Four Gophers Earn All-American Honors on Day Two

PITTSBURGH – The Gophers wrestling team finished up day two of the 2019 NCAA Championships tied for eighth place as a team with four All-Americans locked in.

For 141-pound Mitch McKee, 174-pound Devin Skatzka, and heavyweight Gable Steveson it was their first time becoming an All-American. For Lizak, it’s his third consecutive season.

The last time the Gophers had four All-Americans was in 2017.

The Gophers have 48 team points and are tied with Michigan in eighth place.

Four Gophers will wrestle tomorrow. Two, 141-pound Mitch McKee and heavyweight Gable Steveson, will have the opportunity to advance to the third-place bout. Two others, 133-pound Ethan Lizak and 174-pound Devin Skatzka, will wrestle in the seventh place match.

In a match-up of true freshman against sixth-year senior, the Gophers’ Gable Steveson quickly overwhelmed Oregon State’s Amar Dhesi. Steveson quickly notched two takedowns in the first period alongside over two minutes of riding time. Steveson continued to roll offensively and was the first Minnesota grappler to become an All-American on the day.

The Gophers last true freshman All-American were Dylan Ness and Logan Storley in 2012.

Steveson’s semifinals bout featured a rematch of the Big Ten Championships against Anthony Cassar. Steveson once again fell 4-3, this time with riding time the decisive factor.

Steveson will face Maryland’s Youssif Hemida on Saturday morning with an opportunity to advance to the third place match.

Against Big Ten Champion Joey McKenna of Ohio State, 141-pound Mitch McKee was unable to get his offense rolling. McKee spent much of his time on bottom and ultimately fell by 11-1 major decision.

On the consolation side, defeated Tristan Moran after losing to him in their dual earlier this year to achieve his first All-American honors. McKee followed it up with his second victory over Nebraska’s Chad Red Jr. this season.

McKee will face Missouri’s Jaydin Eiermann on Saturday morning with a chance to wrestle for third place.

In his quarterfinal bout to start the day, 133-pound Ethan Lizak dropped his second battle with Rutgers’ Nick Suriano this season. Lizak held tough, but after a Suriano reversal in the second period the Gophers’ grappler was stuck to his back.

Lizak took care of business against Stanford’s Mason Pengilly by major decision to become a three-time All-American before dropping his bout against Iowa’s Austin DeSanto.

Lizak will face Penn State’s Roman Bravo-Young in the seventh place bout.

In his first two consolation bouts of the day, Devin Skatzka outscored his opponents 21-9 and kept his tournament hopes alive. Then, with an opportunity to become an All-American for the first time, Skatzka defeated Army’s Ben Harvey by major decision to achieve the goal in his first season wearing Maroon and Gold.

Skatzka then lost his bout against Mikey Labriola to fall to the seventh place battle against Lehigh’s Jordan Kutler on Saturday morning.
In their third bout this season, Sean Russell was able to notch his first takedown of Iowa’s Spencer Lee, but Lee got the escape and pinned Russell with just over a minute remaining in the battle.

Russell dropped his final career bout against Rayvon Foley by major decision with an All-American opportunity on the line.

In his first bout on the consolation side of the bracket, Steve Bleise found himself in sudden victory once again, a common theme this season. Bleise got to Justin Ruffin’s leg and after an extended scramble, the Chelsea, Michigan, native finished off the takedown and advanced.

Bleise once again won in extra time when he won in the second tie breaker over Eric Barone of Illinois. Bleise fell to Alec Pantaleo of Michigan in his final bout his season and career.

At 149-pounds, Tommy Thorn won his first bout by narrow 3-2 decision with his takedown the ultimate difference compared to his opponent’s two escapes. Thorn then again won by a narrow margin, this time a sudden victory takedown of Penn State’s Brady Berge.

Thorn dropped his third bout of the season to Iowa’s Pat Lugo by 4-0 decision to end his career.

Carson Brolsma fell to Michigan’s Logan Massa by technical fall to end his 2019 NCAA Championships. Broslma finishes the tournament 1-2 and finishes the season with a 20-12 record.

NCAA Tournament Results (Through day two)

125-pound Sean Russell (Six-seed)
Round of 32: Sean Russell major dec. (16-6) 27-seed Dack Punke (Missouri)
Round of 16: Sean Russell major dec. (10-1) 11-seed Travis Piotrowski (Illinois)
Quarterfinals: Three-seed Spencer Lee (Iowa) fall (5:59) Sean Russell
Cons. Round of 4: Nine-seed Rayvon Foley (Michigan State) major dec. (12-4) Sean Russell

133-pound Ethan Lizak (Six-Seed)
Round of 32: Ethan Lizak dec. (3-1) 27-seed Anthony Cefelo (Rider)
Round of 16: Ethan Lizak dec. (5-4) 11-seed Tariq Wilson
Quarterfinals: Three-seed Nick Suriano fall (4:24) Ethan Lizak
Cons. Round of 4: Ethan Lizak major dec. (14-2) 31-seed Mason Pengilly (Stanford)
Cons. Round of 5: Seven-seed Austin DeSanto (Iowa) SV-1 (4-2) Ethan Lizak

141-pound Mitch McKee (Seven-seed)
Round of 32: Mitch McKee fall (5:00) 26-seed Sam Krivus (Virginia)
Round of 16: Mitch McKee decision (7-4) 23-seed Sam Turner (Wyoming)
Quarterfinals: Two-seed Joey McKenna (Ohio State) major dec. (11-1) Mitch McKee
Cons. Round of 4: Mitch McKee dec. (7-6) 11-seed Tristan Moran (Wisconsin)
Cons. Round of 5: Mitch McKee dec. (6-2) 16-seed Chad Red Jr. (Nebraska)

149-pound Tommy Thorn (20-seed)
Round of 32: Tommy Thorn dec. (5-4) 13-seedAnthony Artalona (Penn)
Round of 16: Four-seed Brock Mauller (Missouri) dec. (5-1) Tommy Thorn
Cons. Round 2: Tommy Thorn dec. (3-2) 14-seed Requir van der Merwe (Stanford)
Cons. Round of 3: Tommy Thorn SV-1 (4-2) 12-seed Brady Berge (Penn State)
Cons. Round of 4: Ten-seed Pat Lugo (Iowa) dec. (4-0) Tommy Thorn

157-pound Steve Bleise (Ten-seed)
Round of 32: Steve Bleise major dec. (9-1) 23-seed Chase Straw (Iowa State)
Round of 16: Seven-seed Larry Early (Old Dominion) dec. (3-2) Steve Bleise
Cons. Round 2 Steve Bleise SV-1 (7-5) Justin Ruffin (SIUE)
Cons. Round 3: Steve Bleise TB-2 (3-2) Eric Barone (Illinois)
Cons. Round of 4: Four-seed Alec Pantaleo (Michigan) major dec. (13-2) Steve Bleise

165-pound Carson Brolsma (28-seed)
Round of 32: Five-seed Chance Marsteller (Lock Haven) major dec. (16-3) Carson Brolsma
Cons. Round 1: Carson Brolsma dec. (3-2) 13-seed Ebed Jarrell (Drexel)
Cons. Round 2: Six-seed Logan Massa (Michigan) tech. fall (19-4) Carson Brolsma

174-pound Devin Skatzka (Nine-seed)
Round of 32: Devin Skatzka major decision (15-3) 24-seed Lorenzo De La Riva (North Dakota State)
Round of 16: Taylor Lujan (Northern Iowa) fall (3:22) Devin Skatzka
Cons. Round 2: Devin Skatzka major dec. (10-2) 23-seed Daniel Bullard (NC State)
Cons. Round 3: Devin Skatzka dec. (11-7) 16-seed Brandon Womack (Cornell)
Cons. Round of 4: Devin Skatzka major dec. (11-2) 22-seed Ben Harvey (Army)
Cons. Round of 5: 10-seed Mikey Labriola (Nebraska) dec. (7-5) Devin Skatzka

Heavyweight Gable Steveson (Three-seed)
Round of 32: Gable Steveson tech. fall (18-3) 30-seed Zack Parker (Ohio)
Round of 16: Gable Steveson major dec. (21-8) 19-seed Brian Andrews (Wyoming)
Quarterfinals: Gable Steveson major dec. (11-1) six-seed Amar Dhesi (Oregon State)
Semifinals: Two-seed Anthony Cassar (Penn State) dec. (4-3) Gable Steveson

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