JJ Classic champs crowned, Stroker named OW

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ROCHESTER, Minn. -- With a 6-5 win in what was the best match of the InterMat JJ Classic on Sunday afternoon in Rochester, Minnesota, Fredy Stroker (Bettendorf, Iowa) was one of four past JJ Classic champions to add another such title to their resume.

Fredy Stroker defeated Griffin Parriott to win the InterMat JJ Classic title (Photo/Jeff Beshey, The Guillotine)
Despite giving up the opening takedown of the match against Griffin Parriott (New Prague, Minn.), who placed in last weekend's Super 32 Challenge and is a defending state champion, Stroker came back to earn the weight class title at 145 pounds.

It was a second JJ Classic title for Stroker, who added to the one he won as a freshman. In addition, Stroker was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler.

Three wrestlers earned repeat titles at the InterMat JJ Classic on Sunday afternoon: Justin Portillo (Claridon-Goldfield, Iowa) at 106 pounds, Mark Hall (Apple Valey, Minn.) at 170, and Bobby Steveson (Apple Valley, Minn.) at 195.

Portillo was a state runner-up last year as a sophomore, and earned runner-up honors at the Preseason Nationals two weekends ago. His finals victory came against sophomore Brock Bergelin (Denmark, Wis.), who was a state alternate last year competing at 113 pounds.

The pair of Apple Valley wrestlers -- Hall and Steveson -- won their fourth and third titles respectively at the JJ Classic, and will most likely be number one nationally at their respective weight classes come Wednesday.

Hall, the nation's top junior, did not give up an offensive point in four matches on Sunday; which included a 5-1 victory in the finals over Jacob Holschlag (Union, Iowa), a state champion last year as a junior and Preseason Nationals champion two weekends ago. Steveson, a Junior National freestyle champion this summer and No. 10 overall in the senior class, had technical falls in his first three matches before the finals match went uncontested.

The other wrestler seeking a repeat JJ Classic title on Sunday was sophomore Nathan Sjomeling (Delano, Minn.) at 120 pounds; however, his quest was derailed in the championship match by Nathan Smith (Mukwanego, Wis.). The junior placed third at state last year, and upended the 2013 Minnesota state champion Sjomeling by a 3-0 score.

Joining Stroker, Portillo, and Smith as wrestlers from outside Minnesota to win titles in the JJ Classic were Dominic LaJoie (Gaylord, Mich.) at 113 pounds and Colton Clingenpeel (Council Bluffs Jefferson, Iowa). Lajoie, a Cadet Greco-Roman runner-up this summer and state champion last season as a freshman, earned his title with a first period pin over freshman Tyler Eischens (Anoka, Minn.). The junior Clingenpeel, a Cadet freestyle All-American this summer, also won by fall in the finals; his coming in the second period against sophomore Cruz Hurlburt (Spring Valley, Wis.), who placed third at state last season.

A full two-thirds of the fifteen weight class titles were won by wrestlers from the Gopher State. Gable Steveson, the nation's fourth-ranked freshman, joined Apple Valley teammates Hall and older brother Bobby as JJ Classic champions. Gable's title came in the 220-pound weight class with a pin in 3:30 against two-time state placer Triston Westerlund (Albert Lea, Minn.).

In addition to the title won by Gable Steveson, two others were won by home-state freshmen. Curtis LeMair (Prior Lake), a Minnesota Ninth Grade League state champion, won the title at 100 pounds, with a 3-1 finals victory over Israel Navarro (Willmar). Alex Lloyd (Shakopee), ranked No. 12 nationally in the Class of 2018, complimented his Preseason Nationals title from two weekends ago with a championship here at 126 pounds. Lloyd was totally dominant in five matches -- a pin, two technical falls, a 12-5 victory in the semifinal, and then a 14-5 championship match victory over two-time state placer Will Lucie (West Hancock, Ill.).

Three other weight class titles were won by wrestlers that have finished second at the Minnesota State Wrestling Tournament in their past. Earning the title at 132-pound was two-time state placer Sam Bennyhoff (Mound-Westonka), a 2013 state runner-up, who earned a forfeit victory in the final over NHSCA Sophomore Nationals placer Michael Peters (Quincy, Ill.). It came after a 7-1 semifinal victory over two-time state champion Austin Anderly (LeSeur-Henderson, Minn.).

The 152-pound title was won by two-time state placer Carlson Brolsma (Osseo), whose runner-up finish came last year. He was dominant prior to the final with two shutout technical falls, a pin, and 13-2 major decision. The finals match for Broslma was a decisive 7-2 victory junior Devin Fitzpatrick (Mahtomedi, Minn.), who placed fourth at state last season.

Brolsma was one of three University of Minnesota commits to win titles, joining Fredy Stroker and Bobby Steveson.

Winning the title at 160 pounds was 2013 state runner-up Colten Carlson (Willmar), who earned a 9-6 victory over sophomore Brandon Moen (Owatonna, Minn.), a third place finisher at state last year.

Rounding out the weight class champions at the JJ Classic were senior Tim Christenson (Albert Lea) at 182 pounds and sophomore Aaron Moore (Minnetonka) at 285.

Finals Results:
100: Curtis LeMair (Prior Lake) dec. Israel Navarro (Willmar), 3-1
106: Justin Portillo (Clarion-Goldfield) dec. Brock Bergelin (Denmark), 5-2
113: Dominic LaJoie (Gaylord) pinned Tyler Eischens (Anoka), 1:33
120: Nathan Smith (Mukwonago) dec. Tucker Sjomeling (Delano), 3-0
126: Alex Lloyd (Shakopee) maj. dec. Will Lucie (Warsaw), 15-4
132: Sam Bennyhoff (Mound-Westonka) by injury default over Michael Peters (Quincy)
138: Colton Clingenpeel (Thomas Jefferson) pinned Cruze Hurlburt (Spring Valley), 3:05
145: Fredy Stroker (Bettendorf) dec. Griffin Parriott (New Prague), 6-5
152: Carson Brolsma (Osseo) dec. Devin Fitzpatrick (Mahtomedi), 7-2
160: Colten Carlson (Willmar) dec. Brandon Moen (Owatonna), 9-6
170: Mark Hall (Apple Valley) dec. Jacob Holschlag (Union), 5-1
182: Tim Christenson (Albert Lea) maj. dec. Samuel Grove (Moorhead), 11-3
195: Bobby Steveson (Apple Valley) by injury default over Tristan Gregory (Gaylord)
220: Gable Steveson (Apple Valley) pinned Triston Westerlund (Albert Lea), 3:30
285: Aaron Moore (Minnetonka) pinned Jesse Heifort (Anoka), 1:24


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