MINNEAPOLIS – Former Gopher wrestlers Patrick Smith and Gable Steveson each won their best-of-three matches Saturday at Final X in Newark, N.J., to claim a spot on the U.S. Senior Teams ahead of this fall’s World Championships.
Smith, competing for Minnesota Storm, claimed victory in his Greco-Roman matchup at 72 kg over Justus Scott from Army WCAP. After dropping the first match via criteria decision 3-3, Smith bounced back to even the series at 1-1 thanks to a 5-4 victory. Coming down to the final match, Smith opened up with a 6-0 lead and held on for a 7-5 decision. With the win, he’s now heading to his fourth Senior World Championships.
Steveson’s Saturday involved less drama as he took both freestyle matches from Mason Parris of Cliff Keen WC/Titan Mercury WC. Suiting up for Gopher Wrestling Club at 125 kg, Steveson posted a 6-2 victory in the first matchup between the former collegiate foes. He then finished things off with a 5-0 shutout in the second match to clinch his first trip to the Senior Worlds.
Smith and Steveson will represent Team USA at the 2023 World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, Sept. 16-24.