IRVING, Texas — For the second year in a row, South Dakota State’s Clay Carlson has been honored as the Big 12 Conference Wrestling Scholar-Athlete of the Year. League officials made the announcement Tuesday after a vote among the conference’s head coaches.
Hear from South Dakota State wrestling coach Damion Hahn and wrestlers A.J. Nevills, Clay Carlson, and Tanner Sloan as they take questions about their season and the upcoming Big 12 Championships in Tulsa, Okla.
IRVING, Texas — After a championship performance at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational over the weekend, South Dakota State University’s Clay Carlson was honored Tuesday at the Big 12 Conference Wrestler of the Week.
A junior from Willmar, Minnesota, Carlson became the first South Dakota State wrestler to win an individual title at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, claiming the 141-pound championship in competition Dec. 3-4. The top seed in the weight class and a returning All-American, Carlson went 4-0 over the two-day tournament with three of his wins over ranked wrestlers.
LINCOLN, Neb. – For the second time in three months, South Dakota State’s Clay Carlson earned All-America honors at a major wrestling competition. This past weekend, Carlson recorded a fourth-place finish in the 65-kilogram weight class of the freestyle division at the 2021 UWW U23 Nationals.
A native of Willmar, Minnesota, Carlson posted a 7-2 record as a member of the Jackrabbit Wrestling Club. He opened with a 10-2 (VPO-1) victory over Chris Sandoval of the Northern Colorado Wrestling Club, followed by a 5-4 (VFA 1:54) win against Timothy Levine of the New England Regional Training Center.
IRVING, Texas — South Dakota State’s Clay Carlson was honored Wednesday as the 2021 Big 12 Wrestling Scholar-Athlete of the Year, becoming the first Jackrabbit to receive the award.
A redshirt sophomore from Willmar, Minnesota, Carlson has compiled a 3.931 grade-point average as an animal science/pre-veterinary major. He became the first SDSU wrestler to earn All-America recognition at the NCAA Division I Championships since 2018, placing eighth in the 141-pound weight class at the national meet. He qualified for the NCAA Championships with a fourth-place finish at the Big 12 Wrestling Championship in early March en route to a 20-9 record.
By Brian Jerzak
Family and wrestling go together like ice cream and apple pie. All across the state of Minnesota, the wrestling landscape is littered with families steeped in wrestling history. The Short family, the Morgan family, the Thorn and the Ness families, just to name a few, have produced multiple high-level wrestlers. They are families that get the sport of wrestling in their blood, and it never gets out.
The connection between wrestling and family is similar to the connection between family and farming. Generations of families work family farms. Often the home and farm are passed down from one generation to the next. Once farming gets in a family's blood, like wrestling, it is hard to get it out.
Few families in Minnesota encapsulate the strong bond between family, farming and wrestling more than the Carlson family from Willmar.
"Our dad (Curtney) wrestled for Willmar back in the 1950's," Chad Carlson said, "and graduated from Willmar High School in 1957. He got us started in it. It wasn't like he was pushing us one way or the other, but I think he thought it would be a good thing to get us into."