MINNEAPOLIS — A trio of Minnesota redshirt freshmen have been named to Amateur Wrestling News’ All-Rookie Team including All-Americans Tony Nelson and Kevin Steinhaus, who were named to AWN’s All-Rookie First Team. David Thorn rounded out the Gophers’ honorees, earning a position on the All-Rookie Fifth Team.
Nelson paced the All-Rookie team’s heavyweight division with a 33-8 record and placed seventh at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in Philadelphia. The Cambridge, Minn., native finished second at his first appearance at the Big Ten championships and earned individual titles at the Bison Open and the Kaufman-Brand Open. Nelson also finished third at the 2011 Southern Scuffle.
At 184 lbs., Steinhaus also led his weight class with a 34-12 record and an All-American performance at the NCAA championships, he finished eighth. Steinhaus, one of five Gophers to win 30 or more matches this season, finished second at the Big Ten championships to Penn State’s Quentin Wright, who would go on to win the 184-pound title at nationals. The Pennock, Minn., native also tallied an individual title at the Bison Open, a runner-up finish at the Kaufman-Brand Open and a third-place finish at the Southern Scuffle.
Thorn earned a trip to the NCAA championships and went 2-2 in Philadelphia to finish his redshirt freshman season with a 16-12 overall record. The St. Michael, Minn., native started the season with a second-place finish at the Husky Open and finished seventh at his first Big Ten championship.