Former Bison Hayden Zillmer Wins First Senior Nationals Title, Qualifies for U.S. Olympic Trials

FORT WORTH, Texas – Former North Dakota State All-American Hayden Zillmer representing Gopher WC RTC won his first USA Wrestling Senior Nationals freestyle championship at 97 kg on Dec. 22.

Zillmer, a native of Crosby, Minn. (Crosby-Ironton HS), has qualified for the 2020 U.S Olympic Team Trials for wrestling at Penn State in April.

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Zillmer wins Senior National title

Gopher Wrestling Club/Minnesota Storm wrestler Hayden Zillmer won the 97 kg Freestyle Senior National Championship today in Fort Worth, Texas.

Zillmer got on the board first in his finals match with a head-pinch exposure for two-points, but Ohio RTC wrestler Kollin Moore came back and scored the next ten points on an exposure, two takedowns, and two leg-lace turns. Trailing 10-2 with 1:35 left in the match, Zillmer scored four points on a feet-to-back throw to make it 10-6. With :32 left, Zillmer got a takedown and went right into a gut-wrench to tie the match on the scoreboard at 10-10. Zillmer’s four-point move gave him criteria, and with :20 left on their feet, Zillmer fended off Moore’s last attacks to take the match.

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Augsburg’s Emily Shilson qualifies for Olympic women’s wrestling trials

FORT WORTH, Texas — Augsburg University women’s wrestler Emily Shilson (FY, Maple Grove, Minn./Mounds View HS) qualified for the United States Olympic Trials with a fourth-place finish in the 50-kilogram weight class at the USA Wrestling Senior Nationals, held on Friday and Saturday at the Fort Worth Convention Center.

Shilson went 4-2 on the weekend, with all four of her wins coming by technical falls (superior decisions). Her lone two losses came to the top two seeds in the field — to tournament runner-up and current Team USA member Victoria Anthony 2-0 in the semifinals, and to three-time All-American for Jamestown (N.D.) and current Team USA member Amy Fearnside, 6-4 in the third-place match. Five of the six wrestlers Shilson faced over the weekend ended up placing in the top eight in the field.

She will now qualify to compete for a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics at the U.S. Olympic Trials, which will be held on April 4-5 at Penn State University in University Park, Pa.

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Augsburg alums Fuenffinger, Longendyke qualify for Olympic Trials

FORT WORTH, Texas — Augsburg University men’s wrestling alumni Leslie (Mike) Fuenffinger ’15 and Donny Longendyke ’17 qualified for the United States Olympic Trials with top-five finishes in Greco-Roman action at the USA Wrestling Senior Nationals, held on Friday and Saturday at the Fort Worth Convention Center.

Fuenffinger, competing for the U.S. Army’s World Class Athlete Program, won the 60 kilogram (132 pound) Senior National title, while Longendyke, competing for the Minnesota Storm, finished fifth in the 130 kg (287 pound) class. With their top-five finishes, they both qualified to compete for a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics at the U.S. Olympic Trials, which will be held on April 4-5 at Penn State University in University Park, Pa.

Fuenffinger, a two-time NCAA Division III individual national champion and three-time All-American during his Augsburg career, is a specialist in the U.S. Army, and is part of the Army’s World Class Athlete Program (WCAP), based in Colorado Springs, Colo. Fuenffinger win the U.S. Open title in the 60 kg (132 pounds) weight class in Las Vegas, Nev., in April., and finished second in the Final X competition in Lincoln, Neb., in June, for the Team USA spot on the World Wrestling Championships roster.

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Four Augsburg wrestlers to compete at U.S. Senior Nationals/Olympic Trials Qualifier this weekend

FORT WORTH, Texas — Four Augsburg University women’s wrestlers will pursue their dreams of competing in the Olympic games this weekend at the USA Wrestling Senior Nationals/Olympic Trials Qualifier, to be held at the Fort Worth Convention Center.

Emily Shilson (FY, Maple Grove, Minn./Osseo HS), Vayle-Rae Baker (FY, Benton, Pa./Wyoming Seminary), Gabby Skidmore (FY, Spooner, Wis./Cumberland HS) and Marlynne Deede (FY, Springville, Utah/Springville HS) will compete at the Senior Nationals, which also serves as a qualifying meet for the U.S. Olympic Trials for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The top five finishers in each weight class at this weekend’s Senior Nationals will qualify for the Olympic Trials, which will be held on April 4-5 at Penn State University in University Park, Pa.

Shilson, the top-ranked wrestler in the latest National Wrestling Coaches Association NCAA individual national rankings and the Women’s Wrestling Coaches Association individual national rankings at 109 pounds, was listed at No. 5 on the pre-seed list for the Senior Nationals at 50 kilograms (110 pounds), the lone Auggie among the top-six pre-seeds in each weight class.

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Gopher Wrestling Club to send ten to Fort Worth for Senior Nationals

The Gopher Wrestling Club Regional Training Center will be well represented as ten freestyle athletes are set to compete at this weekend’s Senior Nationals/Olympic Team Trials Qualifier in Fort Worth, Texas.

Eight Gopher Wrestling Club athletes earned pre-seeds heading into the event. Top-seeded wrestlers for the club are Nazar Kulchytskyy at 74kg and Tony Nelson at 125kg. Hayden Zillmer is seeded #2 at 97kg. Other freestyle wrestlers receiving pre-seeds are Zach Sanders – #8 at 57kg, Brett Pfarr – #8 at 86kg, Sean Russell – #9 at 57kg, Dylan Ness – #11 at 74kg, and Jayson Ness – #12 at 65kg. Non-seeded Gopher Wrestling Club wrestlers are Daniel Deshazer at 57kg and Elroy Perkin at 74kg. Men’s Freestyle competes on Saturday and Sunday.

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Augsburg’s Shilson competing at U23 World Championships in Hungary

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY — Augsburg University women’s wrestler Emily Shilson (FY, Maple Grove, Minn./Mounds View HS) is competing for Team USA at the United World Wrestling Under-23 World Championships this week.

The 2018 UWW Cadet World titlist and 2018 Youth Olympic Games champion at 43 kilograms (95 pounds), Shilson won the title at the 2019 UWW U23 Women’s National Championships at 50 kilograms (110 pounds) to qualify to represent the United States at the U23 World Championships in Hungary.

Shilson received a tough draw in her opening match in the round of 32 on Wednesday, having to face 2017 UWW Junior World champion and 2012 and 2014 Cadet World champion Kita Kagata of Japan. According to a match report from Kyle Klingman of Trackwrestling, Shilson surrendered a takedown, then scored a point on a step out and took a 3-2 lead on a takedown. But Kagata then used two takedowns and a turn to claim an 8-3 victory over Shilson. With Kagata reaching the finals after winning her semifinal match, Shilson will now be pulled into the repechage round on Thursday.

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