Smith Earns World Team Spot While Steveson Falls at Final X

Former Gopher wrestler Pat Smith punched his ticket to the 2019 World Championships with two victories over Kamal Bey at 77kg in Greco-Roman wrestling, while at 125kg current Gopher wrestler Gable Steveson fell to two-time world bronze medalist Nick Gwiazdowski on Saturday night.

Smith avenged his US Open loss to Bey from earlier this year on Saturday night at Rutgers. Smith has now made his second Greco-Roman world team after competing in 2017 at 71kg.

After suffering a loss by 11-2 superiority in the first bout, Smith bounced back in the second putting forth his gameplan with a constant motor. Smith limited Bey’s flashy offense and came out on top of the 2-1 bout to force a decisive third bout.

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Gable Steveson and Pat Smith Ready For Final X:Rutgers

Gophers rising sophomore Gable Steveson (125kg) and alum Pat Smith (77kg) are set to compete at Final X: Rutgers this Saturday in a pair of best-of-three series. Steveson faces 2018 World Medalist Nick Gwiazdowski in freestyle while Smith challenges 2019 US Open Champion Kamal Bey in Greco-Roman.

Smith will be the second bout in the 5 pm evening session while Steveson and Gwiazdowski will wrestle fifth following the Whitney Conder/Victoria Anthony bout. For up-to-the-minute updates, follow @GopherWrestling on Twitter.

If victorious, the wrestlers will compete at the 2019 United World Wrestling Championships from September 14-22 in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.

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Gopher Wrestling: Big Ten Announces 2019-20 Home/Away Opponents

The home and away opponents for Gopher wrestling throughout the 2019-20 Big Ten schedule have been announced and next year’s schedule features the top-five teams from the 2019 NCAA Championship including two duals at home in Maturi Pavilion.

All wrestling schedules will be finalized in September when conference basketball schedules are solidified and any facility conflicts can be resolved.

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Gophers U23 Nationals Recap: Skatzka Earns Alternate Sp

Devin Skatzka (86kg) finished as runner-up at the U23 Men’s Freestyle Nationals in Akron where he earns his spot as an alternate on the team competing in Budapest, Hungary, this October.

Skatzka dominantly ran through his first five matches with all victories coming by superiority or fall. Skatzka spent a total of 14:24 on the mat out of a total of 30 potential minutes, capped off by a 29 second pin in the semifinals.

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The MatBoss Podcast: Junior World Teamer Brayton Lee

Indiana native and 2019 U.S. Junior world teamer Brayton Lee joins The MatBoss Podcast with Chad Dennis this week. Lee talks about his redshirt season at Minnesota and his expected weight class next season, but most of the show focuses on Lee earning the spot to represent Team USA in Estonia later this summer at the Junior World Championships. Lee gets into a tactical and technical discussion about his freestyle wrestling abilities and where that came from.

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Gophers Head to Akron for U23 Nationals

Seven Gophers are set to compete at U23 Nationals this weekend in Akron, Ohio for an opportunity to represent America at the U23 Senior World Championships in Budapest, Hungary this October.

The list includes Jake Gliva (61kg), Ben Brancale (65kg), Mitch McKee (65kg), Jakob Bergeland (70kg), Alex Crowe (70kg), Devin Skatzka (86kg), and Owen Webster (86kg).

The event, held by the University of Akron in the Louis and Freda Stile Athletic Field House, begins May 31 at 10am CT and runs through June 2. U23 men’s freestyle action will kick off on Saturday June 1.

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