Gophers heavyweight Gable Steveson wins Big Ten title, NCAAs next

Gophers wrestling heavyweight Gable Steveson beat Michigan's Mason Parris in an 8-6 decision to win his first Big Ten title. ((credit: University of Minnesota))

The redemption story for University of Minnesota star wrestler Gable Steveson came full circle this weekend at the Big Ten Championships.

Steveson defeated No. 1-ranked Mason Parris in an 8-6 decision in the heavyweight match to win his first career individual Big Ten title. Steveson was one of five Gophers to earn podium spots as Minnesota finished eighth as a team in the Big Ten Championships.

Last June, Steveson’s future both in wrestling and with the Gophers became uncertain and clouded by an arrest for criminal sexual conduct. After an investigation completed last December, the Hennepin Country Attorney’s Office opted not to charge Steveson due to inadequate evidence. Steveson, who was suspended at the start of the wrestling season, was shortly after reinstated.

He’s now 15-0 this year, and 50-2 for his career. He’s also the first Gopher to win a Big Ten title since Chris Dardanes at 133 pounds in 2015. He’s the first Gopher at heavyweight to win a conference title since Tony Nelson in 2014.

Steveson is now getting ready for the NCAA Championships, which take place at U.S. Bank Stadium March 19-21. He’ll compete for a national title in front of his family and friends.

"I showed up today and I'll show up in two weeks (in Minneapolis). I wrestled great, I need to pull more triggers. He wrestled excellently also, hats off to him,” Steveson told Big Ten Network after his victory. “Just taking it day-by-day and trying to get better, this process never stops.”