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.

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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.

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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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Minnesota’s Mark Hall and Tennessee’s Katie Brock named national winners of Dave Schultz and Tricia Saunders High School Excellence Awards

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame on Thursday announced that Mark Hall II of Apple Valley, Minnesota has been chosen as the 2016 recipient of the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award (DSHSEA) and Katie Brock of Whitwell, Tennessee has been chosen as the 2016 recipient of the Tricia Saunders High School Excellence Award (TSHSEA).

“Selecting the winners of these two awards is always difficult for our committee because we receive so many deserving nominees, who have all excelled on and off the wrestling mat,” said Lee Roy Smith, Executive Director of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. “We are pleased to name Mark and Katie as our national winners and believe that they are great representatives, who will continue to achieve athletically and academically at the next level.”

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Mark Hall is the Midwest Regional winner of the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame on Thursday announced the state and regional winners for the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award (DSHSEA) and the state winners for the Tricia Saunders High School Excellence Award (TSHSEA).

The national winners for both awards will be announced on May 5. The winners will be presented with their awards during the 40th Anniversary of the annual Honors Weekend at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame & Museum on June 3-4 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Continue reading at nwhof.org

Mark Hall Named MWCA Mr. Minnesota Wrestler

Mark Hall’s varsity wrestling career at Apple Valley started as a 7th grader. He was impressed by the welcoming environment that he experienced and attributed it to head coaches Jim Jackson and Dalen Wasmund as well as the entire coaching staff and team.

Mark finished his high school career this past spring with an overall record of 277-4 along with six individual state titles and six team titles. In the words of athletic director Pete Buesgens, the team titles mean as much or more to Mark than his individual titles. Pete is pretty confident that the twelve gold medals in wrestling earned by Mark Hall will not be matched anytime soon.

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