Vikings Selected to Finish Third In The 2021 NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll

Hunter Burnett named Preseason Wrestler to Watch

BURNSVILLE, Minn. — The Augustana wrestling team has been picked to finish third in the NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll the conference office announced Tuesday. The Vikings tallied 66 points in the poll while sophomore Hunter Burnett was picked as Augustana’s Preseason Wrestler to Watch.

“We have a good mixture of experience and youth that brings out the excitement in this team,” head coach Jason Reitmeier said. “We have great leadership up and down the roster, and it shows in our younger kids.

“The commitment to academics and athletics isn’t something they just talk about, it’s something they show in their work.”

Reitmeier enters his 18th season at the helm of the Viking wrestling program in 2021. His roster includes 23 returners from last year’s squad, seven newcomers, and also returns eight of the 10 starters from the NCAA Super Region 5 Tournament. The Vikings also return three national qualifiers in Brandon Carroll (2016-17), Steven Hajas (2019-20), and Hunter Burnett (2019-20), with Burnett being the lone All-American returning.

As a team, the Vikings are poised to build on their success from last season. Tabbed fourth in the 2019-20 NSIC Preseason Coaches Poll, the Vikings finished second in the conference with a 6-2 NSIC dual record and 10-4 overall record. At the NCAA Super Region 5 Tournament, Augustana took home third place with 96.5 team points.

NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll

Hunter Burnett | Pipestone, Minnesota | Sophomore | 141 lbs.

Burnett had a monster redshirt-freshman campaign in 2019-20. He led the Vikings in wins with a 27-9 overall record and 9-2 dual record with six falls, seven major decisions and eight tech falls. At the NCAA Super Region 5 Tournament, Burnett (ranked No. 9 at the time) went 2-1 to solidify his spot as a national qualifier. After the championships were cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Burnett was named an NWCA All-American.

“Hunter is one of the hardest working kids I have ever been around and what separates him from others is his commitment to learning, improving and helping everyone around him get better in all areas of their lives,” said Reitmeier. “He’s a returning national qualifier and All-American which has only fueled his fire to get better and also make his teammates better.”

After a six-dual regular season, the Vikings will head to the NCAA Super Region 5 Tournament in Aberdeen, South Dakota on Feb. 27 followed by the NCAA DII Championships in Birmingham, Alabama from Mar. 12-13.

2020-21 NSIC Wrestling Preseason Coaches’ Poll

  1. St. Cloud State
  2. Upper Iowa
  3. Augustana
  4. Minnesota State
  5. Parkside
  6. Northern State
  7. U Mary
  8. MSU Moorhead
  9. Minot State
  10. Southwest Minnesota State

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