McKee and Kroells Set for U23 World Championships

With the University of Minnesota wrestling team set to take the holiday weekend off, one of the biggest wrestling events of the year will be taking place in Bydgoszcz, Poland at the U23 World Championships.

There will be one current and one former Gopher that will be competing for a medal in the freestyle event. Current sophomore Mitch McKee will compete in 61-kilograms after qualifying in Rochester, Minn. in October. Three-time All-American Michael Kroells will be making his first international tournament after qualifying in Rochester.

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Three Gophers Capture Titles at Daktronics

Of the 32 wrestlers that the University of Minnesota wrestling team sent to Brookings, S.D., 17 came back with honors from the Daktronics Open. No. 4 Ethan Lizak, No. 6 Mitch McKee and No. 11 Nick Wanzek each came away with titles in their respective weights.

Minnesota also came away with five runner-up finishers. Steve Polakowski made it to the final of 133 before McKee took him out. No. 6 Tommy Thorn made a run but was tripped up in sudden victory in his finals match.

No. 7 Steve Bleise wrestled a full 11 minutes in his title match but came away just short of the title. No. 10 Jake Short also was narrowly a champion but was defeated in sudden victory time, 4-2. At 285, Rylee Streifel was the final Gopher in the top two and fell to his unattached opponent in a high scoring affair.

“I thought our guys wrestled well overall,” head coach Brandon Eggum said. “I liked the attitude our team wrestled with, from the upperclassmen all the way down to our redshirt guys. There is always room for improvement, but it is a long season so we will continue to get better.”

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Fix beats Tomasello, Hancock makes third Greco World team at U23 World Team Trials on Sunday

ROCHESTER, Minn. – It was a fantastic finish as the final 12 weight classes were determined in the finals series of the USA Wrestling U23 World Team Trials at the Mayo Civic Center on Sunday.

All eight men’s freestyle team members were determined, as well as the final four Greco-Roman spots, in a best-of-three series in each weight. This is the qualifying event in all three Olympic disciplines for the U23 World Championships, set for Bydgoszcz, Poland, November 21-26.

In a highly anticipated finals, 2017 Junior World champion Daton Fix defeated NCAA champion Nathan Tomasello, who is No. 3 on the Senior National Team, in two straight bouts in the men’s freestyle finals series.

Fix, a freshman at Oklahoma State, won a pair of back-and-forth bouts against the three-time All-American for Ohio State. In the first match, with Fix leading 8-7, Tomasello scored a last second takedown and was given a 9-8 victory. Fix’ corner challenged and the points were taken away, giving Fix a thin one-point win. Continue reading at www.teamusa.org

Brackets/Results on TrackWrestling.com

Pair of Gophers Earn U23 Team USA Spot

Both a current and a former University of Minnesota wrestling standouts earned a spot on the U23 Team USA roster for the U23 World Championships that are set in Bydgoszcz, Poland on Nov. 21-26.

Sophomore Mitch McKee, 61-kilograms, and Michael Kroells, 125-kilograms, won their respective brackets to guarantee a spot on the Team USA roster.

McKee won his bracket in 61-kilograms and did not give up a single point until his second match in the finals, where he won 15-4.

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GG12: State Champions Mitchell McKee, Griffin Parriott and Mark Hall as well as Penn State head coach Cael Sanderson

state-ggEpisode 12 of The Guillotine Grapevine rocks some historic talk as Apple Valley’s Mark Hall made history winning his sixth individual state championship to go along with six team championships.

Before we get to Hall, we caught up with St. Michael-Albertville’s Mitchell McKee after he won his third championship, stepping on the mat a few weights after his brother Patrick claimed the crown at 106 pounds. Following McKee, we talked with New Prague’s Griffin Parriott, who wowed the XCel Energy Center crowd with a 10-second fall in the state championship in AA.

Then we get to Hall, who answered questions from loads of TV stations and newspapers. He talked about the goals he had coming in to beat Destin McCauley’s five individual titles and six team titles as well as wrestling with his future college coach Cael Sanderson in attendance.

We also got a few minutes with Sanderson and he gave his impressions about the quality and atmosphere at the Minnesota State Championships.

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Plastic Trophies to Olympic Medals

By Brian Jerzak

There never has been much doubt in the mind of St. Michael-Albertville wrestler Mitchell McKee. He had a pretty good idea what he wanted to do at a young age. Most kids have an idea of what they want to do when they get older, but few have the talent and drive of a guy like McKee. From the day he invited his friend over for a play date in kindergarten, Mitchell McKee knew he wanted to be a wrestler.

McKee’s goals are much higher now than they were when he invited his friend over for a weekend play date, but big goals always have to start small.

“I invited (Mound Westonka senior) Lee Schmalz over, but his dad said he had a wrestling tournament first,” recalled McKee. “He came over afterward and he brought his trophy with him. Once I saw the trophy I knew I wanted to wrestle. I started that next Tuesday.”

When he had success at his first national tournaments, McKee knew he had a chance to get to an elite level. Watching others succeed heightened his drive.

“I started watching all the Division I championships and when Jake Deitchler was an Olympian I wanted to do that. Just seeing it first hand – as a wrestler – I wanted to do the same thing.”

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