Five different current Gophers and two Minnesota greats from past seasons will be in Rochester, Minn. this weekend to take part in the U23 Team USA Trials looking for a chance to earn a spot on Team USA. Champions will then travel to Bydgoszcz, Poland from Nov. 21-26, 2017 to compete in the Senior U23 World Championships.
Only the winner from each weight in the freestyle tournament will be guaranteed a spot on Team USA.
Looking at the current Gophers, junior Skyler Petry of Waterville, Minn. will take part in the 57-kilogram bracket. Petry has experienced success at the junior national level in Greco-Roman with a title in 2014 at 120-pounds, but none in freestyle.
Mitch McKee enters the national stage once again after his success this offseason at the United Junior World Wrestling tournament in Tempere, Finland. McKee captured a silver medal at the event, and now shifts to the U23 level and will wrestle at 61-kilograms, just slightly higher than his 60-kilogram weight class this offseason.
Steve Polakowski also enters the 61-kilogram bracket. The Libertyville, Ill. native will be looking to make his national team debut. The Gophers transfer Steve Bleise will enter the USA team trial in the 70-kilogram bracket.
In the 86-kilogram bracket, junior Faris Karaborni will look to make some noise and make his first USA team.
There will be a pair of Minnesota alum that will take part in the U23 Team Trials. First is two-time Gophers All-American Brett Pfarr. Pfarr won 120 matches at the U of M, which is the 16th-best in program history. Pfarr will join Karaborni in the 86-kilogram bracket.
The second Gopher alum is Michael Kroells, who will compete in the 125-kilogram bracket in Rochester. The three-time All-American has been a part of MN/USA Wrestling since 2007, and will be looking to earn his first ever Team USA spot.
No current or former Gophers will compete until Sunday, Oct. 8 no earlier than 9:00 a.m.
Fans can stream all the action from the USA Team Trials live on trackwrestling.com, with access to the live video stream requiring a Trackwrestling subscription. For those looking to keep up with the Gophers on Sunday, updates will be provided on the Gopher Wrestling’s Twitter feed.
As the season gets closer for the Gopher Wrestling program, be sure to follow the Gophers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the latest news and content.
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