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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