Photo by Richard Immel, USA Wrestling
When the NCAA changed the rules to allow high school wrestlers to compete against college athletes in open tournaments, it set the stage for some fascinating story lines. On the opening weekend, several prep competitors opted to test themselves, but none were as impressive as three-time age group world champion Gable Steveson (Apple Valley, MN). We knew the top-ranked high school heavyweight in the country was an incredible talent and, barring something terrible happening, he will be a force at the Division I level when he gets to Minnesota next fall. However, its one thing to know that and another to see it play out on the mat. Gable entered the Daktronics Open advancing to the semi-finals with a 22-7 tech-fall and a pin in 33 seconds. Facing David Jensen, who is in a fight with Patrick Grayson for the starting spot at Nebraska, Steveson accumulated four takedowns before he pinned the Cornhusker in 4:19 to reach the final. Future teammate Rylee Streifel was Steveson’s final victim. The current Minnesota 285 at least lasted all seven minutes, but he too had no response for the high school senior. Steveson secured six takedowns and earned a riding time point as he secured the tournament title, 14-7. For yet another remarkable performance, Gable Steveson is TOM’s High School Wrestler of the Week!