Vikings Planning for Another Season of Success

Augustana Boasts Three Returning All-Americans, Led by Jaxson Rohman

By Matt Krumrie

A quick look at the numbers shows that the Augustana Vikings are set up for another season of success heading into the 2023-2024 college wrestling season.

The team returns nine starters with Super Region V tournament experience - eight of them placewinners. There are also six returning national qualifiers, three returning All-Americans, and one NCAA runner-up.

That's an impressive lineup of experienced wrestlers and a reason head coach Jason Reitmeier - now in his 21st season leading the Vikings' wrestling program - is excited for the season. It's no surprise this group finished second at the NCAA Super Region V tournament last season.

View exclusive subscriber content with The Guillotine Subscription. Current subscribers log in.

Dragons Optimistic Heading into 15th Season Under Coach Kris Nelson

MSU Moorhead Returns Five Wrestlers with Regional Experience

By Matt Krumrie

With five wrestlers who competed at the Super Region V tournament, along with several talented newcomers and returning wrestlers looking to improve, Kris Nelson is optimistic heading into his 15th season as head coach of the Minnesota State University Moorhead Dragons wrestling program.

"We are still relatively young, but last years' experience will be beneficial when competing in the NSIC," said Nelson. "I expect them to make significant strides throughout the season, and I believe the squad has been working hard during the preseason."

Those five returnees with regional experience include Clayson Mele (125), Thomas Carrillo (133), Hunter Hayes (141), Gunnar Mogen (149), and Jonas Anez (165). Mogen led the Dragons in wins with 18 (18-10), while Mele went 15-12, and Carrillo was 13-13. Anez also won 15 matches.

View exclusive subscriber content with The Guillotine Subscription. Current subscribers log in.

Jackrabbits Eye Highest Finish Ever at Big 12 and NCAA Championships

South Dakota State to Face Tough Schedule, Including Minnesota, Nebraska and Michigan

By Matt Krumrie

Expectations are at an all-time high for the South Dakota State University wrestling team, and rightfully so.

This season's squad is shaping up to be the best team the Jackrabbits have put on the mat in the program's Division I era (since the start of the 2004-05 season). SDSU sent a program-record eight wrestlers to the NCAA Division I wrestling championships last season and placed 14th in the team standings for the team's second-highest finish at the Division I level. Six of those eight NCAA qualifiers from a season ago return to the lineup during the 2023-24 campaign.

The Jackrabbits are led by two-time All-American Clay Carlson (Willmar) at 141 pounds and 197-pound NCAA runner-up Tanner Sloan (Alburnett, IA). Both wrestlers have been mainstays in the SDSU lineup over the past four seasons. Carlson will attempt to become the Jackrabbits' first three-time All-American at the Division I level (eighth at 141 pounds in 2021, fifth in 2023). Sloan enters the season with an 86-20 career record, including a 49-4 mark in duals. He is looking to become a five-time NCAA qualifier, although his 2020 appearance was canceled. Also bringing extensive experience back to the lineup are 165-pounder Tanner Cook (two-time NCAA qualifier) and 174-pounder Cade DeVos (three-time NCAA qualifier).

View exclusive subscriber content with The Guillotine Subscription. Current subscribers log in.

Pioneers Focused on Building Strong Team Culture

Returning National Qualifier Christian Kirchner Leads Northland

By Matt Krumrie

The Northland Community & Technical College wrestling team has a diverse lineup that features wrestlers from Minnesota, North Dakota, Maryland, Florida, and Hawaii. That helps bring a unique mix of wrestling styles and personalities to the Pioneers wrestling room and is a big reason why head coach Brandon Ballard is looking to continue the strong tradition of success at NCTC heading into the 2023-2024 wrestling season.

Ballard is in his second year as head coach of the Thief River Falls-based NJCAA program.

"We have high expectations for this team going into year two," said Ballard. "We have a great mix of local and out of state kids. Two athletes from Florida and another two from Hawaii. This team is very young but should still find plenty of success. Northland has the possibility to fill a full lineup this season. The camaraderie we have on this team is extremely rare. The family atmosphere will help lead us to success."

View exclusive subscriber content with The Guillotine Subscription. Current subscribers log in.

Huskies Aim For National Title in 2023-24

St. Cloud State Returns National Champion Novak and All-Americans Njos, Herrera, and Murphy

By Matt Krumrie

St. Cloud State University wrestling coach Steve Costanzo and staff were happy - but not satisfied - with last year's third-place finish at the 2023 NCAA DII national tournament. The team sent six wrestlers to the national tournament but came away with four All-Americans, two national finalists, and a national champion. The top-five national finish was the 16th top-five national finish in program history.

That's an impressive performance for any team, even more impressive with only six qualifiers. To reach the team goal of a national championship this season, the Huskies will need to qualify more wrestlers who can help the perennial powerhouse score more points to compete for a national championship. St. Cloud State has won five national titles under Costanzo, the most recent coming in 2021. The Huskies have also earned a top-four NCAA finish in eight straight tournaments and 11 of the last 12 held.

"We will have a few new faces in the lineup this season and if we can get it right by putting the right guys in at the right weights, we have a chance to be in the mix at the NCAA Championships," said Costanzo.

View exclusive subscriber content with The Guillotine Subscription. Current subscribers log in.

New Coach Sprenger Sees Untapped Potential in Auggies

Strong Returners, Promising Newcomers Fuel Augsburg Optimism

By Matt Krumrie

Untapped potential.

That's how first-year Augsburg University women's wrestling coach Ali Sprenger sees her team going into the 2023-2024 season.

"Many athletes could have a breakout year," said Sprenger. "We have athletes who missed making it to nationals who can be all-Americans, athletes who made it to nationals who will be top-place winners, and first-year athletes who will turn some heads and make the national podium."

Sprenger comes to Augsburg with a long list of credentials as a competitor, coach, and familiar face to the Minnesota wrestling scene. A two-time Olympian and five-time collegiate national champion from New Ulm, Sprenger replaces Jake Short, who resigned after spending two seasons as the program's head coach. Sprenger (nee Bernard) competed in women's wrestling at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, finishing in fifth place in the 72-kilogram (158.5-pound) weight class. She won a bronze medal at 72 kg at the 2011 FILA World Championships and also competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England, finishing in a tie for 13th place in the 72 kg class. She also has extensive University wrestling and coaching experience in Canada, and prior to coming to Augsburg, she was heavily involved in Minnesota/USA Wrestling.

View exclusive subscriber content with The Guillotine Subscription. Current subscribers log in.

Vikings Gear Up for an Unforgettable Season

Minnesota North College - Itasca Aims to Finish Top 15 in the Country and Repeat as Team Academic National Champions

By Matt Krumrie

Incredibly promising. That's one way head coach Joseph Umlauf describes the season outlook for the 2023-2024 Minnesota North College - Itasca wrestling team.

The school has a new name, rebranding after formerly being called Itasca Community College.

But they still have the same energetic and determined coach in Umlauf and a roster full of equally motivated and enthusiastic wrestlers.

View exclusive subscriber content with The Guillotine Subscription. Current subscribers log in.

Johnnies Poised for Improvement This Season

Saint John's Returns 10 Starters, Add 20 Newcomers for 2023-24

By Matt Krumrie

There is reason for optimism with the Saint John's University wrestling program heading into the 2023-2024 season. Head coach Kevin Schlitz enters his eighth season as head coach with a team that returns ten starters and another 20 newcomers. With a roster of nearly 40 wrestlers, Schlitz is excited to have a strong mix of experience and talented newcomers ready to battle it out in the SJU wrestling room.

The additional depth and talent in the room should help the team improve on last year's results, where the Johnnies went 0-2 in dual meets and finished 18th out of 19 teams at the NCAA Division III Upper Midwest Regional.

"I expect to improve on last year," said Schlitz. "We lost two close duals last year, with injuries forcing an open weight or two. We have our bases covered this year to fill the weights even with injuries. New team members are eager to win starting spots to push the returners. We will be much improved over last year."

View exclusive subscriber content with The Guillotine Subscription. Current subscribers log in.