“It’s like a fairy tale:” Inside South Dakota State’s rapidly improving wrestling program

South Dakota State’s Tanner Sloan made history last March when he became just the second Division I NCAA finalist in program history after topping Gavin Hoffman, Jacob Cardenas, Bernie Truax and Rocky Elam during his run through the 197-pound bracket. His performance put South Dakota State’s brand on the center mat on Saturday night in March and brought a huge spotlight to a program that is rising quickly in the national rankings and becoming a prominent, competitive Big 12 team once again.

While Sloan’s championship dreams last year came to an end in a 5-3 decision against Pittsburgh’s Nino Bonaccorsi, the veteran Jackrabbit is now back for one last run with his team, hoping to bring individual honors back to Brookings and continue to grow the reputation of a program on the rise.

This 2023-2024 season could be a standout one for Sloan and his Jackrabbit team as a whole, but, to fully understand the development of this program and the stars that now fill its lineup, it’s important to go back six years to when Sloan first arrived on campus alongside current head coach Damion Hahn. Continue reading at ncaa.com →