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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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 →