Two Minnesota Wrestlers Earn World Team Trial Finals Bids

Rochester, Minn. – It was a day highlighted by the Minnesota heavyweights, but a total of eight Minnesota wrestlers took part in the senior level of the World Team Trials, with Hayden Zillmer and Tony Nelson making tomorrow’s best-of-three finals with a Final X birth on the line.

On the junior level, Gable Steveson took care of business in his best-of-three series with U.S. Open winner Gannon Gremmel, who attends Iowa State, by earning technical superiority victories in both matches that lasted a combined 1:41.

Back on the senior level, Steveson and Nelson both marched through their quarterfinal bouts, and then both avenging losses from the U.S. Open in the semifinals. Nelson defeated 2012 Olympic Gold medalist at 97-kilograms, Jake Varner. Steveson took down the No. 2 seed, Dom Bradley by a 5-4 score to earn the finals birth.

minnlogoIn the finals, the Minnesota-heavy crowd had their dream matchup set. Tony Nelson would open up with a 4-1 lead at the end of the first, but Steveson would tie up the match late in the second period. The match would end in a 4-4 tie, and by freestyle criteria rules, Nelson won the match.

Nelson will wrestle tomorrow in a best-of-three series with U.S. Open champion Adam Coon, who recently was an NCAA finalist at heavyweight in 2018. Coon and Nelson have faced before back during the 2013-14 season.

Minnesota Storm wrestler Hayden Zillmer only needed one match to earn himself an appearance in tomorrow’s best-of-three series. Zillmer’s match lasted just 21-seconds, as he earned a 10-0 tech in the semifinals after a bye in the quarterfinals. He will wrestle Deron Winn, for the right to meet J’den Cox at Final X later this summer.

Also making the challenge finals was Zach Sanders at 57-kilograms. The four-time All-American sprinted through his first two matches, outscoring his opponents 18-0 before falling in the finals to Dalton Fix.

Others competing at the World Team Trials were Joe Rau (2-2), Dylan Ness (1-2), Jayson Ness (1-2) and Carson Brolsma (0-2).

Tomorrow’s best-of-three finals will begin at 12:00 p.m. Make sure you follow Minnesota Wrestling on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram so you do not miss any of the content all summer long.

World Team Trials Brackets/Results on

Full Match-by-Match Results:



Gable Steveson (2-0, Junior World Team Qualifier)
Match 1: Gable Steveson tech Gannon Gremmel, 10-0 (0:28)
Match 2: Gable Steveson tech Gannon Gremmel, 10-0 (1:13)



Zach Sanders (2-1, 2nd Place)
Quarterfinals: Zach Sanders over Brent Fleetwood (Bison WC), 8-0
Semifinals: Zach Sanders tech Tim Lambert (Sunkist WC), 10-0
Finals: Dalton Fix (TMWC) tech Zach Sanders, 10-0


Jayson Ness (1-2)
Quarterfinals: Jayson Ness over Nick Dardanes (TMWC), 6-3
Semifinals: Jaydin Eierman (TMWC) over Jayson Ness, 8-0
Cons Semis: Andy Simmons (NYAC) tech Jayson Ness, 14-4


Dylan Ness (1-2)
Quarterfinals: Dylan Ness tech Kyle Ruschell (NYAC), 13-3
Semifinals: Hayden Hidlay (TMWC) over Dylan Ness, 6-3
Cons Semis: Ryan Deakin (Northwestern) tech Dylan Ness, 12-2


Carson Brolsma (0-2)
Quarterfinals: Dan Vallimont (NYAC) over Carson Brolsma, 6-2
Cons Rnd of 4: Taleb Rahmani (Pittsburgh WC) over Carson Brolsma, 7-4


Joe Rau (2-2, 4th Place)
Quarterfinals: Joe Rau over Pat Downey (TMWC), 7-2
Semifinals: Nick Reenan (TMWC) tech Joe Rau, 10-0
Cons Semis: Joe Rau over Austin Coburn (Virginia Beach RTC), 6-2
3rd Place: Pat Downey (TMWC) over Joe Rau, 7-0


Hayden Zillmer (1-0)
Quarterfinals: Bye
Semifinals: Hayden Zillmer tech Nikko Reyes (Valley RTC), 10-0 (0:21)
Finals: Hayden Zillmer vs Deron Winn (TMWC) – BEST OF THREE


Tony Nelson (3-0)
Quarterfinals: Tony Nelson over Michael Kosoy (TMWC), 5-0
Semis: Tony Nelson over Jake Varner (NLWC), 3-2
Finals: Tony Nelson over Gable Steveson (Minnesota), 4-4 (Criteria)

Gable Steveson (2-1, 2nd Place)
Quarterfinals: Gable Steveson tech Tanner Hall (Sunkist WC), 15-2
Semifinals: Gable Steveson over Dom Bradley (Sunkist WC), 5-4
Finals: Tony Nelson (Minnesota) over Gable Steveson, 4-4 (Criteria)

Remaining Schedule:

Sunday, May 20
12 p.m. – Senior men’s freestyle best-of-three finals

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