ST. LOUIS, MO – In a battle of former four-time Minnesota state champions, Gable Steveson defeated No. 9 Greg Kerkvliet, 9-4, in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships on Friday afternoon. Now a three-time All-American, Steveson will meet No. 5 Tony Cassioppi of Iowa in tonight’s heavyweight semifinal.
Steveson pounced early with a takedown against the redshirt freshman out of Simley High School and amassed nearly 2:30 in riding time in the first two periods. Leading 3-0, Steveson tacked on two more takedowns, but his bid for a 15th straight win by bonus was thwarted when Kerkvliet scored two late in the match. It was the first takedown of Steveson this season.
Steveson earned his 32nd straight victory, which is tied for 11th longest in school history, and improved his career record to 64-2. Tonight’s semifinal will be the fourth meeting with Cassioppi. Steveson won the three previous meetings, including a 12-4 major decision in the teams’ dual at Maturi Pavilion this past January.
Needing just one more win to become All-Americans, sophomores Patrick McKee and Brayton Lee and senior Owen Webster will be in action tonight in the consolation bracket.
McKee rebounded from narrow loss in the round of 16 with a pair of pins on Friday morning in the 125 bracket. Lee forced overtime in his 157-pound quarterfinal matchup against No. 3 David Carr of Iowa State with a reversal with 11 seconds left in regulation, but Carr earned the deciding takedown with 11 seconds to go in overtime for the 4-2 decision.
Webster won a pair of matches in the afternoon session, including a pin in 2:32 of No. 9 Jeremiah Kent of Missouri. After beginning his career as a 2017 Division III All-American at Augsburg, a win tonight against No. 3 Lou Deprez of Binghamtom would make him a Division I All-American. It would require his third win over a higher seed in the tournament.
Senior Boo Dryden, sophomore Michael Blockhus and junior Jake Allar suffered losses in Friday’s wrestlebacks and finished with 1-2 records. Biden and Allar had pins, while Blockhus had a major decision on Thursday to give Minnesota bonus points in the team race.
The Golden Gophers enter tonight’s session tied for eighth place alongside Arizona State with 31.5 points. Iowa extended its lead in the team race over Penn State, but saw its bid for 10 All-Americans fall short in the 184-pound consolation bracket. Minnesota remains the only program in NCAA history to accomplish the feat after claiming the program’s first national title 20 years ago.
The NCAA Championships continue tonight with the semifinal round, while wrestlers in the consolation bracket will attempt to reach All-American status. Competition begins at 7 p.m. and will air live on ESPN2.
1 Iowa (73.5)
2 Penn State (57.5)
3 Oklahoma State (52.0)
4 NC State (46.0)
5 Missouri (40.0)
6 Michigan (35.0)
7 Ohio State (33.0)
8t Minnesota (31.5)
8t Arizona State (31.5)
10 Rutgers (27.0)
Golden Gopher Results (Numbers listed are seeds)
125 pounds – No. 15 Patrick McKee
Round of 32: McKee dec. No. 18 Noah Surtin (Missouri), 15-8
Round of 16: No. 2 Sam Latona (Virginia Tech) dec. McKee, 3-1
Consolation2: McKee pinned No. 16 Codi Russell (Appalachian State), 2:00
Consolation3: McKee pinned No. 23 Robert Howard (Penn State), 2:04
Consolation4: McKee vs. No. 5 Brody Teske (Northern Iowa)
133 pounds – No. 23 Boo Dryden (1-2 | DNP)
Round of 32: No. 10 Louie Hayes (Virginia) dec. Dryden, 5-2
Consolation1: Dryden pinned No. 26 Darren Miller (Bucknell), 1:36
Consolation2: No. 9 Michael McGee (Arizona State) maj. dec. Dryden, 16-3
141 pounds – No. 28 Marcos Polanco (0-2 | DNP)
Round of 32: No. 5 Dom Demas (Oklahoma) dec. Polanco, 6-2
Consolation1: No. 12 Grant Willitts (Oregon State) dec. Polanco, 4-0
149 pounds – No. 14 Michael Blockhus (1-2 | DNP)
Round of 32: Blockhus maj. dec. #19 Casey Cobb (Navy), 10-0
Round of 16: No. 3 Brock Mauller (Missouri) dec. Blockhus, 4-2
Consolation2: No. 13 Mitch Moore (Oklahoma) pinned Blockhus, 1:15
157 pounds – No. 6 Brayton Lee
Round of 32: Lee dec. #27 Connor Brady (Virginia Tech), 2-0
Round of 16: Lee dec. No. 11 Jacori Teemer (Arizona State), 4-3
Quarterfinals: No. 3 David Carr (Iowa State) dec. Lee, 4-2 SV1
Consolation4: Lee vs. No. 17 Requir van der Merwe (Stanford)
165 pounds – No. 24 Andrew Sparks (0-2 | DNP)
Round of 32: No. 9 Luke Weber (NDSU) dec. Sparks, 8-5
Consolation1: No. 25 Jake Tucker (Michigan State) dec. Sparks, 5-2
174 pounds – No. 24 Jake Allar (1-2 | DNP)
Round of 32: No. 9 Donnell Washington (Indiana) dec. Allar, 5-3
Consolation1: Allar pinned No. 25 Cody Surratt (Air Force), 5:56
Consolation2: No. 10 Peyton Mocco (Missouri) pinned Allar, 6:25
184 pounds – No. 17 Owen Webster
Round of 32: Webster dec. No. 16 Max Lyon (Purdue), 5-3
Round of 16: No. 1 Aaron Brooks (Penn State) dec. Webster, 5-0
Consolation2: Webster dec. No. 31 Ryan Reyes (Oregon State), 4-1
Consolation3: Webster pinned No. 9 Jeremiah Kent (Missouri), 2:32
Consolation4: Webster vs. No. 3 Lou Deprez (Binghamtom)
Heavyweight – No. 1 Gable Steveson
Round of 32: Steveson pins No. 32 Taye Ghadiaki (Campbell), 1:27
Round of 16: Steveson tech fall No. 17 Wyatt Hendrickson (Air Force), 17-2 6:41
Quarterfinals: Steveson dec. No. 9 Greg Kerkvliet (Penn State), 9-4
Semifinals: Steveson vs. No. 5 Tony Cassioppi (Iowa)