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Jeff Kolpack, Published November 26 2012

NDSU wrestling boasts No.4-ranked recruiting class

FARGO – Last week, it was being ranked for the first time in the Division I top 25 poll. This week: The revelation that North Dakota State had one of the top wrestling recruiting classes in the country, according to one publication.

Amateur Wrestling News rated NDSU’s incoming class for next season No. 4 behind Missouri, Pittsburgh and Michigan and ahead of Minnesota and South Dakota State.

“We believe this is one of our most talented classes ever,” said Bison head coach Roger Kish.

The list includes five wrestlers who are nationally ranked, 10 state titles and six state runner-up finishes.

For instance, Mitch Bengston from St. Cloud Apollo High School already has the longest winning streak in Minnesota state history with 179. His career record of 221-6 includes four defeats when he was a seventh-grader.

He is also a USA Wrestling Greco-Roman All-American. WIN Magazine has Bengston rated the No. 3 prep wrestler in the country at 138 pounds.

His teammate, Grant Nehring, is the defending Class 3A state champion at 138. Kyle Gliva is a two-time Minnesota state champion at Inver Grove Heights and Cole Sladek from St. Michael-Albertville won a Cadet folkstyle national title in 2010.

Tommy Petersen of Lakeville, Minn., is the defending champ at 195 and has a No. 15 national prep ranking.

In North Dakota, Fargo North’s Tommy Walton and West Fargo’s Preston Lehmann are defending state champions. Lehmann is ranked second in the country by WIN at 182. Walton was a Cadet Greco-Roman All-American in 2011.

WIN has Clayton Ream of Wentzville, Mo., as the seventh-ranked wrestler at 152. He was a Junior folkstyle national champion last summer.

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Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found

at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia