Gophers Garner Four Placewinners at U.S. Open Championships

MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota’s Max McEnelly and Koy Hopke both earned third-place finishes to highlight current and future Gophers in the U20 Freestyle competition at this past weekend’s 2024 U.S. Open Championships in Las Vegas.

Competing at 86 kg in the U20 Freestyle division, McEnelly opened the tournament with four straight wins by a combined score of 41-0 and only 6:56 on the mat out of a possible 24 minutes to reach the semifinals. He was defeated in the semis, 6-2, by eventual runner-up Joshua Barr (Nittany Lion Wrestling Club), but McEnelly bounced back with a pair of wins in the consolation bracket.

First came the consolation semifinals, where McEnelly posted a 6-5 victory over Ryder Rogotzke (Ohio Regional Training Center), who was an NCAA qualifier this past year for Ohio State. The win sent him to the third-place match, where he defeated Daschle Lamer (Central Coast Regional Training Center) for the second time in the tournament, this time by a 12-2 margin at 4:37 to grab third-place honors.

An incoming freshman, Hopke also placed third at 125 kg. He rolled through his first three matches, winning all by tech falls and a combined 44-12 margin and none lasting longer than 3:30. Hopke was upended in the semis by eventual champion Jimmy Mullen (Southeast Regional Training Center, Inc), but like McEnelly came back with a pair of wins on the backside, including a 10-9 win over Aden Attao (Beaver Dam Wrestling Regional Training Center) in the third-place match.

Rhett Koenig, who just completed his freshman season with the Gophers, competed in both Greco-Roman and Freestyle, posting a fourth-place finish in the former at 63 kg and a 2-2 record in the latter at 65 kg. He won his first two matches to reach the semifinals, where he lost to the eventual runner-up, 6-5. Koenig responded with a win in the consolation semifinals before taking a 3-2 loss in the third-place match to Amryn Nutter (Combat W.C. School of Wrestling).

The Gophers also got a strong performance from incoming freshman Charlie Millard, who placed seventh at 74 kg. Millard breezed through the first three rounds with a 40-5 scoring edge, but he lost in the quarterfinals. A 1-1 record in the consolation bracket afterward sent him to the seventh-place match, where he prevailed by injury default.

Also in action were current Gophers Tyler Wells (3-2 at 65 kg), Brandon Morvari (3-2 at 57 kg) and Gavin Nelson (2-2 at 92 kg), as well as incoming freshmen Dawson Johnson (4-2 at 61 kg), Silas Dailey (3-2 at 79 kg), Jed Wester (2-2 at 79 kg) and Wyatt Duchateau (1-2 at 70 kg).

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