Coming home, and giving back

Two NCAA champions help train next wave of AV wrestlers

Apple Valley wrestling coach Josh Barlage knew it would be difficult to keep the attention of children, some of whom were younger than 10, through a day-long camp. So he called for help.

Highly qualified help, at that. On one of three mats at Saturday’s Camp of Champions at Apple Valley High School, an NCAA champion watched intently as two students grappled. On the next mat, another NCAA champion helped two more wrestlers sort out what to do in the referee’s position.

If anybody thought about goofing off – well, camp instructor Mark Hall wasn’t having it.

“We’ve been losing a little focus,” said the only six-time individual state high school champion in Minnesota history. “We’re going to take a water break and when we come back I’m going to need your full attention. Continue reading at www.hometownsource.com

Gross wins at NWCA All-Star Classic

PRINCETON, N.J. – In a matchup between the top-two ranked wrestlers at 133 pounds in preseason polls, South Dakota State’s Seth Gross scored a 7-1 decision over Michigan’s Stevan Micic Sunday afternoon at the 52nd annual NWCA All-Star Classic.

A junior from Apple Valley, Minnesota, the top-ranked Gross scored an early first-period takedown before giving up an escape to Micic later in the period. Gross then rode out the entire second period, picking up a point for stalling in the process. After recording an escape seconds into the third period, Gross again took down Micic for two points and picked up a final point in the exhibition match for a riding-time advantage that neared five minutes. Continue reading

JJ Classic Clinic set for October 21st at 8:30 am

The 2017 JJ Classic Clinic is set for Saturday, Oct. 21, in Rochester, Minn. The clinic will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the UCR Regional Sports Center before the JJ Classic, which begins at 10 a.m.

The JJ Classic Clinic is open to wrestlers ages 5-18 who attend the JJ Classic ($7 admission) or compete in the event. There is no pre-registration. Doors open at 8 a.m. Continue reading

Mark Hall named USA Wrestling Athlete of the Week

Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn./Nittany Lion WC) has been selected as TheMat.com Athlete of the Week on August 15, 2017.

Two weeks ago, Hall launched the U.S. into the Junior World Championships held in Tampere, Finland, by clinching his second-consecutive title at the event. He became the sixth American to earn two Junior World championships, joining Spencer Lee (2016-17) and Tim Timok (1979-80) as the only to do so in men’s freestyle.

The American prodigy began his 74 kg/163 lbs. conquest with a 10-0 win over Ukraine’s Adlan Bataiev and a 6-2 decision over highly-credentialed Russian Radik Valiev to qualify for the quarterfinals. Hall then made quick work of Junior Asian champion and eventual bronze medalist Mohammad Mottaghinia of Iran, 10-0. In the semifinals, he downed Junior European bronze medalist Muhammet Kucukyildirim of Turkey, 10-3.

Much like his gold-medal match from last year, Hall ended things in quick, emphatic fashion. Standing opposite Junior Asian runner-up Isa Shapiev of Uzbekistan, Hall struck with a cement mixer to get the win by pin in just 43 seconds. Continue reading at www.teamusa.org

Junior World Champion Mark Hall featured on Episode 53 of USA Wrestling Bonus Points Podcast

bp53_markhall740x400Episode 53 of the USA Wrestling Bonus Points podcast features 2016 Junior World champion in men’s freestyle wrestling Mark Hall.

The 19-year-old Hall won men’s freestyle gold for the U.S. at the 2016 Junior World Championships in Macon, France with a remarkable performance at 74 kg/163 lbs.

Hall won five matches over the top Junior wrestlers in the World to win his first Junior crown. Two of Hall’s five wins came by technical fall with one other coming by pin.


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GG12: State Champions Mitchell McKee, Griffin Parriott and Mark Hall as well as Penn State head coach Cael Sanderson

state-ggEpisode 12 of The Guillotine Grapevine rocks some historic talk as Apple Valley’s Mark Hall made history winning his sixth individual state championship to go along with six team championships.

Before we get to Hall, we caught up with St. Michael-Albertville’s Mitchell McKee after he won his third championship, stepping on the mat a few weights after his brother Patrick claimed the crown at 106 pounds. Following McKee, we talked with New Prague’s Griffin Parriott, who wowed the XCel Energy Center crowd with a 10-second fall in the state championship in AA.

Then we get to Hall, who answered questions from loads of TV stations and newspapers. He talked about the goals he had coming in to beat Destin McCauley’s five individual titles and six team titles as well as wrestling with his future college coach Cael Sanderson in attendance.

We also got a few minutes with Sanderson and he gave his impressions about the quality and atmosphere at the Minnesota State Championships.

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GG04: Apple Valley’s Mark Hall announces his intention to compete for Penn State

Episode 4 of the Guillotine Grapevine is a special edition as Apple Valley’s five-time state champion Mark Hall announced his college commitment.

With several athletes from Apple Valley signing on National Signing Day, Hall got the big treatment in the theater of the high school and a live stream on Flowrestling.

After opening statements by Athletic Director Pete Buesgens, Hall took to the stage and announced he would compete for Penn State. Continue reading