MINNEAPOLIS – For the third straight year, Augsburg University men’s wrestler Victor Gliva (SR, Farmington, Minn./Farmington HS) was named as the recipient of the NCAA Elite 90 Award as the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average scheduled to compete at the NCAA Division III National Championships, it was announced recently.
The award was scheduled to be presented prior to the final round of the championships on Saturday, but the tournament was canceled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Since the competitors were already on-site in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Thursday prior to the championships, the award could be given out, according to the NCAA.
According to the NCAA: “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 championships. Eligible student-athletes are sophomores or above who have participated in their sport for at least two years with their school. They must be an active member of the team, traveling and a designated member of the squad size at the championship. All ties are broken by the number of credits completed.”
Gliva joins a list of just 13 student-athletes among all three NCAA divisions who have earned the Elite 90 award three straight years. He is one of just three athletes in NCAA Division III history to earn three awards, joining Kelsey Kittleson of Luther (Iowa, softball, 2010-12) and Liz Phillips of Washington University (Mo., indoor track/cross country, 2010-12), and the third men’s wrestler in all divisions to be a three-time honoree, joining California Baptist’s Nolan Kistler (Division II, 1016-18) and North Dakota State’s Clay Ream (Division I, 2016-18). It’s the fifth time an Augsburg student-athlete has earned NCAA Elite 90 honors since the program started in the 2009-10 school year.
An accounting major with a 4.00 grade-point average, Gliva has earned National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III Scholar All-America honors all four years of his career. In 2017-18, Gliva was also named to the Academic All-America (men’s at-large first team) and Academic All-District squads by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
A two-time All-American and four-time NCAA Division III national tournament qualifier, Gliva finished third in the 133-pound weight class at the NCAA Division III Upper Midwest Regional on Feb. 28-29 to qualify for the national meet. He finished fifth in the 125-pound weight class at the 2019 NCAA Division III National Championships, while finishing eighth at the 2017 national tournament at 125, after winning the NCAA West Regional qualifying tournament title. In his high school career at Farmington, he was a three-time state tournament qualifier, with a 2016 Minnesota state title and 2015 runner-up finish to his credit.
He finished 25-5 in his senior campaign, with 11 pins and a technical fall. He was ranked as high as No. 2 in the NWCA Division III national poll during the 2019-20 campaign, and was to enter the national tournament ranked No. 4 and as the No. 4 seed. He finished 114-27 in his Augsburg career, with 35 pins, 10 technical falls and 19 major decisions.
Gliva is the son of Augsburg wrestling alumnus Steve Gliva ’85, who was an NCAA Division III national titlist at 118 pounds in 1984, and holds the distinction of being the only Auggie wrestler ever to earn five All-American honors (three NCAA, two NAIA). The Glivas are the second father-son duo to ever earn All-America honors in Augsburg wrestling history, joining the Adams — father Bob ’83 and son Jason ’10.