Pair of Gophers Reach Challenge Finals at U23 Nationals and U20 World Team Trials

MINNEAPOLIS – All five Minnesota wrestlers made at least the semifinals, with two advancing to the finals, this past weekend at the 2024 U23 Nationals and U20 World Team Trials in Geneva, Ohio.

The Golden Gopher representatives competed in the Challenge aspect of the tournament, hoping to earn a berth in a best-of-three championship matchup.

Minnesota redshirt freshman Max McEnelly was one of two Gophers to reach the Challenge Finals. He had no problem in his opening match as he cruised past Lars Michaelson (Nwwc) in the U20 World Team Trials 86kg quarterfinals, 10-0, in just 1:49. McEnelly then moved on to the Challenge finals thanks to an 11-0 win at 4:35 over Tate Naaktgeboren (Cyclone Regional Training Center C-RTC). A hard-fought contest in the finals saw McEnelly go down to Joshua Barr (Nittany Lion Wrestling Club), 4-1.

Continue reading →

Gophers Sending Five Wrestlers to U23 Nationals and U20 World Team Trials

MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota wrestling will be represented by five Gophers this weekend at the 2024 U23 Nationals and U20 World Team Trials in Geneva, Ohio.

Redshirt freshman Max McEnelly (86 kg) and incoming freshmen Charlie Millard (74 kg) and Koy Hopke (125 kg) are all scheduled to compete in the U20 Freestyle competition, while redshirt freshman Rhett Koenig (63 kg) is set to take part in U20 Greco-Roman. In addition, transfer Clayton Whiting is scheduled to compete at 79 kg in the U23 Freestyle tournament.

The World Team Trials take place May 31 through June 2 at the Spire Institute and will be streamed on FloWrestling.

Continue reading →

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.

Continue reading →

Gopher Wrestling Sending Five to U.S. Open Championships

MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota wrestling will be represented by five Gophers this week at the 2024 U.S. Open Championships in Las Vegas.

Max McEnelly, Brandon Morvari, Gavin Nelson, and Tyler Wells are all scheduled to compete in the U20 Freestyle competition, while Rhett Koenig is set to take part in both U20 Freestyle and Greco-Roman. All five were true freshmen for Minnesota last season.

The U.S. Open Championships takes place April 24-28 at the South Point Casino and will be streamed on FloWrestling.

Koenig will open the competition Wednesday at 11 a.m. CT with his Greco-Roman tournament, while the Freestyle portion of the event runs Friday and Saturday.

Continue reading →

Snyder joins rare wrestling air as three-time Olympian and 10-time world and Olympic team member

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.— Steadily, consistently — and perhaps even quietly? — Kyle Snyder is authoring one of the greatest American wrestling careers ever.

Snyder swept Isaac Trumble, two matches to none, to win the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Wrestling on Saturday here at the Bryce Jordan Center. He will represent the U.S. at 97 kilograms in the men’s freestyle competition this summer in Paris. It will be his third trip to the Olympics. He is just 28 years old.

The Woodbine, Md., native won his best-of-three finals series matches 5-0 and 4-0. It was a ho-hum, businesslike performance. Trumble was one of the stars in Friday’s challenge tournament competition, but he hardly got anything going against Snyder.

As a result, Snyder is now on the U.S. team for a staggering 10th consecutive year. He’s been the guy at 97-kg every year since 2015, when he became the youngest American wrestler ever to win a world championship. He followed that up with Olympic gold in 2016, and has won a medal at every single world or Olympic competition since.

Continue reading →

U.S. phenom Amit Elor qualifies for first Olympic team after winning eight world titles,

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.— Amit Elor has been not just a model of consistency, but a near guarantee for domination during her international wrestling career. Now she’ll get the opportunity to shine on wrestling’s biggest stage.

Elor, the 20-year-old phenom, won the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Wrestling on Saturday, sweeping her best-of-three finals series over Forrest Molinari at 68 kilograms. She won both matches, 6-0 and 2-1, to make her first Olympic team.

Over the last four years, the California native has become one of USA Wrestling’s top women’s wrestlers. Elor’s racked up the international hardware across various age levels, and the dominance she’s shown along the way has been staggering.

Consider her résumé, arranged by year:
2021: Cadet and Junior world champ
2022: Junior, U23, and Senior world champ
2023: Junior, U23, and Senior world champ

That’s eight different world titles in three years.

But wait! There’s more!

Continue reading →

Joe Rau breaks through to officially make U.S. Olympic Team

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.— The third time was the charm for Joe Rau.

Rau, the 33-year-old Chicago native, broke through and won the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Wrestling on Saturday. He bested Alan Vera, two matches to one, in the championship series to become the Olympic rep at 97 kilograms in Greco-Roman.

This result was a long time coming for Rau, who has been a mainstay on the U.S. Greco scene for many years.

The three-time Senior World Team member had come tantalizingly close to the Olympics the last two cycles, so much that his journey might be considered cruel to some who aren’t aware of the trials he’s navigated.

In 2016, Rau won the Trials in Iowa City, but did not qualify the weight class for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. In the next cycle, Rau qualified the U.S. for the 87-kg greco competition at the Olympics in Tokyo but did not win the Trials, losing a controversial finals series to John Stefanowicz.

Continue reading →