A year after having his chance to win his first NCAA Championship on home turf at US Bank Stadium was taken away due to the cancellation of the championship due to COVID, Gable Steveson gets his redemption. Steveson defeated Michigan’s Mason Parris 8-4 in a rematch of the Big Ten Championship Match won by Steveson. Steveson has now won 34 consecutive matches since falling in the NCAA semifinals in 2019. It’s the first Gopher NCAA Championship since Tony Nelson won the second of his pair in 2013.
He picked up a quick takedown just 45 seconds into the match to go up 2-0. He let Parris up and after he got the escape point, it was 2-1 after one period.
Gable started in the down position to start the second period and immediate got the escape to go up 3-1 and the two could not get anything else going so the period would end 3-1.
Parris got the escape quickly to start the third but Gable got an immediate takedown to go up 5-2. Parris would escape to cut the lead to 5-3, but he would earn his second stall warning to get Gable a penalty point to go up 6-3. Steveson would get one last takedown and let Parris up to make the final score 8-4 and the celebration was on!
Steveson joins a who’s who of heavyweight wrestlers at the University of Minnesota who have won NCAA Championships. It’s Minnesota’s 23rd individual NCAA Championship and 8th in heavyweight. Nelson won two in 2012 and 2013. Cole Konrad won two in 2006 and 2007. Brock Lesnar won in 2000. Verne Gagne won in 1949 and Leonard Levy won in 1941.
Next up will be the US Olympic Wrestling Trials in Fort Worth, Texas on April 2nd and 3rd. Steveson will see Parris again amongst others in trying to qualify for just one spot on the US team in the 125 kilogram category. Hopefully Gable can add US Olympian to his impressive resume!