Steveson Seeded Second; Six Alums Set for Olympic Trials

NCAA Champion and Hodge Trophy winner Gable Steveson will be the No. 2 seed at 125 kg for this weekend’s U.S. Olympic Team Trials. The two-day tournament will be held Friday and Saturday at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.

Steveson will join five Gopher Wrestling alums – Sean Russell, Zach Sanders, Mitch McKee, Brett Pfarr and Tony Nelson – in vying for a spot in men’s freestyle on Team USA for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. In addition, Pat Smith is the No. 3 seed at 77kg in Greco-Roman.

Steveson’s bracket features many familiar faces, including top seed Nick Gwiazdowski, a two-time bronze medalist at the World Championships and former two-time NCAA Champion at N.C. State. Gwiazdowski won the first two meetings at the Final X_Rutgers in June 2019, but Steveson won the last matchup by a 4-1 decision at the 2020 RTC Cup this past December. A two-time NCAA Champion and frequent training partner for Steveson, Nelson is the fifth seed at 125 kg.

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Seeds released for U.S. Olympic Team Trials Wrestling in Fort Worth, Texas, April 2-3

The seeds for the 2021 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Wrestling have been released. The Trials will take place April 2-3 at the Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.

There are four men’s freestyle athletes—Jordan Burroughs (74 kg), Kyle Dake (74 kg), Kyle Snyder (97 kg), J’den Cox (97 kg)—, who did not receive seeds as they are sitting until either the semifinals or the best-of-three finals based on their 2019 World Championships medal performances.

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PAGING DR. GRECO: Eric Twohey Explains His Road To The Olympic Trials

Days are there to be filled. How that happens is based on percentages. Fractions is what they are. Everyone has an agenda upon waking in the morning and then the math begins in earnest. How long does it take to drive to work or school? How long to get home? Eat? Exercise? Shower? How long to check every other priority off the list before those eyelids have just about had enough?

A race is a game, and the race against time in which every human is compelled to participate is won or lost relative to their ability and desire to somehow create meaning within the decimals. There’s no way you would get Eric Twohey (97 kg, Minnesota Storm, 5PM #4) to admit that he’s winning this race, though you would also have to be pretty thick to believe that he isn’t.

Some of the college crowd, they knew who Twohey was when he made his Senior Greco-Roman debut at the 2018 US Open. He had been an excellent competitor for the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, finishing third in the Division III National Championships two years prior. But even if there were a degree of familiarity among the lot, few inside of the Greco program expected much from a wrestler who was as green as canned spinach when it came to the classical style. Twohey didn’t deserve anyone’s attention going into that tournament. Knowing him, he probably didn’t want any, either. And likely still doesn’t. Continue reading at fivepointmove.com →

Mat Chat With Ryan Epps Two-Time NCAA DIII Champion

Minnesota Storm Team Member / Augsburg University Graduate / Cannon Falls HS

By Chad Otterness

Ryan Epps is a Cannon Falls High School and Augsburg University graduate. Ryan has been busy competing and training as he pursues his Olympic goals.

Ryan was a three-time All-American at Augsburg University and two-time National Champion.

Ryan Epps just competed against the Wisconsin RTC wrestling club and picked up a 6-2 victory over three-time NCAA Division I qualifier Rickey Robertson of the Wisconsin RTC.

Ryan previously wrestled in his first USA Senior level Greco-Roman and Freestyle Nationals tournament in Coralville, Iowa. Ryan came away with a fifth place finish in the Greco portion of the tournament going 4-2 at 77 KG (169.4 LBS). Ryan also wrestled up a weight class and went 1-2 in freestyle at 86 KG (189.2 LBS).

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Unfinished Business: Ryan Epps Reflects On Augsburg, New Start In Greco

It’s hard to call Ryan Epps (77 kg) a “throwback”, though the moniker fits.

As a member of the Minnesota Storm, he is teammates with several wrestlers who have done their part to uphold Storm’s proud tradition of outlasting, outhustling, and mercilessly “breaking” the opposition. For decades and decades, this is how it has been. It is what they learn, how they are developed. Minnesota as a state tends to produce hard-working, lunch pail-types, anyway. What Storm does is reinforce the concept that, yes, toughness along with an expansive gas tank usually equate to success in a sport where attrition forever remains at a premium.

Consider: like any large family, Storm has “hand-me-downs”; except instead of outgrown clothes, the younger generation are bequeathed a mindset. Not mere attire which tears and frays, but rather, an attitude that is intended to withstand the test of time.

And that attitude is why Epps exited last week’s 2020 US Nationals as one of the biggest stories of the tournament. Continue reading at fivepointmove.com →