SJU’s Hagen Ranked Second, Four Others Listed in Preseason Rankings

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. – Five Saint John’s University wrestlers were mentioned in the preseason individual rankings released Oct. 25.

Senior Mitch Hagen (Sunburg, Minn./Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg) was ranked second nationally at 184 pounds, while junior Nick Schuler (Roseville, Minn./Totino-Grace) and senior Chris Stevermer (Savage, Minn./Prior Lake) were listed as “contenders” to crack the top 10 at 165 and 157 pounds, respectively. Juniors Joe Hessing (Loretto, Minn./Delano) and Aaron Padrnos (Brainerd, Minn.) received honorable mention status at 149 and 141 pounds, respectively.

Hagen enters his senior season fresh off of his first appearance at the NCAA Division III Championships last spring. He advanced to the quarterfinals and ended the season with a 23-8 record. Now with a 52-29 career record, he will be expected to help anchor the Johnnies this season as well as make another push for nationals. Stevermer was another Johnnie wrestler who made his first appearance at nationals last spring. After an impressive 25-11 season, he will be another Johnnie with the NCAA’s on this radar.

The three other Johnnies mentioned in the preseason rankings all had their 2011-12 seasons cut short by injury. Schuler posted an impressive 27-8 record at 165 pounds last season, including 20 bonus-point wins, but fell victim to a high ankle sprain a few days before the 2012 NCAA Great Lakes Regional.

Hessing also returns following his injury-shortened, 15-10 sophomore season. In a similar position, Padrnos had his season cut short by injury last year after posting a 10-4 record at 141 pounds.

Saint John’s returns to the mat in just under three weeks against Northwestern (Iowa). The dual meet is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, at the Old Gym (Guild Hall) in Collegeville.

Would you like to receive the latest Minnesota wrestling news in your inbox?