FARGO, N.D. – North Dakota State head wrestling coach Roger Kish announced the addition of nine wrestlers to his nationally ranked program on Monday, Nov. 26, following the conclusion of the early signing period.
NDSU’s recruiting class is ranked No. 4 in the nation among all Division I programs by Amateur Wrestling News.
The highly touted class includes five wrestlers who are nationally ranked, a combined six state runner-up finishes and 10 total state titles.
“We’re very excited about the group we’re bringing in here at North Dakota State, and we’re happy to add these kids to the Bison wrestling family,” said Kish. “We believe this is one of our most talented classes ever.”
Mitch Bengtson (St. Cloud, Minn.); Mitch Friedman (Oconto Falls, Wis.); Kyle Gliva (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.); Preston Lehmann (West Fargo, N.D.); Grant Nehring (Kimball, Minn.); Tommy Petersen (Lakeville, Minn.); Clayton Ream (Wentzville, Mo.); Cole Sladek (St. Michael, Minn.); and Tommy Walton (Fargo, N.D.) signed National Letters of Intent to continue their education and wrestle at NDSU.
Bengtson is the owner of the longest winning streak in Minnesota high school wrestling history, having posted 179 straight victories between his eighth-grade and junior seasons at St. Cloud Apollo. He is a three-time Minnesota high school state champion (103, 112, 119) and one-time runner-up (126), and placed second in Greco-Roman at 138 pounds in July 2012 to become a junior All-American. In 2010, Bengtson was a Cadet double All-American, taking second in Greco-Roman and third in freestyle. His high school career record currently stands at 221-6, with four of those losses coming as a seventh-grader. Bengtson entered this season ranked by WIN Magazine as the No. 3 wrestler in the nation at 138 pounds.
Friedman was the Wisconsin Division 2 state runner-up at 132 pounds in 2012, posting a season record of 41-6. He took fourth at 130 pounds as a sophomore in 2011. Friedman owns fifth and seventh place finishes at folkstyle junior nationals. He was also an all-conference cross country performer for Oconto Falls HS.
Gliva is a two-time Minnesota state champion at powerhouse Simley HS, going 76-3 over the past two seasons at 103 and 113 pounds. He was a state runner-up at 103 pounds as a freshman. In 2011, Gliva took second place in folkstyle and sixth in freestyle at 112 pounds at Cadet Nationals. He was also named to the MWCA All-State Academic team after leading Simley to a team state title in 2012. Gliva was ranked No. 17 in the nation at 120 pounds by WIN Magazine entering this season.
Lehmann has won state titles for West Fargo HS in each of the past two seasons, including a 49-1 record on the way to a 182-pound state championship in the 2011-12 season. Forty-two of Lehmann’s 49 wins as a junior were by fall, and he entered this season ranked as the No. 2 wrestler in the nation at 182 pounds by WIN Magazine. He is the younger brother of current NDSU wrestler Tyler Lehmann.
Nehring is a three-time state placewinner at St. Cloud Apollo and a Class AAA state champion at 138 pounds as a junior, going 43-3 for the season. He placed third at 135 pounds as a sophomore and sixth 125 pounds as a freshman. Entering his senior season, Nehring already owns 107 career wins.
Petersen won a Minnesota Class AAA state championship at 195 pounds as a junior at Lakeville South HS and was sixth as a sophomore at 189 pounds. He was also a Greco-Roman state champion and holds his school’s takedown record. Petersen enters his senior season as the top-ranked 195-pounder in the state of Minnesota and is ranked as high as No. 15 in the nation.
Ream was a junior national champion in folkstyle at 145 pounds in 2012. As a junior, he posted a record of 42-3 and was the Missouri Class 4 state runner-up at 145 pounds. Ream took fifth in freestyle at Cadet Nationals in 2010 and 2011. He is a three-time state placewinner and academic all-state selection, boasting a cumulative grade point average above 4.0. Entering this season with a career record of 121-17, Ream is ranked No. 7 in the nation at 152 pounds by WIN Magazine.
Sladek is a three-time state placewinner for St. Michael-Albertville HS, taking fourth in Class AAA as a junior at 120 pounds. Sladek was the state runner-up at 112 pounds as a sophomore in 2011 and the fifth-place finisher at 103 pounds as a freshman. In 2010, he won a Cadet folkstyle national championship at 105 pounds. Over his first three high school seasons, he owns a record of 121-20.
Walton won a state title for Fargo North HS at 106 pounds in 2012 and was the state runner-up at 103 pounds in 2011. He also took runner-up honors in Greco-Roman at Cadet Nationals in 2011 and is a five-time academic all-state performer.
The Bison wrestling team is ranked No. 24 in the nation in the latest USA Today/NWCA/AWN Coaches Poll. NDSU will travel to the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.