FORT WORTH, Texas — Augsburg University women’s wrestler Marlynne Deede (SO, Springville, Utah/Springville HS) will join teammate Emily Shilson (SO, Maple Grove, Minn./Mounds View HS) and two Auggie men’s wrestling alumni with a chance to compete for a spot on the United States team for this summer’s Tokyo Olympics, after qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials with a second-place finish in the 76 kilogram (167 pounds) weight class at the Last Chance Qualifier meet over the weekend at Texas Wesleyan University.
Competing for the Twin Cities Regional Training Center, Deede went 3-1 in a five-wrestler round-robin bracket to finish second in the 76 kg class, clinching one of 15 spots in the weight class at the U.S. Olympic Trials, which will be held next Friday and Saturday (4/2-3) at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. She opened with a 4:00, injury default win over Menlo (Calif.) alumnae Marilyn Garcia, then scored a 5-2 win over Colorado Mesa wrestler Tristan Kelly. Her lone loss came in a 10-0, 4:21 technical fall to eventual winner Jackie Cataline, a Team USA member. She closed the tournament with her own technical fall win, a 10-0, 2:03 triumph over Greys Harbor Community College (Wash.) wrestler Kamilla Montenegro.
Deede finished her sophomore season at Augsburg with a 10-2 record, with five technical falls and four pins. She won the National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling Championships (NCWWC) Northwest Regional title in February at 155 pounds, then placed third at 155 at the NCWWC National Championships in Adrian, Mich. earlier this month, going 4-1 with three pins and a technical fall. A two-time NCWWC All-American (she finished sixth at 155 pounds in 2020), Deede is 21-13 in her collegiate career, with 10 technical falls and eight pins.
Two-time NCWWC 109-pound national champion and 2020 Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association national titlist Emily Shilson (SO, Maple Grove, Minn./Mounds View HS) had already qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, by virtue of her fourth-place finish at 50 kg (110 pounds) at the 2019 USA Wrestling Senior Nationals. Voted the Most Outstanding Wrestler at both the 2020 and 2021 NCWWC national meets, Shilson finished 8-0 in her sophomore collegiate season at Augsburg, with all eight wins coming by bonus-point margins (six technical falls, two pins). She is 22-0 in her collegiate career, with 12 technical falls and eight pins.
Deede and Shilson will be joined by two Augsburg men’s wrestling alumni at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials — Leslie (Mike) Fuenffinger ’15 and Donny Longendyke ’17.
A two-time NCAA Division III national titlist and three-time All-American, Fuenffinger will be competing in the 13-wrestler 60 kg (132 pounds) Greco-Roman bracket. Competing for the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program (WCAP), Fuenffinger won the 60 kg title at the 2019 USA Wrestling Senior Nationals.
One of the top lightweight wrestlers in Augsburg history, Fuenffinger won NCAA Division III national titles at 125 pounds in both 2014 and 2015, earning the national tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler honor in 2015. He also earned All-American honors with a seventh-place finish at 125 in 2013, and was part of Auggie teams that won the national title in 2015, while finishing second in 2013, fifth in 2014 and 10th in 2013. Fuenffinger finished his Augsburg career with a 110-21 record, including 25 pins, 11 technical falls and 26 major decisions. He was 34-1 in his senior season and 34-3 in his junior campaign.
Longendyke, the 2015 NCAA Division III heavyweight national champion and a two-time national runner up during his Augsburg career, currently competes for the Minnesota Storm in the nine-wrestler 130 kg (286-pound) Greco-Roman class. He will be competing his second Olympic Trials, after also competing in 2016. He finished in fifth place at the 2019 USA Wrestling Senior Nationals to earn his Olympic Team Trials spot.
During his three seasons at Augsburg after competing his first year at Division I Nebraska, Longendyke was a three-time NCAA Division III All-American, winning the heavyweight national title in 2015 and finishing as national runner-up in both 2016 and 2017. He finished his collegiate career at 151-30, including 109-9 at Augsburg.
Deede was one of six Augsburg wrestlers to compete at this weekend’s Last Chance Qualifier. On the women’s side, Augsburg’s Gabby Skidmore (SO, Spooner, Wis./Cumberland HS) finished in fourth place at 57 kg (125 pounds), going 3-2 in the meet. Vayle-Rae Baker (SO, Benton, Pa./Wyoming Seminary) went 2-2 at 57 kg, Sierra Brown Ton (JR, Allen, Texas/Einstein HS) went 2-2 at 62 kg (136 pounds) and Autumn Flanigan (FY, Troy, Mo./Troy Buchanan HS) went 1-2 at 62 kg.
Augsburg men’s wrestling alumnus Ryan Epps ’20, a two-time NCAA Division III national champion and three-time All-American at 157 pounds, finished in fifth place in the men’s 77 kg (169 pounds) Greco-Roman class at the Last Chance Qualifier, finishing 2-2.
Check out Auggies Women’s Wrestling at athletics.augsburg.edu.