Michael Blockhus, a 2020 NCAA qualifier, to transfer from Northern Iowa to Minnesota

It did not take long for Michael Blockhus to find a new home.

One week after announcing his intent to transfer from Northern Iowa, Blockhus announced that he plans to join the Minnesota wrestling program. The sophomore will join the Gophers next semester, and plans to wrestle 149 pounds.

“Blessed to say I’m going to be going to the U of Minnesota as a gopher this next semester,” Blockhus said in a Tweet, announcing his decision. “Ready to go to work. Thank you to all of my friends and family for all of their support throughout this process.

“Let’s go win some titles.” Continue reading at desmoinesregister.com →

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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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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Meet the Gopher Freshmen: Ben Lunn

Up next in our Meet the Freshmen series is Shakopee, Minnesota native Ben Lunn. He was a three-time Minnesota state finalist and a key contributor to back-to-back Minnesota state team titles under Shakopee head coach Jim Jackson. Lunn’s other accomplishments include being a member of the 2018 Minnesota Cadet National Team member, as well as a two-time placewinner at the USA Folkstyle Nationals.

Now, Ben Lunn makes the thirty-minute trip to Dinkytown to continue his wrestling career at the University of Minnesota. Get to know the incoming freshman as he looks to add to the success of his hometown Maroon & Gold.

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Sanders, McKee to Compete at HWC Showdown Open

Former Gopher All-Americans Zach Sanders and Mitch McKee are scheduled to compete at the Hawkeye Wrestling Club (HWC) Showdown Open Sunday at Xtream Arena in Coralville, Iowa.

In the main event, Sanders will face two-time NCAA Champion and 2020 Hodge Trophy Award winner Spencer Lee, a senior for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Currently a volunteer assistant coach for Minnesota, Sanders was a four-time All-American from 2009-12 and finished sixth in Gopher history with a 134-27-1 career record.

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Chasing Superstardom: Dreams of the WWE

For Gable Steveson, he has never wavered from his dream of someday becoming a WWE Superstar.

“This is a dream I’ve had since I was a kid. Everybody grew up watching WWE when they were young, I know I watched it. It’s just been a lifelong dream of mine.”

Gable had always watched Monday Night Raw in the living room. He recreated finishing moves on the couches like Rey Mysterio’s signature “619” with his older brother, Bobby. From his television screen, he watched performances from stars such as The Rock, The Undertaker and John Cena.

Oh, and of course Brock Lesnar. Continue reading at gophersports.com →

Meet the Gopher Freshmen: Andrew Sparks

Most people would not have picked Andrew Sparks to win in his state title match last season, but in Andrew’s mind, it was all a part of the plan. The Costa Mesa, California native capped off his astronomical rise in the high school wrestling scene by defeating top 5-nationally ranked Cael Valencia in the California state finals via a decisive 7-1 decision (Watch on Youtube).

In turn, the once unknown grappler, who didn’t start wrestling until 8th grade, quickly became one of the most highly touted recruits in the late stages of the Class of 2020 recruiting cycle, and after signing with the University of Minnesota in April, Sparks now has the opportunity to compete for an NCAA Division I wrestling program.

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