Management Council recommends blanket waiver for all DIII student-athletes

Presidents Council will vote on season-of-participation waiver recommendation next week

The Division III Management Council is forwarding a recommendation to the Presidents Council to allow all Division III student-athletes to compete up to the established dates of competition/contest maximums without being charged a season of intercollegiate participation for this academic year.

The Presidents Council will review the recommendation during its Oct. 28 videoconference.

The blanket waiver request would not charge student-athletes a term of attendance for any term (semester/quarter) during the 2020-21 academic year in which they were eligible for competition.

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2021 J-Club Hall of Honor Class: Gary Svendsen ’72

By Frank Rajkowski, SJU Writer/Video Producer

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. – Gary Svendsen ’72 wasn’t initially sold on the concept of attending Saint John’s University. In fact, the highly sought-after wrestler from Coon Rapids (Minn.) High School had already decided on another school as a senior in the spring of 1968.

But SJU head coach Terry Haws – who had just completed his first season at the program’s helm – refused to take no for an answer.

And it turned out he had an ally in those efforts embedded inside the Svendsen household.

“After I visited several schools, including Saint John’s, I decided I was going to Winona State,” Svendsen recalls. “But my dad was really high on Saint John’s. I was born in Brainerd and Saint John’s was a popular school in that part of the state. He really wanted my brother Tom ’75 and I to go there. So he was disappointed when I decided to not to.

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Called to Serve: SJU Wrestler Says His Time in Collegeville Helped Broaden His Horizons

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. – Dominic Skawiniak has had a lot to balance over the last four years.

The 2020 Saint John’s University graduate has been a standout member of the Johnnies’ wrestling team, and he’s also been part of the Fighting Saints Battalion – the ROTC program made up of students from SJU, the College of Saint Benedict and St. Cloud State University.

It’s through that program that, as a junior, Skawiniak took part in Air Assault training at Fort Benning, Ga., and spent time in Thailand training (left) at both the country’s Royal Military Academy and out in the field along the Cambodian border.

“We saw how people who don’t have nearly as much as we do farm and go about living their lives,” he said. “We had the chance to interact with a lot of school-age children. The whole trip was really eye-opening. It was a chance to see how people all over are similar, and it really was a reminder of the value of all human life and why that’s worth defending.”

That trip came in the same school year that Skawiniak also traveled to the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland, and completed a research paper on the different ways various cultures are attempting to mitigate the impact of climate change. Continue reading at

COVID-19 Pandemic Not Deterring SJU Wrestler From a Career in Medicine

By Frank Rajkowski, SJU Writer/Video Producer

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. – It’s an incredibly stressful time in the medical profession, especially for those on the front lines of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

And because that’s the profession Saint John’s University senior Jerod Novak will soon be entering, he’s doing all he can to stay up-to-date on the latest information.

“For me, as a student-nurse, it’s a time to be doing a lot of research,” said the senior nursing major, who wrapped up a four-year wrestling career for the Johnnies with a sixth-place finish at 157 pounds Feb. 28-29 at the NCAA Division III Upper Midwest Regional.

“I already feel like I have a responsibility to be well-informed and to be able to tell people what’s true and what’s not, what’s exaggerated and what isn’t. This is a public health matter first and foremost, and people need to have accurate information.”

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SJU’s Becker Earns NWCA All-America Honor

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. – Saint John’s University senior Noah Becker (Browerville, Minn.) was named to the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) All-America first team on Wednesday, April 8.

In previous seasons, the NWCA awarded All-America honors to the top eight wrestlers in each weight class at the NCAA Championships. This year’s All-America honors were split into three teams, based on each wrestler’s overall body of work through the regional tournaments and up to the national meet.

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