Gophers' Gable Steveson caps 17-0 season with national title

University of Minnesota wrestler Gable Steveson celebrates after beating Mason Parris of Michigan to win the NCAA title at 285 pounds Saturday night. ((credit:

Gable Steveson didn’t get the chance to compete for an NCAA wrestling title last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Apple Valley native and No. 1-ranked heavyweight in the country made the most of his weekend in St. Louis at this year’s NCAA Championships. Steveson beat Mason Parris in an 8-4 decision Saturday night, in a rematch of the Big Ten title match, to cap an undefeated season and win his first national title.

He celebrated in style, putting on a show with a backflip.

Steveson is the first Gophers wrestler to win a national title since Tony Nelson won a pair in 2012 and 2013. He’s the 18th Minnesota wrestler to take home a trophy. He’s also the fourth Gophers heavyweight wrestler since 2000 to win a national title, joining Nelson, Cole Konrad and Brock Lesnar.

Steveson beat Parris in a 12-4 major decision two weeks ago to win his second straight Big Ten title. Steveson finished his season 17-0, on a 34-match win streak and is 67-2 in his Minnesota career. His .971 win percentage is a school record, and his 34-match streak is the 10th longest in program history.

Next up for Steveson is a trip to the U.S. Olympic Trials in early April to try and qualify for the U.S. Olympic team.