Gophers compete at Olympic Trials

Five Gopher alums challenged the nation’s best in both freestyle and Greco-Roman over the weekend in Iowa City at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. While every one of these five won at least one of his matches over the weekend, headlined by Pat Smith’s run to the championship series in Greco at 66 kilograms, none of the former Minnesota wrestlers captured a spot on Team USA.

Smith entered the weekend ranked fourth at his weight, meaning he outperformed his seed in making his appearance in the best-of-three series to decide the trials champion. Smith picked up decisions over Christopher Gonzalez and Michael Hooker in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively, before squaring off with RaVaughn Perkins for the championship. Smith won the first match, 2-0, before dropping the second match on tiebreaking criteria after the bout ended in a 2-2 tie. Perkins defeated Smith 9-2 in the rubber match to take the top spot.

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Mark Hall out early; Chaska’s Andy Bisek gets spot

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The effort exhausted Mark Hall II, the six-time individual state wrestling champion from Apple Valley High.

He dropped to one knee and paused a few seconds before rising and walking to the center of the ring, where the referee raised opponent Adam Hall’s arm in victory.

Hall wrestled four times Sunday at his first Olympic team trials without causing much of a stir. He beat former Michigan club teammate Logan Massa, 13-11, to reach the quarterfinals at 74 KG/163 pounds, where No. 2 seed Andrew Howe — seven years older and significantly more experienced — shut him out while winning on a 10-point technical fall. Continue reading at

Jordan Holm’s 2016 Olympic dream stalls at U.S. Olympic Team Trials

IOWA CITY, Iowa − Jordan Holm’s quest for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team ended Saturday in the semifinals of the 2016 Olympic Team Trials in a stunning 3-0 loss to Ben Provisor at Carver Hawkeye Arena.

Provisor competed at the 2012 Olympics and wrestled last year at 80-kilograms. The Stevens Point, Wisconsin, wrestler who competed at Northern Michigan University, capitalized on Holm’s aggressiveness to pick up a reversal and pounced again after Holm got caught on a turn attempt.

Provisor, ranked fourth, won the U.S. Open in 2013 and knocked off No. 1 seed Aaron Sieracki at the 2012 Olympic Trials. Continue reading at