The Gophers finished the 2019 World Team Trials with four qualifiers for spots on the USA Wrestling World Teams: Gable Steveson, Tony Nelson, Brayton Lee, and Pat Smith.
In senior men’s freestyle, Gable Steveson and for Gophers heavyweight Tony Nelson finished first and second respectively to be at least alternates on the team.
Steveson advances to a best-of-three series against Nick Gwiazdowski at Final X:Rutgers on June 8 with the 125kg starting spot at stake. Dustin Schlatter was the last Gophers grappler to represent the USA in Freestyle when he made the 2009 team while still in college.
The 18-year old was the youngest competitor in the field but ran through the weight class outscoring opponents 43-8 in five matches. Steveson defeated Nelson in the bracket finals before avenging a 2018 US Open loss to Adam Coon with two consecutive dominant victories.
Brayton Lee took care of business at the junior freestyle level and will be America’s 70kg representative in Estonia this summer. Lee’s weekend electrified fans with his second period rallies after falling behind by at least six points in four of his final five matches.
In his first match of the best-of-three series Lee stormed back with 11 unanswered to defeat Sammy Sasso. Lee handled Sasso 8-1 in the second bout to earn first Junior World Team spot.
Finally in Greco-Roman, Pat Smith advanced to Final X:Rutgers where he has a rematch with Kamal Bey for the 77kg. starting spot. Smith lost to Bey 5-3 at the 2019 US Open.
At the junior level both Patrick McKee and Jake Allar had excellent tournaments. McKee dropped his first bout to incoming Gopher Matt Ramos but then reeled off four straight wins by a combined score of 53-18.
Allar made a run to the finals of his bracket before bowing out after a loss in the finals.
Brett Pfarr advanced to the semifinals at 86kg but dropped his final two bouts. Jayson Ness won one bout on the consolation side while Zach Sanders lost his only time on the mat this weekend.
The 2019 World Wrestling Championships will be in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, from September 14-22. The 2019 Junior World Championships will be in Tallinn, Estonia, from August 12-18.
Brayton Lee (Champion)
Quarterfinals: Brayton Lee VSU1 (13-3) Justin McCoy (Cavalier Wrestling Club)
Semifinals: Brayton Lee VPO1 (12-9) Jacori Teemer (Sunkist Kids)
Finals: Brayton Lee VPO1 (17-8) Peyton Robb (Nebraska TC)
Bout 1 (Best-of-three): Brayton Lee VPO1 (11-8) Sammy Sasso (Ohio RTC)
Bout 2 (Best-of-three): Brayton Lee VPO1 (8-1) Sammy Sasso (Ohio RTC)
Jake Allar (Second)
Quarterfinals: Jake Allar VPO1 (6-4) Michael O’Malley (Penn RTC)
Semifinals: Jake Allar VPO1 (13-6) Dustin Plott (Tuttle Wrestling Club)
Finals: Parker Keckeisen (Askren Wrestling Academy) VPO1 (7-6) Jake Allar
Patrick McKee (Fourth)
Round of 16: Matt Ramos (Unattached) VFA (3:41) Pat McKee
Consolation of 8: Pat McKee VSU (0:43) Andre Ruiz (Unattached)
Consolation of 8 #2: Pat McKee VFA (4:02) Kyle Buscoglia (Unattached)
Consolation of 4: Pat Smith VSU (10-0) Dmitri Smith (Freco)
Consolation Semifinals: Pat McKee VPO1 (21-15) Wyatt Henson (Sunkist Kids)
Third Place Match: Eric Barnett (Unattached) by forfeit over Pat McKee
Zach Sanders (DNP)
Quarterfinals: Frank Perrelli (Lehigh Valley) VSU1 (14-3) Zach Sanders
Consolation Semifinals: Jack Mueller (Cavalier Wrestling Club) by forfeit over Zach Sanders
Jayson Ness (DNP)
Quarterfinals: Dom Demas (OK RTC) VSU(3:27) Jayson Ness
Consolation of 4: Jayson Ness VPO1(6-2) Kanen Storr (Titan Mercury)
Consolation Semifinals: Frank Molinaro VPO1(8-4) Jayson Ness
Brett Pfarr (DNP)
Quarterfinals: Brett Pfarr VPO (6-0) Kenny Courts (Titan Mercury)
Semifinals: Sammy Brooks (Hawkeye Wrestling Club) VPO1 (5-3) Brett Pfarr
Consolations Semifinals: Kenny Courts (NYAC) VPO1 (8-6) Brett Pfarr
Tony Nelson (Second)
Quarterfinals: Tony Nelson VPO1 (4-1) Garrett Ryan (Sunkist Kids)
Semifinals: Tony Nelson VPO (3-0) Derek White (Cowboy RTC)
Finals: Gable Steveson VPO1 (5-1) Tony Nelson
True Second: Tony Nelson VPO1 (4-1) Adam Coon (Cliff Keen)
Gable Steveson (Champion)
Quarterfinals: Gable Steveson VSU (10-0) Nick Neville (NLWC)
Semifinals: Gable Steveson VPO1 (7-3) Dom Bradley (Sunkist Kids)
Finals: Gable Steveson VPO1 (5-1) Tony Nelson
Bout 1 (Best-of-three): Gable Steveson VSU1 (13-3) Adam Coon (Cliff Keen)
Bout 2 (Best-of-three): Gable Steveson VPO1 (8-1) Adam Coon (Cliff Keen)
Pat Smith (Champion)
Quarterfinals: Pat Smith VSU (0:47) Earl Smith (Dubuque)
Semifinals: Pat Smith VSU (2:16) Peyton Walsh (Marines)
Finals (Best-of-three): Pat Smith VPO (3-0) Mason Manville (NLWC)
Finals (Best-of-three): Pat Smith VPO1 (3-2) Mason Manville (NLWC)