McKee Wins Title; Five Record Top-Eight Finish at U23 Nationals

Former Gopher Mitch McKee captured first place this weekend at the 2020 U23 Junior Nationals at CHI Health Center in Omaha, Neb. McKee outscored his opponents, 59-14, in his five matches, including a 10-0 victory in the 61kg finals against Michael Colaiocco. A two-time All-American for the Gophers, McKee is now eligible for the 2021 Junior World Team Trials.

Four current Gopher wrestlers recorded top-eight finishes, led by junior Jake Allar’s fourth place showing at 79kg in the U23 division. Sophomore Patrick McKee placed seventh at 57kg with a 6-2 record.

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Two Jacks Bring Home Titles From UWW Meet

OMAHA, Neb. – South Dakota State University wrestlers Tanner Sloan and Spencer Trenary each won age-group titles during competition at the 2020 United World Wrestling Junior and U23 Nationals held over the weekend at the Convention Center at CHI Health Center.

With their victories, Sloan and Trenary, who were competing as members of the Jackrabbit Wrestling Club, earned bids to the 2021 Senior World Team Trials and 2021 Junior World Team Trials, respectively.

Sloan, a native of Alburnett, Iowa, posted a 3-0 record to win the 97-kilogram weight class in the U23 Freestyle division. He opened the tournament with a 9-6 victory over Jacob Boyd and advanced to the championship bout with a 15-4 win over Duncan Lee.

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Gophers to Compete at U23 and UWW Junior Nationals

Six University of Minnesota wrestlers will compete at the 2020 U23 & UWW Junior Nationals at CHI Health Center in Omaha, Neb., this Saturday and Sunday. Junior Jake Allar, sophomores Patrick McKee, Baylor Fernandes, Kasper McIntosh and Matt Ramos and alum Mitch McKee will compete for spots in the 2021 U23 and Junior freestyle team trials.

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MN/USA Wrestling Produces COVID-19 Preparedness Plan for Tournaments

MN/USA Wrestling has published a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan for MN/USA Wrestling Tournaments on their website along with the following statement:

“Minnesota/USA Wrestling is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all our members, workers, officials, coaches, parents, and participants. To ensure we have a safe and healthy environment, MN/USA Wrestling has developed the following COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tournament organizers and hosts are all responsible for implementing this plan. Our goal is to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 in our tournaments and communities, and that requires full cooperation among our workers and management. Only through this cooperative effort can we establish and maintain the safety and health of all persons in our workplaces.”

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Unfinished Business: Ryan Epps Reflects On Augsburg, New Start In Greco

It’s hard to call Ryan Epps (77 kg) a “throwback”, though the moniker fits.

As a member of the Minnesota Storm, he is teammates with several wrestlers who have done their part to uphold Storm’s proud tradition of outlasting, outhustling, and mercilessly “breaking” the opposition. For decades and decades, this is how it has been. It is what they learn, how they are developed. Minnesota as a state tends to produce hard-working, lunch pail-types, anyway. What Storm does is reinforce the concept that, yes, toughness along with an expansive gas tank usually equate to success in a sport where attrition forever remains at a premium.

Consider: like any large family, Storm has “hand-me-downs”; except instead of outgrown clothes, the younger generation are bequeathed a mindset. Not mere attire which tears and frays, but rather, an attitude that is intended to withstand the test of time.

And that attitude is why Epps exited last week’s 2020 US Nationals as one of the biggest stories of the tournament. Continue reading at →

Smith, Ortiz and Russell Lead Gophers at US Senior Nationals

Current and former Gophers led a Minnesota contingent at the US Senior Nationals this past weekend at Xtream Arena & GreenState Family Fieldhouse in Coralville, Iowa. Pat Smith and Alec Ortiz finished second and third in Greco-Roman, respectively, while Sean Russell placed fourth in freestyle.

Smith and Ortiz advanced to a semifinal matchup at 77kg with Smith moving on to the finals with a 4-1 victory. Smith fell in the championship bout against No. 3 Kendrick Sanders, while Ortiz rallied for a third-place finish.

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Steveson Dominates in the Big Apple

Augsburg wrestler Emily Shilson and former Apple Valley wrestler Seth Gross also wrestled

Competing for the first time since winning the 2020 Big Ten title last March, Golden Gopher heavyweight Gable Steveson defeated Wisconsin’s Trent Hillger by technical fall at the 2020 Beat the Streets virtual event on Thursday night.

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