The U23 World Team Trials started as badly as possible for Bismarck native Ryan Blees. Wrestling for the Southeast Regional Training Center based in Blacksburg, VA where he will enter his senior season for the Virginia Tech Hokies this season, Blees was pancaked and pinned by Wisconsin’s Cole Martin after taking a leg shot and putting himself in bad position. With over 128 entries at the 70 KG bracket in which Blees was entered, placing from the wrestlebacks with a first round loss would mean winning eight consecutive matches. Blees did just that, scoring four technical falls in a row to start his wrestle back run, followed by another four decisions-including one over Ohio State University’s Ke-Shawn Hayes- before dropping two more matches and finishing eighth. Blees fans will remember his second round match from the NCAA championships last March in which Hayes scored scored six points in the first thirty seconds and then coasted to victory. The match a U23’s was much different, as Blees immediately took a 2-0 lead on a left-side sweep single. Blees then scored another takedown and two counters from the crotch lift for a 10-5 win. Other decision victories for Blees came over Minnesota 149 Steve Bleise, Northwestern’s Steve Oster, and a tight 9-7 win over Iowa’s Jack Glosser. To finish the tournament, Blees dropped back-to-back matches to NCAA All Americans Paul Fox (Stanford) and Matthew Kolodzik (Princeton).
Minnesota State University-Moorhead’s Adam Blees competed at 79 KG. Adam finished 0-2 with a 12-2 loss toAnthony Mantanona and a 6-4 decision loss to Thomas Flitz of Appalachian State.