LA CROSSE, Wis. — Concordia junior Adam Presler (Sioux Falls, S.D./Brandon Valley HS) was named the recipient of the NCAA Elite 90 Award as the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average at the NCAA Division III Wrestling National Championships, it was announced on Saturday.
Presler, who received the prestigious honor prior to the championship matches on Saturday evening at the La Crosse Center, becomes the first Concordia student/athlete to win the top academic honor at an NCAA championship event.
The Elite 90, an award founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 90 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s 90 championships.
Presler is a Mathematics Education major at Concordia and has a perfect 4.00 grade point average.
Presler had a career year in 2016-17 at 141 pounds and qualified for the NCAA Championship Meet for the first time in his career. He won 26 matches this season after winning 14 matches in each of his freshman and sophomore campaigns.
Presler qualified for the NCAA Meet by finishing third at the NCAA West Regional held at Concordia on Feb. 25. He started his trek to nationals by recording a pin fall in his first match at regionals but then lost 7-4 in the semifinals. He posted a 7-4 decision in the semifinals of the wrestlebacks and went on to a 10-6 win in the third-place match.
Presler almost pulled off one of the upsets at the NCAA National Meet in La Crosse in the Round of 16. He had a two-point lead late in the match with the No.2-seeded wrestler in the 141-lb bracket but then gave up three straight points and lost 5-4. Presler rebounded by claiming a 6-1 decision in the consolation first round only to lose in the next round.
On Thursday, Presler and four other Cobbers were named NWCA Division III Scholar All-Americans. Joining Presler on the coaches’ academic list were Aaron Dick, Travis Deegan, Cole Sladek and Kody Van Den Eykel. Concordia also received NWCA Scholar Team honors as they had a 3.29 team GPA which was the 10th highest team grade-point average in Division III.