Ali Sprenger learns, grows as first-year head coach

NEW ULM — New Ulm native Ali (Bernard) Sprenger said that her first year as head women’s wrestling coach at Augsburg University was a huge learning and career opportunity.

“And I knew right away that this was the right choice and the clear path for me to take,” she said. “There was a lot of learning and a lot of memorable moments that I am excited to continue to build off of.”

Sprenger said that she learned that there is more than just teaching and coaching wrestling techniques to her wrestlers.

“There is scheduling to budget management,” she said. “Being a coach to do all of that is so important and that was a big learn for me.” Continue reading at →

Augsburg’s Nina Makem 2nd at 68kg at U23 National Championships

SPOKANE, Wash. — Augsburg University women’s wrestler Nina Makem (JR, Shakopee, Minn./Shakopee HS) finished second in the Under-23 division 68-kilogram (150 pounds) weight class at the USA Wrestling/U.S. Marine Corps Women’s National Championships, held over the weekend.

Makem reached the finals in the 68 kg class with three victories, including a 10-0 technical fall in the quarterfinals and 46-second pin in the semifinals, then faced former Augsburg women’s wrestler Brooklyn Hays in the best-of-three finals, with the winner securing a spot in the 2024 U23 Pan American Championships team for the June championships in Colombia.

Makem won the first bout by a 3-2 decision, but lost in a 5:12 pin in the second match and in a 3:49 pin in the deciding match to Hays, who was an All-American for the Auggies with a sixth-place finish at 170 pounds at the 2023 National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling Championships for NCAA-affiliated schools.

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Nina Makem earns 3rd All-American honor

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Nina Makem (JR, Shakopee, Minn./Shakopee HS) earned her third career All-American honor, finishing in eighth place at 155 pounds, leading the Augsburg University women’s wrestling team in competition at the National Collegiate Women’s Wrestling Championships, held on Friday and Saturday.

Augsburg finished its fifth season of varsity women’s wrestling with a 19th-place finish at the national meet, the championships for NCAA-affiliated women’s wrestling programs, with 22.0 points.

Makem earned her third career All-American honor with an eighth-place finish at 155 pounds. Entering the tournament ranked No. 3 in the National Wrestling Coaches Association NCAA national poll at 155, Makem reached the quarterfinals with two first-period pins — a 1:16 pin of Erika Novak of Hiram (Ohio) and a 47-second pin of Azana King of Schreiner (Texas) on Friday. She suffered a 6-2 setback to No. 6-ranked Bella Mir of Iowa in the quarterfinals, but earned All-American honors with a 56-second pin of Nia Miranda of Mount Olive (N.C.). On Saturday, Makem was edged 4-3 by No. 7-ranked Madison Sandquist of Sacred Heart (Conn.) in the wrestlebacks, and suffered a 1:18 pin by No. 8-ranked Alex Hofrichter of Dubuque (Iowa) in the seventh-place match.

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North Central Remains No. 1 Headed into NCWWC Tournament

MANHEIM, Pa. – The top six teams in the latest National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) NCAA Women’s Wrestling Coaches’ Poll remained the same. North Central College stays in the top spot, while the University of Iowa is second. King University is third, while McKendree University and Colorado Mesa University round out the top five.

Both North Central and Iowa have 14 individuals ranked, with North Central accumulating 123 points while Iowa has 93 points. King stays at third as they are the third and final team, with at least ten individuals ranked with 12 to accumulate 88 points. McKendree amassed 65 points with nine ranked individuals ranked. Colorado Mesa and Simon Fraser University both have six individuals ranked and accounted for 38 and 26 points, respectively.

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