Steveson, Zillmer Highlight Minnesota World Trial Qualifiers

Las Vegas, Nev. – Entering the second day of the U.S. Open, eight Minnesota wrestlers looked to make the next step in qualifying for the 2018 U.S. World Team Trials next month, and all eight completed that goal in Las Vegas.

Hayden Zillmer was able to capture the best finish for the state of Minnesota on the senior level, finishing in second place after falling in the finals to J’den Cox, a world bronze medalist. Zillmer made quick work of his first three opponents, outscoring them 33-2. Zillmer will likely be one of the best contenders in Rochester at the World Team Trials in May.

Current University of Minnesota Volunteer Assistant Coach Zach Sanders finished above his seeding (No. 4) and finished in third place, taking out Brent Fleetwood and No. 3 seed Frank Perrelli in his two matches today. Sanders came up big in his third-place match, trailing 3-2 with under 30 seconds to go in the match before scoring the late takedown to earn the victory.

minnlogoGable Steveson’s rise to the senior level was nothing short of impressive. The 17-year-old Apple Valley, Minn. native finished in fourth place, dropping only two matches to the No. 1 and No. 4 seed in the tournament.

Steveson finished 5-2 during his two days of wrestling, which included a 56-0 score difference in his five wins. Steveson proved he belonged on the senior level and received many ovations from the public during his run in Vegas.

Also finishing in fourth place was a Gopher Wrestling alumnus, Dylan Ness. The former two-time NCAA finalist had to make a run in the 70-kilogram consolation bracket after falling in the quarterfinals and did just that. It took three matches for Ness to reach the third-place match, where he fell to Alec Pantaleo of Michigan, whom he also fell to in the quarterfinals. Ness will make his first appearance at the 2018 World Team Trials next month.

Dylan’s brother, Jayson, also competed and wrestled his way to a fifth-place finish at 65-kilograms. The former NCAA Champion dropped his two matches by a combined number of four. In his six wins, which was a tie for the most wins by a Minnesota wrestler in Vegas, he outscored his opponents 53-8.

Brayton Lee, an incoming freshman at Minnesota, was able to qualify for the May Challenge Tournament with a fifth-place finish. Lee wrestled at 70-kilograms, reached the consolation semifinals before falling to the No. 1 seed. Lee wrapped up his tournament on a positive note with a 16-5 tech of Jaden Van Maanen, who wrestles at North Dakota State.

Back on the senior level, Tony Nelson capped off his tournament with a sixth-place finish at 125-kilograms. The two-time NCAA Champion fell to eventual finalist Jacob Varner in the quarterfinals, and then to the No. 1 seed Dom Bradley in the consolation semifinals, 2-1.

Current Gopher Carson Brolsma may have surprised some with his performance in the 74-kilogram bracket. The soon-to-be-junior found his way to the quarterfinals before dropping his first match. All of Broslma’s losses were to higher seeded wrestlers, and by taking care of his matches against his other opponents he qualified for the Challenge Tournament in a few weeks.

Lastly, Skyler Petry was able to qualify to the U.S. World Team Trials in May despite finishing in eighth place. Due to the returning medalist at 57-kilograms, the next seven spots qualified. Petry crashed the party at 57-kilograms in his first match on Friday as he took down the No. 3 seed, Frank Perrelli. Petry would go on to finish the tournament 1-3, but had close matches in two of those three and made great strides in the process.

The 2018 Freestyle U.S. World Team Trials will be held in Rochester Minn. starting on May 18. Between Greco-Roman, Junior Freestyle and Senior Freestyle Minnesota will have 16 representatives from their contingent of 21 that wrestled in Las Vegas (See qualifiers below). is your home for Gopher Wrestling news. Be sure to follow Gopher Wrestling on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest updates.

Full Match-by-Match Results:

Senior Freestyle:


Zach Sanders (5-1, 3rd Place & 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 over Brent Fleetwood (Bison WC), 10-2
3rd Place: Zach Sanders over Frank Perrelli (TMWC), 4-3

Skyler Petry (2-3, 8th Place & Challenge Tournament Qualifier)
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: Brent Fleetwood (Bison WC) over Skyler Petry, 6-3
7th Place: Edward Klimara (TMWC) tech Skyler Petry, 10-0

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 (6-2, 5th Place & Challnege Tournament Qualifier)
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 over Robbie Mathers (Sunkist Kids WC), 4-0
Cons Semis: Nick Dardanes (TMWC) over Jayson Ness, 8-7
5th Place: Jayson Ness tech Evan Henderson (TMWC), 10-0


Dylan Ness (5-2, 4th Place & Challnege Tournament Qualifier)
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 pin Griffin Parriott (Boilermaker RTC) ()
Cons Semis: Dylan Ness med Frank Molinaro (TMWC)
3rd Place: Alec Pantaleo (Michigan) over Dylan Ness, 8-2

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 (3-3, 6th Place & Challnege Tournament Qualifier)
Round of 32: Bye
Round of 16: Carson Brolsma tech Maximilian Welsh (Eastside WC), 12-1

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