Former Gopher wrestler Pat Smith punched his ticket to the 2019 World Championships with two victories over Kamal Bey at 77kg in Greco-Roman wrestling, while at 125kg current Gopher wrestler Gable Steveson fell to two-time world bronze medalist Nick Gwiazdowski on Saturday night.
Smith avenged his US Open loss to Bey from earlier this year on Saturday night at Rutgers. Smith has now made his second Greco-Roman world team after competing in 2017 at 71kg.
After suffering a loss by 11-2 superiority in the first bout, Smith bounced back in the second putting forth his gameplan with a constant motor. Smith limited Bey’s flashy offense and came out on top of the 2-1 bout to force a decisive third bout.
Smith continued to limit Bey’s effectiveness and won 6-3 in the final bout. Smith was down 3-2 in the second period when he hit a crucial four-point throw that proved to be the winning points.
Smith will compete at the 2019 World Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazhakstan from September 14-22. In his post-match interview, Smith credited the Gophers and Minnesota Storm community for their support and training.
Steveson fell to Gwiazdowski in two straight matches by criteria at Final X:Rutgers with the starting heavyweight spot on the 2019 World Team at stake. The 19-year old lost 4-4 and 3-3 with criteria the ultimate difference both times.
There are no ties in freestyle wrestling and the victor is determined by a series of criteria. In both cases, Gwiazdowski scored the final points of the bout providing him the criteria advantage.
Steveson has the option to request a wrestle-off against U23 Champion Daniel Kerkvliet for the 125kg spot at U23 World Champions in Budapest, Hungary.
Gable Steveson – Men’s Freestyle
- Bout 1 (Best-of-three): Nick Gwizadowski (Titan Mercury/Wolfpack RTC) VPO1 (4-4) Gable Steveson
- Bout 2 (Best-of-three):Nick Gwizadowski (Titan Mercury/Wolfpack RTC) VPO1 (3-3) Gable Steveson
Pat Smith – Greco-Roman
- Bout 1 (Best-of-three): Kamal Bey (Sunkist Kids) VSU1 (3:51) Pat Smith
- Bout 2 (Best-of-three): Pat Smith VPO1 (2-1) Kamal Bey (Sunkist Kids)
- Bout 3 (Best-of-three): Pat Smith VPO1 (6-3) Kamal Bey (Sunkist Kids)