Mankato, Minn. — Head coach Jim Makovsky has announced that nine student-athletes have joined the Minnesota State wrestling program for the 2021-22 school year.
This group is represented by seven incoming freshmen and two transfers.
“We really like this group of young men, they have wrestled a lot and won a lot,” said assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Ty Eustice. “They also come from really strong programs which should help them transition to this level. It’s important for us to bring in junior college talent and we’ve done that as well. We expect Gavin and Jamaal to have an impact on the team this year.”
Biographies of this year’s recruiting class appear below.
Mason Askelsen (Ballard, Iowa/Ballard H.S./197)
Askelsen finished seventh at 195 in the 2021 Iowa 2A state tournament.
Jamaal Baird (Deer River, Minn./Caledonia H.S./ITASCA Community College/141-149)
Baird, who qualified for the 2020 NJCAA national tournament, was a placewinner at the Minnesota State high school tournament at 126 and was a three-time state qualifier. He is a three-time Big Bear Tournament placewinner.
Gavin Christoffersen (So. St. Paul, Minn./SSP H.S./Rochester Community College/184-197)
Christoffersen, a 2021 NJCAA national runner-up, is a two-time NJCAA All-American. He placed at the 2019 Minnesota State high school tournament.
Drake Hayward (Neenah, Wis./Neenah H.S./149-157)
Hayward placed second at 145 at the 2021 Wisconsin Division 1 state tournament. A four-time state tournament qualifier, he was a two-time state placewinner. Hayward comes to Minnesota State having gone 119-25 for his prep career. A 2019 and 2021 Wisconsin freestyle state champion, he was a 2020 USA Pre-season Nationals All-American and a Wisconsin Cadet and Junior Freestyle national team member.
Tommy Johnson (Shakopee, Minn./Shakopee H.S./285)
A 2021 state of Minnesota AAA runner-up, Johnson is a three-time state place-winner. A member of three AAA state championship teams, Johnson was a two-time Minnesota Christmas Tournament placewinner and Northern Plains Regional Freestyle Junior and Cadet placewinner.
Payton Kostka (Eau Claire, Wis./Regis H.S./157)
A 2021 state of Wisconsin Division 2 third-place finisher, Kostka finished second at the state tournament in 2020. He registered a 114-15 record in high school.
Isaiah Mlsna (St. Michael, Minn./SMA High School/133-141)
Mlsna, who placed sixth at the 2021 state AAA tournament, was a three-time state tournament qualifier. A member of the 2018 state AAA championship team, Mlsna posted a 112-49 high school record and was a fourth-place finisher at ht 2021 Reno World national tournament.
Tashaud Nelson (Apple Valley, Minn./Apple Valley High School/285)
Nelson finished second at the 2021 Minnesota State Junior Freestyle tournament and placed fifth at the 2021 Northern Plans Regional Junior Greco-Roman tournament.
Landen Parent (Princeton, Minn./Princeton High School/133-141)
Parent, who placed third a the state AA tournament, was a three-time state tournament placewinner. He registered a 140-13 high school mark.
Where are they going in 2021-22? Minnesota Recruits 2021-22