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Steveson’s sexy crowd reminds us of another in gopher lore

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On Friday, Jason Ness sat at his Bloomington home and watched Gable Steveson play the final to beat the clock at the Tokyo Olympics, and he immediately felt a slight déjà vu sensation.

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Apple Valley heavyweight Gophers’ Steveson had just completed the most unlikely comeback, scoring twice in the final 10 seconds, including a winning double pointer with 0.2 remaining, defeating Georgia’s Geno Petriashvili for gold.

The final takedown gave Steveson a 9-8 lead following he trailed 8-5, and earned an extra point for an unsuccessful video challenge from Petriashvili’s corner kick for the final score 10-8.

He brought back the scene from Tokyo Ness to the night of March 20, 2010 in Omaha. Ness, who weighed in at 133 pounds, was wrestling Danielle Dennis for the NCAA Championship. After trailing 4-1 in the third game, Nice made their unlikely recovery with a four-point move in the final seconds to triumph 6-4.

“Sure, a little [similar]Nice said, laughing. “I don’t displease myself or Dan Dennis, but [Steveson and Petriashvili] They are two of the best athletes in the entire world.”

Back in 2010, Ness trailed Denis 4-2 by 1:06 from the left, but Denis managed to block Ness’ moves in the next 56 seconds. With 14 seconds left, Ness went deep in a double-leg shot and took Dennis down and back with seven marks remaining. The four-point move gave Nice a dramatic 6-4 triumph, capping a 31-0 season and stunning a big Iowa crowd.

Ness said of the late tournaments: “I think Gable had the alike mindset: just stick to your game plan and don’t get carried away and go for something amazing.” . ”

Govers’ assistant coach Luke Becker noted similarities in the two games. “What a rush of emotion. That’s daft,” said Baker, who watched the Olympic game from Athletes’ Village with members of the Gopher team and the Steveson family.

Sentiments emerged from both ends of the spectrum in the second period on Friday, when Steveson saw his 5-2 lead turn into an 8-5 deficit following Petriashvili received a two point elimination and exposure.

“Oh, man. Title teams,” said Baker, the 157-pound NCAA champ in 2002 and a member of the Gophers’ 2001 and 2002. “We went from, ‘Okay, we have this. He’s going to triumph it, he’s going to triumph it. roles, which is, ‘Oh, I can’t believe we’re going to lose this.’ Then he finds a way to triumph.’

Steveson’s winning boost began when wrestling resumed 13 seconds prior the end of the match. He crossed Petryashvili to finish the match 10 seconds prior the end, making it 8-7, and then fired the Georgian, prompting the referee to quit and restart the action with 6.5 seconds left.

“Gabel was smart enough to get up from it – which I don’t think you’re supposed to do – and force the referee’s hand to get them back.” [and quit the clock]Baker said.

Then came the winner, with Steveson’s speed enabling him to spin Petriashvili just in time.

Ness said, “Gable did the alike thing he did in all tournaments. He pulled the guy and ran following him. … He’s very rapid and runs it firm in this corner.”

The key, though, was wrestling by the final whistle, something Ness did 11 years ago at the NCAAs and Steveson Friday on the biggest stage in wrestling.

Ness said, “It’s something we forever celebrate in gopher wrestling. It doesn’t matter what the outcome is, it doesn’t matter what happens. …You wrestle really firm to the end and that’s for sure. [rival] He remembers.”


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