Minnesota wrestlers are well represented at yet another World Championships. This time, it will be at the inaugural U23 World Championships held in Bydgoszcz, Poland from November 21-26. United World Wrestling recently added the 23 and under age category, in addition to their cadet, and junior developmental divisions. Three decorated Minnesota Storm wrestlers qualified for the Championships at the World Team Trials in Rochester, MN in October for the opportunity to wear the red, white and blue this week on one of the world’s biggest wrestling stages.
The first to compete will be 85 kg, Greco Roman wrestler, Barrett Stanghill. The Montana native, who has been knocking at the door at multiple levels, will be competing in his first World Championships on November 21st. After earning runner up credentials in 2012 and 2013 at the UWW Junior National Championships and qualifying for 2016 Olympic Team Trials, Stanghill moved from the United States Olympic Training Site in Northern Michigan to join the Minnesota Storm. Since joining the Storm he took 3rd in the U.S. Senior Nationals, 4th at the U.S. World Team Trials, and won the University National Championships in June before making the U23 World Team.
On the freestyle side, we there are Minnesota natives and current Gopher Mitch McKee (61 kg), and alumni Micheal Kroells (125 kg).
Mckee, who will compete on Saturday, November 25th has had quite the year collegiately and internationally since joining the University of Minnesota squad last fall. The three time state champion out of St. Micheal-Albertville, MN, qualified for the 2017 NCAA Tournament, coming up one match short of All-American honors as a True Freshman.
Following the impressive collegiate season, he used the momentum to make the UWW Junior World Team (20 and under) later in the spring. At the World Championships in Tampere, Finland, was a strong contributor to the historic Junior World Championship team title, by bringing home a silver medal.
Michael Kroells, is the most recent in the lineage of legendary Gopher heavyweights. The Belle Plaine native was a three time All-American while at the University of Minnesota, and a two time Minnesota State Champion. Although, Kroells has been successful in freestyle earning All-American honors at the Junior and University levels, November 25th will be the first time he will be competing at the World Championship level.
Make sure to follow all of our Minnesota World Team members this week on @mtcstorm on instagram and twitter. Live web streaming, brackets, and results is also available on unitedworldwrestling.org.