Minnesota takes down Illinois to win Greco-Roman 16U National Duals

SPOKANE, Wash. — A couple dozen blue-clad wrestlers exhaled in unison Thursday while a couple dozen others decked out in yellow T-shirts simultaneously let out a collective groan.

After 16 captivating matches in a meet loaded with high-level wrestling and potential tipping-point moments, the Greco-Roman title at the 16U National Duals essentially hinged on Minnesota’s Chase DeBlaere ability to get off his back against Jack Milos.

A pin would’ve given Illinois its eighth Greco title in 11 years and perhaps the most stunning conclusion of them all.

Anything less than a fall or a shutout technical superiority win would’ve clinched the title for Minnesota. Continue reading at www.trackwrestling.com

Fuenffinger to compete for U.S. World Team spot at Final X on Saturday

LINCOLN, Neb. — Augsburg University men’s wrestling alumnus Leslie (Mike) Fuenffinger ’15, a two-time NCAA Division III national titlist and three-time All-American, will compete for a spot on the U.S. Senior Greco-Roman National Team during the Final X series this Saturday (6/15) at the University of Nebraska’s Bob Devaney Center.

Fuenffinger, a specialist in the United States Army, competes for the U.S. Army’s World Class Athlete Program (WCAP), based in Colorado Springs, Colo. He joined the Army in April 2015. Fuenffinger qualified for the Final X competition after winning the U.S. Open title in the 60 kg (132 pounds) weight class in Las Vegas, Nev., in April.

Final X features a best-of-three series in each weight class, with the winners earning spots on the U.S. Senior National Teams that will compete at the 2019 World Wrestling Championships in Nursultan, Kazakhstan on Sept. 14-22. Competition will be held in men’s Freestyle and Greco-Roman divisions, along with women’s Freestyle. The first half of the national team was determined during the opening weekend of Final X in Piscataway, N.J., last Saturday.

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Smith Earns World Team Spot While Steveson Falls at Final X

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.

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