The Minnesota storm, the professional training club of Gopher wrestling comprised of many Gophers, is sending former Gopher legend Tony Nelson to Vladikavkaz, Ossetia, Russia, to compete in the Alans International Tournament.
The former Gopher heavyweight, a two-time national champion, is the 125-kilogram representative for the U.S. Men’s freestyle wrestling team. This is Nelson’s first international tournament since he won the bronze medal at the Ion Cornianu & Ladislau Simon Memorial in 2017.
”After having surgery a year ago, Tony will be wrestling in his first international tournament since 2017,” Storm freestyle coach Dustin Schlatter said. “Tony is looking to challenge himself against some of the best competition in the world and this will be a great test early in the year, to see where we are and where we need to improve.”
Nelson closed out his Gopher wrestling career with 131 wins and is one of the program’s only four-time All-Americans. His 131 wins place him ninth in school history and he has two winning streaks of at least 36 matches, both top-10 in program history.
The Cambridge, MN, native finished his career with three consecutive Big Ten titles and three consecutive trips to the NCAA Finals.
Nelson will find out the path of his bracket after the draw on December 7 and his competition will begin December 8. Nelson is joined in Russia by Minnesota Storm training partner Hayden Zillmer.
“Tony has been working extremely hard and has been waiting to get overseas for a while now, we’re excited to see what he can do,” Schlatter said.