World Team Trials Await Nine Gophers

Nine current and former Gophers are set to compete at the 2019 World Team Trials in Raleigh, North Carolina.

At the senior freestyle level, former Gophers Zach Sanders (57kg), Jayson Ness (65kg), Brett Pfarr (86kg), and Tony Nelson (125kg) will compete. The only current ‘U’ grappler competing at the highest level will be 18-year old Gable Steveson (125kg), the youngest heavyweight in the field.

At the junior level, Patrick McKee (57kg), Brayton Lee (70kg) and Jake Allar (79kg) will represent the Maroon and Gold.

Pat Smith (77kg), runner-up at the US Open, is the lone Gophers representative in Greco-Roman wrestling. Smith was the last Gopher to represent the USA in Greco-Roman wrestling when he did so in 2017.

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Gopher Wrestling Adds Hunter Ritter

The University of Minnesota wrestling program and head coach Brandon Eggum are happy to announce the addition of Hunter Ritter, an upper weight from Perryville, Maryland, who began his career at Wisconsin.

“We’re excited to have Hunter join our Gophers family,” Eggum said. “We’re looking forward to working with him and helping him reach his individual goals. We know Hunter’s abilities as an athlete and leader and hope he’ll help in our pursuit of our own team goals as we work to improve on our top-eight finish at NCAAs.”

Ritter arrives in the Twin Cities as a two-time national qualifier with one year of remaining eligibility. During his two seasons as the Badgers’ starter Ritter twice placed at the Big Ten Championships including a third place finish in 2017.

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Gopher Alumni Corner: Two-time All-American Mike Thorn

Former Gophers 141-pounder Mike Thorn, a two-time All-American, checked-in with GopherSports to see what he’s been up to since graduating from the University of Minnesota in 2011.

The Thorn family has become synonymous with the Gophers program after Mike and his brothers David and Tommy all had successful careers in their home state earning All-American status. Continue reading at

Tony ‘full’ Nelson returns to international wrestling stage

Tony Nelson is back to “full” strength, if you will pardon the wrestling pun.

A shoulder surgery in November 2017 forced the former Cambridge-Isanti High School and University of Minnesota standout to prove he remains one of the top heavyweight wrestlers in the world.

And that is exactly what Nelson did, placing second in the 125-kilogram weight class (275 pounds) at the U.S. Open held in Las Vegas April 25-28.

“I wrestled well this past weekend, and I know I can beat everybody,” Nelson said. “Wrestling is about going in with the right attitude: You have to believe in yourself and have no doubt that you’re going to be the guy. … That’s the mindset I have to bring to the mat.” Continue reading at

Zach Sanders Prepares for Last Chance Qualifier

Volunteer assistant coach Zach Sanders and two members of the Minnesota Storm Regional Training Center (RTC) are registered to compete at the 2019 Last Chance Senior World Team Trials Qualifier.

Held at Kohler Fieldhouse in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania from May 3-5, the highest placing wrestler at each weight that is not already qualified will earn a qualification to the 2019 World Team Trials in Raleigh, North Carolina from May 16-19.

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Gopher Alumni Corner: Two-time NCAA Champion Tim Hartung

Former Gophers 197-pounder Tim Hartung, a three-time All-American and two-time national champion, checked-in with GopherSports to look back at his Gophers career and see where it has led him.

Hartung, seventh all-time for the Gophers with 133 victories and fourth all-time with 48 pins, finished his career with a pair of national championships at 197-pounds. Hartung still lives in Minnesota with his family and remains connected to the wrestling community. Continue reading at

Gophers Finish Weekend at US Open

After a three-day stretch of wrestling in Las Vegas, Gopher wrestling celebrates several placers at the 2019 Marine Corps US Open in the senior men’s freestyle and Greco-Roman divisions as well as the UWW Junior Nationals who all secured their spots at May’s World Team Trials.

At UWW Junior Nationals, Brayton Lee (70kg) was the runner-up after going 5-1 on the weekend and outscoring his opponents 52-21. Lee advanced to Saturday night’s finals against Sammy Sasso but fell 10-0.

Jake Allar (79kg) was the Gophers other junior placer with a sixth-place finish on the weekend. After losing his second bout of the tournament, Allar ripped off four straight wins and outscored his opponents 28-0 in that span.

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