McKee Qualifies for U23 World Championships

Akron, Ohio – For the second straight year, the University of Minnesota’s Mitch McKee will represent the United States at the U23 World Championships, with the 2018 location being Bucharest, Romania.

McKee, who will be a junior for the Gophers in 2018, went into the tournament as the No. 1 seed and did not experience any hiccups along the way to his 8-0 record in Akron Ohio.

The eight participating Gophers experienced a lot of success in Akron, with Carson Brolsma finishing in fifth place, Skyler Petry added a sixth-place finish and Steve Polakowski in eighth place.

minnlogoThere was some star power along the way for McKee. He took down an All-American in Kaid Brock, who are quite familiar with each other with many battles in both freestyle and folkstyle over their wrestling careers. This time McKee got the best of Brock with an impressive 1:23 tech of the fifth-place finish at 133-pounds in 2018.

McKee went on to dominate Dom Demas, who wrestles for Oklahoma, in the finals of the 65-kilogram bracket with a 9-6 victory and a 10-0 technical superiority. McKee has now made the U23 finals for three straight years and has won each of the past two.

Brolsma would pick up wins against two quality NCAA opponents in Josh Shields, who was an All-American for Arizona State this season, and John Van Brill of Rutgers who was a round of 12 finisher in 2018.

It was a magnificent start for Petry, but an injury in the semifinals would ultimately drop him to sixth place, but not before picking up a win over Travis Piotrowski, who was an NCAA qualifier for Illinois in 2018.

It was also a nine-match weekend for Steve Polakowski, who finished with a 6-3 record along the way to an eighth-place finish. He wrestled back in the consolation bracket, winning five matches before falling in the consolation round of four.

There were some other notable performances in Akron. Chase O’Connor made some noise at 97-kilograms, he took down the No. 5 seed Jake Boyd and reaching the quarterfinals before running into some trouble. He would finish with a 2-2 record.

Other Gopher wrestlers to take part in Akron were Steve Bleise (3-2), Brandon Krone (2-2) and Ben Brancale (2-2).

Be sure to follow the Gophers all summer long for updates on all the latest news. You can follow Minnesota Wrestling on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Full Match-by-Match Results:


Skyler Petry (3-1, 6th Place)
Rnd of 64: Skyler Petry tech Jack Medley, 10-0 (Michigan Regional Training Center)
Rnd of 32: Skyler Petry tech Jordan Burkholder (Muskingum), 10-0
Rnd of 16: Skyler Petry med Killian Cardinale (Virginia Beach RTC)
Quarterfinals: Skyler Petry over Travis Piotrowski (IRTC), 8-6
Semifinals: Rayvon Foley (Michigan State) tech Skyler Petry, 16-6


Steve Polakowski (6-3, 8th Place)
Rnd of 128: Bye
Rnd of 64: Steve Polakowski tech Micah Krueger, 13-2 (Northwestern)
Rnd of 32: Chas Tucker (Cornell University) tech Steve Polakowski, 11-1
Cons Rnd of 32 (2): Steve Polakowski over Hunter Kosco (New England RTC), 12-4
Cons Rnd of 16 (1): Steve Polakowski tech Tristan Jenny (La Crosse Area Wrestlers), 12-2
Cons Rnd of 16 (2): Steve Polakowski tech Rashun Lawrence (Backyard WC), 12-2
Cons Rnd of 8 (1): Steve Polakowski tech Tyshawn White (Clarion RTC), 17-7
Cons Rnd of 8 (2): Steve Polakowski tech Steven Lee (Dubuque WC), 14-4
Cons Rnd of 4: Sean Fausz (Wolfpack WC) over Steve Polakowski, 7-0
7th Place: Jens Lantz (University of Wisconsin) over Steve Polakowski, 5-2


Mitch McKee (8-0, 1st Place)
Rnd of 128: Mitch McKee forfeit over Tombola Sinidhebura
Rnd of 64: Mitch McKee tech Will Clark (Wolfpack Wrestling Club)
Rnd of 32: Mitch McKee tech Matt Kolonia (Buffalo Valley RTC), 10-0
Rnd of 16: Mitch McKee fall Breyden Bailey (Indiana University), 1:15
Quarterfinals: Mitch McKee tech Jaime Hernandez (Tar Heel Wrestling Club), 12-2
Semifinals: Mitch McKee tech Kaid Brock (Oklahoma State), 10-0
Finals: Mitch McKee over Dominick Demas (Oklahoma RTC), 9-6
Finals: Mitch McKee tech Dominick Demas (Oklahoma RTC), 10-0


Steve Bleise (3-2, DNP)
Rnd of 256: Bye
Rnd of 128: Steve Bleise tech Seth Hogue (Buff)
Rnd of 64: Steve Bleise tech Jeren Glosser (Iowa), 14-4
Rnd of 32: Steve Bleise tech Josh Maruca (Sunkist Kids WC), 10-0
Rnd of 16: Pat Lugo (Iowa) tech Steve Bleise, 10-0
Cons Rnd of 16 (2): Ryan Blees (SERTC-VT) over Steve Bleise, 12-8

Ben Brancale (2-2, DNP)
Rnd of 256: Bye
Rnd of 128: Ben Brancale over Samuel Hepler (Mat-Town USA), 14-7
Rnd of 64: Ben Brancale tech Taylor Ortz (Clarion RTC), 10-0
Rnd of 32: Matthew Zovistoski (App State RTC) over Ben Brancale, 13-10
Cons Rnd of 32 (2): Malik Amine (Michigan) fall Ben Brancale, 0:00


Carson Brolsma (7-2, 5th Place)
Rnd of 128: Bye
Rnd of 64: Carson Brolsma fall Johnathan Bowling (Blue Raider WC), 2:11
Rnd of 32: Carson Brolsma over Benjamin Heyob (Golden Pride WC), 14-8
Rnd of 16: Alex Smythe (Bulls WC) over Carson Brolsma, 6-4
Cons Rnd of 16 (2): Carson Brolsma over Nathan Atienza (Michigan State)
Cons Rnd of 8 (1): Carson Brolsma over Joshua McClure (Tar Heel WC), 8-2
Cons Rnd of 8 (2): Carson Brolsma over John Van Brill (Rutgers), 7-0
Cons Rnd of 4: Carson Brolsma over Austin Kraisser (Campbell), 18-11
Cons Semis: Kennedy Monday (Tar Heel WC) tech Carson Brolsma, 13-3
5th Place: Carson Brolsma over Josh Shields (Sunkist Kids WC), 6-4


Brandon Krone (2-2, DNP)
Rnd of 128: Bye
Rnd of 64: Brandon Krone tech Spencer Irick (Indiana), 14-3
Rnd of 32: Brandon Krone tech Clayton Wahlstrom (SMI), 10-0
Rnd of 16: Myles Martin (Ohio State) tech Brandon Krone, 10-0
Cons Rnd of 16 (2): Alec Schenk (Blue Blood WC) over Brandon Krone, 10-4


Chase O’Connor (2-2, DNP)
Rnd of 32: Chase O’Connor over Jake Boyd (Oklahoma RTC), 6-2
Rnd of 16: Chase O’Connor over Ross Sealby (Northern Illinois RTC), 10-5
Quarterfinals: Malik McDonald (Wolfpack WC) tech Chase O’Connor, 10-0
Cons Rnd of 8 (2): Andre Lee (Illinois) over Chase O’Connor, 8-0

View More College News

Would you like to receive the latest Minnesota wrestling news in your inbox?