Teacher, Costanzo earn top NSIC honors

ST. CLOUD, MINN. – In the wonkiness of a year that was 2020-21, there was one thing that remained constant: the St. Cloud State University wrestling team. The Huskies continuously proved their dominance and greatness throughout their shortened season, winning their 10th consecutive Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) title and third straight NCAA Championship. On Friday, two individuals were recognized as the top in the conference, as Kameron Teacher (Grove City, Ohio / Central Crossing) was named the NSIC Wrestler of the Year and Steve Costanzo the NSIC Coach of the Year.

Teacher is the third consecutive Husky to be named the NSIC Wrestler of the Year, and he did so after dominating on the mat all season long. A four-time All-American at 285 pounds, Teacher made his long awaited debut for St. Cloud State and posted a perfect 13-0 record in 2020-21. He was crowned the NCAA Champion at 285 pounds on March 20 after earning a key 6-5 decision victory Western Hunt in the championship bout and clinched the Huskies third consecutive national championship in the process. He is the first St. Clodu State wrestler to win an individual national championship since Brett Velasquez did so in 2015-16.

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Female Shakopee wrestler to compete at college level

When Nina Makem and her family moved from the central African country of Cameroon to Shakopee in 2015, she had no idea she’d one day be heading to college as a wrestler. Her family moved to Minnesota for a better life, and it’s paid off. Makem is currently a senior at Shakopee High School and will attend Augsburg University in the fall to wrestle and to major in exercise science with an emphasis on physical therapy.

Makem has been part of the Shakopee wrestling program for three years where she mostly competed against males. She is also a member of the Minnesota Storm wrestling club where she takes the mat against other females.

“Growing up, I watched a lot of WWE. I liked it and was inspired by it,” she said. “My older brother started wrestling in Shakopee and would tell us about it, so I joined too. In WWE, I liked that the wrestlers jumped off ropes and hit each other. When I joined the high school team, I found out it was much different. I went into the wrestling room and there weren’t any ropes or people on jumping on each other, but I liked it. It seemed much safer.”

Wrestling ended up being a family event. Both of her older brothers, Duplex and Randy, were on the Shakopee wrestling team. Her younger sister Joel is a sophomore and also on the team. Continue reading at swnewsmedia.com →

Steveson, Lee Advances to Quarters; Gophers in Seventh

ST. LOUIS, MO – Gable Steveson and Brayton Lee advanced to the quarterfinals on day one of the NCAA Championships in St. Louis, Mo. Five more Gophers remain alive in the consolation bracket as Minnesota sits in seventh place with 16.5 points. Iowa leads the team race against Penn State by a 33.5-28.0 margin.

The top seed at heavyweight, Steveson extended his career best win streak to 31 matches with two dominant victories. After a pin in 1:27 against No. 32 Taye Ghadiaki of Campbell, Steveson dispatched No. 17 Wyatt Hendrickson of Air Force by a 17-2 technical fall in the round of 16. He racked up five takedowns and three near falls for his 14th straight win with bonus points this season.

Steveson will square off against redshirt freshman Greg Kerkvliet of Penn State in tomorrow’s quarterfinal. It will be a meeting of four-time Minnesota state champions as Steveson won four prep titles at Apple Valley, while Kerkvliet was a four-time winner out of Simley.

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Franek Advances to Quarterfinals, Pentz Upsets No. 2 Seed on Day One of NCAA Championships

ST. LOUIS – North Dakota State has three wrestlers still alive in the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships following the first day of action Thursday, March 18, at the Enterprise Center.

NDSU sophomore 157 Jared Franek went 2-0 on the day, freshman No. 31 seed Owen Pentz went 1-1 with an upset win over the No. 2 seed at 197 pounds, and senior 165 Luke Weber earned a first-round victory for the Bison before dropping into the consolation bracket.

Franek won by injury default over Kendall Coleman of Purdue to advance to Friday’s quarterfinals. Franek trailed 3-2 in the third period, but recorded a takedown for a 4-3 lead. Coleman was injured on the takedown, and could not return to the mat. Franek also won a hard-fought 5-2 bout against Parker Kropman of Drexel in the first round.

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Vega Leads Jacks In Night Sessions

ST. LOUIS – After combining for a 4-1 record in Thursday’s opening round at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, it was role reversal for South Dakota State’s five national qualifiers during the evening sessions as the Jackrabbits turned in a 1-4 mark at Enterprise Center.

All five Jackrabbits will resume action Friday in the consolation rounds; wrestlers in the lower weights (125-157) will compete at 10 a.m., with competitors in the upper weights (165-285) starting at 2 p.m.

Senior 125-pounder Danny Vega kept his tournament hopes alive by posting the lone Jackrabbit victory over the night in consolation action. Vega led by only a point, 3-2, after the first period of his match against Gage Curry of American University, but turned up the pressure over the next three-plus minutes to post a 21-4 technical fall.

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