Gable Steveson earned a spot in the World Wrestling Championships at the junior level on Saturday, but his chance at making the U.S. senior team ended.
Steveson, a 17-year-old senior at Apple Valley High School who will wrestle for the Gophers next season, won the best-of-three finals at 125 kilograms (275.5 pounds) in the junior division at the U.S. World Freestyle Team Trials in Rochester. He defeated Iowa State freshman Gannon Gremmel 10-0 in 29 seconds and 10-0 in 1:13 to land on the U.S. junior team. Steveson will defend his world title from Sept. 17-23 in Trnava, Slovakia.
On the senior level — wrestling’s highest — Steveson lost on a tiebreaker in the challenge tournament final to Tony Nelson, a two-time NCAA champion for the Gophers and Steveson’s teammate with the Minnesota Storm wrestling club. The match finished tied 4-4, but Nelson won because he had the highest value of hold — a four-point move late in the first period. Nelson led 4-1 after the first, but Steveson tied it with 29 seconds left in the match.
On Sunday, Nelson will face U.S. Open champion Adam Coon in a best-of-three trials final. The winner of that series advances to the Final X event against world bronze medalist Nick Gwiazdowski on June 23 in Bethlehem, Pa. The Final X winner will represent the United States at the World Championships on Oct. 20-28 in Budapest, Hungary.
Steveson advanced to the challenge tourney final by beating Dom Bradley 5-4, avenging a loss in the U.S. Open third-place match. Nelson beat 2012 Olympic gold medalist Jake Varner 3-2 in the other semifinal.
Hayden Zillmer, a former North Dakota State standout from Crosby, Minn., will wrestle Deron Winn in the 92 kg senior final on Sunday. Zillmer beat Nikko Reyes 10-0 in 29 seconds in the semifinals.
Gophers assistant coach Zach Sanders lost 10-0 in 2:00 to Daton Fix in the 57 kg challenge tourney final.
Two other Minnesotans won junior titles and will compete in Slovakia. At 97 kg, Simley High School junior Daniel Kerkvliet beat Zach Elam 10-0 in 2:03 and 11-0 in 1:09 in the best-of-three finals. At 70 kg, Brady Berge, a Penn State freshman from Mantorville, beat Austin O’Connor in three matches, winning 7-4, losing 10-0 and winning 6-2.
U baseball canceled
The Gophers baseball team’s regular-season finale was rained out Saturday at Rutgers. The Gophers (37-13, 18-4 Big Ten), the Big Ten regular-season champion, will be the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament starting Wednesday in Omaha, Neb.
They will face the eighth seed, Michigan State (20-30, 11-12), in their tournament opener at 5 p.m.
Boy, 8, wins Crappie Contest
Lincoln Erickson, 8, of Rogers, won a boat, motor and trailer rigged with fish-finding electronics on Lake Minnetonka by catching a .93-pound crappie in the Minnesota Bound Crappie Contest.
Lincoln’s prize-winning fish was the first registered to hit nearest to the secret weight chosen ahead of time by contest organizers.
Brad Wellenstein, of Plymouth, caught the biggest fish, a 1.35-pounder, to win the adult division.
• Mr. Jagermeister won the $50,000 10,000 Lakes Stakes at Canterbury Park, finishing 6 furlongs in 1:10.81. Pinup Girl won the $50,000 Lady Slipper Stakes, finishing 6 furlongs in 1:12.37.
• Augustana of the NSIC placed 10th in the NCAA Division II women’s golf tournament in Houston with a 1,247 total, 34 over par.
• No. 11 Southern Arkansas defeated St. Cloud State 11-5 in the losers’ bracket of the NCAA Division II Central Region baseball tournament in Magnolia, Ark.
• Brady Shoemaker went 3-for-4 with three RBI to lead the St. Paul Saints to a 8-3 victory over the host Gary SouthShore Railcats. The Saints scored three runs in the seventh inning to break a 3-all tie.
• Host Luther defeated St. Thomas 10-4 to win the NCAA Division III Super Regional in softball in Decorah, Iowa, two game to one.