Mark Hall wins sixth Minnesota state title and now has eyes on Olympics

Mark Hall wins sixth Minnesota state title and now has eyes on Olympics

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Mark Hall wins sixth Minnesota state title and now has eyes on Olympics

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Mark Hall has done something no Minnesota wrestler has done — graduating with 12 state titles.

Hall finished his high school career at Apple Valley with six individual titles — the first in state history — and six team titles, completing the feat Saturday.

The Penn State-bound Hall did not lost a match since his freshman year and finished his high school career with only four losses. He was named the American Family Insurance ALL-USA Wrestler of the Year last season and is a strong contender to repeat.

He won the 3A state title at 170 pounds with a technical fall victory against Hastings’ Austin Eichmann. After the win, Hall jumped to his feet, hugged his coach and then ran into the stands to embrace friends and family.

“Throughout the years I gained people’s respect and gained people’s love,” he told The Pioneer Press, “(and I) showed people my love for them.”

He was recently criticized by Minnesota wrestling coach J Robinson, who said Hall cannot be the face of Minnesota wrestling if he leaves the state for the Olympic Training Center in Colorado and then Penn State. Hall said that he made the comments the wallpaper on his phone as motivation before moving on.

“It’s been a goal of mine to be the face of Minnesota wrestling,” he told The Pioneer Press. “I think after tonight … (I will be).”

 

Hall now turns his attention back to freestyle wrestling in hopes of making the Olympic team. In early April, he will compete in the Last Chance Trials Qualifier, where the winners advance to the Olympic Team Trials. A win there and he is heading to Rio. He recognizes that will be a tough road for a high school senior, especially considering that he would have to beat wrestlers like Jordan Burroughs, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist.

“I won’t lose sleep over not making the Olympic team this year,” Hall told The Pioneer Press. “But yeah, if I’m going to (try to qualify), I’m going to do everything to make sure I give myself the best shot. I think I respect myself enough to truly believe whatever tournament I go into, whatever match I have, no matter what opponent, I respect myself enough to think I can beat them. It’s not going to be life changing if I don’t make it.”

 

 

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