SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — After having eight student-athletes sign a National Letter of Intent to continue their athletic and academic careers at Augustana in the fall, head coach Jason Reitmeier announced the signings of four more student-athletes Tuesday morning. The class of 12 Viking wrestlers will enroll as freshmen in the fall of 2021.
“We are excited to announce four more signees to our 2021 freshmen class,” head coach Jason Reitmeier said. “Again, just like our early signees, these four bring in outstanding credentials both academically and athletically. We really focused this year on tough, hard nosed kids that exemplify being a student-athlete.”
Thurman Christensen | 125/133 lbs.
Reitmeier on Christensen: “We really made a point to go out and find the best lightweight for our program and Thurman is a great fit. He’s an exciting wrestler with exceptional skills on the mat with big move ability. Thurman has the ability to score points in all positions and score them in bundles. Thurman is also an exceptional student.”
High School: Christensen will graduate from Waukee High School later this May. As a senior, he went 23-5 with 53 near-falls en route to a second-place finish at state while breaking the career near-falls record at Waukee with 268 total. As a junior, he went 47-4 with 102 near-falls (broke the single-season record), 19 tech falls and a third-place finish at state. As a sophomore, he placed fourth at state and earned academic all-conference honors during his sophomore, junior and senior seasons.
Personal: Christensen was born in West Des Moines, Iowa, to parents Gale and Brett Christensen. He has two siblings and enjoys fishing and hanging out with his friends. While at Augustana, he plans to major in business.
Gavin Gulbranson | 184 lbs.
Reitmeier on Gulbranson: “Gavin doesn’t have to travel far to get on campus, being from Harrisburg. He is an athlete, has been a three-sport star and we feel that he has a high ceiling. He is already a good wrestler and once he focuses solely on wrestling he is really going to excel even more. Gavin adds some much needed depth in the upper weights.”
High School: Gulbranson will graduate from Harrisburg High School later this May. As a senior, he went 48-3 with all-conference and academic all-state honors. As a junior, he captured an individual state championship with all-conference and academic all-state honors. As a sophomore, he placed fourth at state and was all-conference as well.
Personal: Gulbranson was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to parents Marijo and Shannon Gulbranson. He has three siblings and enjoys guitar, exercising, fishing and music. While at Augustana, he plans to major in biology.
Seth Nebel | 133/141 lbs.
Reitmeier on Nebel: “Seth is a great get for us and is still very raw. He’s progressed and will excel in our competitive room. Seth is looking for a challenge and is excited about getting to school and getting in our room. We are just as excited to get him this fall.”
High School: Nebel will graduate from Edina High School in June of 2021. He earned all-conference honorable mention all four years of high school, was a state entrant during his sophomore, junior and senior seasons, and went 30-7 as a senior, 38-7 as a junior, 42-7 as a sophomore, and 22-16 as a freshman.
Personal: Nebel was born in Virginia Beach, Virginia, to parents Jamie and Luis Nebel. He has two siblings and enjoys weight lifting and ultimate frisbee. While at Augustana, he plans to major in athletic training.
Gage Long | 141/149 lbs.
Reitmeier on Long: “We are excited to have Gage join our family. He is a great athlete, great student, and a high-character young man. Gage also has never focused solely on wrestling, once he does he will make huge strides. Gage will add strength in the low to middle weights.”
High School: Long will graduate from Ballard High School later this May. As a senior, he went 37-10, qualified for state, won his section and was second-team all-conference. As a junior, he went 37-8, qualified for state, won his section and was first-team all-conference. As a sophomore, he went 38-15 and won his section. As a freshman, he went 29-18.
Personal: Long’s hometown is Sheldahl, Iowa, and he was born to parents Julie and Daren Long. He has one sibling and enjoys hunting and fishing. While at Augustana, he plans to major in athletic training.