ryan Deakin (Northwestern) tech Steve Bleise, 10-0
Carson Brolsma (2-1)
Round of 32: Bye
Round of 16: Carson Brolsma tech Maximilian Welsh (Eastside WC), 12-1
Quarters: Jake Sueflohn (Boilermaker RTC) over Carson Brolsma, 12-2
Cons Rnd of 8 (2): Carson Brolsma