We follow Minnesota wrestler Gable Steveson to the 2020 Olympics
Gable Steveson was an immediate star from the moment he first stepped on the mat to represent brown and gold. The true freshman heavyweight went undefeated in his first double college season and suffered just two playoff losses, one in the Big Ten final to Anthony Cassar of Penn State and the other to Cassar in NCAA semifinals. He took home Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors, but that was just the start.
Since his last loss to Cassar in 2019, Steveson has won 34 straight games, including 26 with bonus points. He has the highest winning percentage in Minnesota school history, he is the sixth heavyweight Gopher to win a national title and the fourth to accomplish such a feat since 2000. His season championship performance 2021 earned him the Co-Hodge Trophy with Spencer Lee.
Let’s take a look back at some of Steveson’s most memorable moments as a varsity wrestler:
First NCAA title: Steveson beats Mason Parris, 8-4
March 21, 2021 – Enterprise Center, St. Louis, MO
It was a game Gable Steveson had been waiting for since his loss to Anthony Cassar in the 2019 NCAA Semifinals. It wasn’t that Steveson really wanted to fight Parris again – he had certainly had a lot of games against the heavyweight. from Michigan – but he wanted to fight in the NCAA Finals, an opportunity he had missed. After winning the Big Ten Championship in 2020, Steveson was the frontrunner to win his first national title in his home state, but COVID has ruined his plans. Thanks to preparation and patience, Steveson was finally back, and this time he wasn’t leaving without gold.
Summary and recap of the match:
Steveson started this Championship game against Parris with a high-flying pace, immediately showing his strength by pushing Parris around the mat and working his opponent to stay on his feet. A quick firing effort in the first 30 seconds was just Steveson’s way of warming up, and 15 seconds later he had Parris on the ground. A two-point withdrawal, and he was gone and was on the run. He effortlessly threw Parris off the mat before the reboot and gave the camera a look of calm fearlessness. Parris escaped before the end of the first minute, earning his first point of the game, but breakouts would be all Parris could pull off in this seven-minute battle. Parris kept his lead in the game, however, and he struggled to create as many opportunities as possible, shooting at times, only to be turned down by Steveson. After more than a minute of good, solid hand-fighting action, Steveson made the last move at the limit of the match, turning behind Parris and looking for two points, but his feet became out of reach on the effort. .
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Steveson chose to start the second period, but managed to escape within the first 15 seconds to take the 3-1 advantage. With the two men back on their feet, the pace slows down a bit. Neither wrestler managed a strikeout during the period, and Steveson’s escape would be the only scoring change with everything in play going into the final two minutes. Parris was still in the fight and he chose to start third, but Steveson wasn’t even close to ending his scoring plans.
Even though Parris got away early in the third period, Steveson’s quick comeback early in the period showed he wasn’t hesitating at all. He responded to Parris’ leak with a quick pullout to the edge of the mat, but gave Parris another leak to make it 5-3. Parris, in typical Michigan Man fashion, sought his own takedown and landed a double-legged shot, but Steveson pushed back the effort again as they came off the mat leading to a stall against Parris. . The stall call gave Steveson another point, but Parris never got counted. He continued to shoot, Steveson continued to block and the game advanced. One final withdrawal from Steveson and one final escape from Parris would end the epic Big Men’s battle, and, for the first time in his career, Steveson could qualify as a National Champion.
SUMMARY OF RATING:
- 47 seconds: Takedown Steveson – Steveson leads 2-0
- 55 seconds: Escape Parris – Steveson leads 2-1
- 3:15: Steveson escapes – Steveson extends 3-1 lead
- 5:06 Parris breaks away – Steveson maintains 3-2 lead
- 5:15 Takedown Steveson – Steveson leads 5-2
- 5: 45- Wedge the call against Parris – Steveson leads 6-2
- 6:40: Takedown Steveson – Steveson leads 8-3
- 6:50 a.m .: Escape Parris – Steveson wins 8-4
First Big Ten title: Steveson beats Mason Parris, 8-6
March 8, 2020 – Rutgers Athletic Center, Piscataway, New Jersey
Ahead of that 2020 game, Steveson and Parris both posted unbeaten records, with Steveson holding a 14-0 resume and Parris posting a 28-0 record. The stage was set for two of the best in the conference and two of the best in the country to compete. The last time Steveson was on this stage he suffered a surprising loss to Anthony Cassar, but this time the game would play out differently for the Gopher.
Summary and recap of the match:
Parris came out in the first half with aggression, tough hand fights and forcing pace, but Steveson quickly showed his strength. The Minnesota sophomore fought off a quick shot from Wolverine and scored the game’s first points with a two-point strikeout in the opening 70 seconds of the game. He got to work with a powerful matte return and bought some time before giving up the breakaway and coming back to a standstill. Steveson wasn’t going to let Parris stand too long, however, and he scored his second out with just 25 seconds left in the first half to extend his lead to 4-2 after Parris escaped again at the end of the season. period. Parris fought back, working for his own shots and trying to make a big move, but he ran out of time in the first.
GOPHER WINS GOLD: Find out how Gable Steveson won his second Big Ten title in 2021
Parris opted out to start the second period and got away quickly. With both men back on their feet, the hand fight continued with Parris looking for action, but Steveson’s defense was too strong. The Gopher also decided, within 30 seconds of the end of the second period, that he wanted to remind Parris of his trademark strength and sent him off the mat. Although no points were awarded, the visual of the two great men moving with such speed and power showed the level of skill involved in this match.
Steveson started the third period and quickly escaped to extend his lead before launching a powerful shot that got Parris off the ground and sent him straight into the scoring table. Again, the move didn’t give any points, but he didn’t need one. Steveson was in control and collected two easy runs about a minute later on a smooth mat. An escape from Parris made the score 8-4, and while the Steveson-takedown-Parris-escape pattern of escape would clearly define the match, Parris persisted.
With less than ten seconds to go, Parris stepped on Steveson’s leg and worked for his own takedown. Steveson escaped, but this Parris fight cannot be ignored.
SUMMARY OF RATING:
- 1:09: Steveson gets a takedown – Steveson leads 2-0
- 1:32 Parris escapes – Steveson leads 2-1
- 2:35: Steveson wins another out – Steveson leads 4-1
- 2:40: Parris escapes again – Steveson leads 4-2
- 3:04 – Parris escapes early – Steveson leads 4-3
- 5:05 – Steveson escapes – He leads 5-3
- 6:05 – Steveson scores a smooth withdrawal – He leads 7-3
- 6:12 – Parris escapes for the fourth time – Steveson leads 8-4
- 6:50 – Parris wins first out of game – Steveson leads 7-6
- 6: 54- Steveson escapes – Steveson wins 8-6
Fastest Pin: Steveson pins Connor Bower in 13 seconds
What can you do in 1️⃣3️⃣ seconds?
– Minnesota on BTN (@MinnesotaOnBTN) January 16, 2021
You don’t need a summary or a breakdown of scores for this one. On January 16, 2021, just weeks after the start of the shortened COVID season, Steveson put on a show against the Maryland Terrapins. Connor Bower barely had time to prepare for a match against the nation’s No.1 wrestler before Steveson tied him up and on his back. It’s the kind of speed and surprise that Steveson brings every time he walks on the mat.