May 302012
 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – For the second straight year, Augsburg College wrestler Mike Fuenffinger (FY, Hibbing, Minn.) claimed the championship in the 55-kilogram (121-pound) Greco-Roman weight class at the USA Wrestling FILA Junior World Team Trials, held on Saturday at Palmer High School.

By winning his weight class title, Fuenffinger will qualify to represent the United States at the 2012 FILA Junior (wrestlers ages 17-20) World Championships in Pattaya, Thailand, Sept. 4-9.

Competing for the Minnesota Storm, Fuenffinger scored a 1-0, 7-0 win over Ben Willeford (Cleveland WC), a sophomore at Division I Cleveland State, in the Challenge Tournament finals on Saturday.

In the best-of-three Championship Series on Saturday, Fuenffinger topped Isaiah Varona (305 Wrestling) of the U.S. Olympic Education Center (USOEC), the 2012 FILA Junior Nationals champion at 55-kg, winning 4-0, 1-0 in the first match and 1-0, 2-1 in the second match.

Fuenffinger completed his first season at Augsburg in 2012 by qualifying for the NCAA Division III National Championships at 125 pounds. A runner-up at the NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional, Fuenffinger finished 14-9 with two pins, a technical fall and two major decisions in the 2011-12 season. He competed during the fall 2011 semester at the USOEC at Northern Michigan University in Greco-Roman training, then transferred to Augsburg and joined the Auggies for the Spring 2012 semester.

In the USA Wrestling Greco-Roman senior rankings from Nov. 22, 2011, Fuenffinger was ranked No. 9 nationally in the 55-kg class. Fuenffinger competed at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in Iowa City, Iowa, going 0-2 in the 55-kg Greco-Roman class in the Challenge Tournament on April 21. He placed fifth at the U.S. Open on Dec. 16, 2011.

In 2011, Fuenffinger won titles at both the FILA Junior Nationals and FILA Junior World Team Trials, qualifying him to compete at the 2011 FILA Junior World Championships in Romania. In his high school career in Hibbing, Fuenfinger was a three-time Minnesota state tournament qualifier, winning the Class AA title at 112 pounds in 2010 while placing third in Class AA at 119 in 2011.

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