Sports, St. Cloud State — March 14, 2018 at 4:22 pm

A Program of Excellence: St. Cloud State Wrestling

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The St. Cloud State Wrestling team spent their spring break differently than most students do; by competing for a national title.

The Huskies made the trek down to Cedar Rapids, Iowa over the weekend to compete in the NCAA Division II Wrestling Championship, and they didn’t come home empty handed.

The team brought home their third national title in four years, after taking second place at the championship last year in Alabama.

The celebration did not end once the team returned to St. Cloud, but they were just beginning. The University hosted a celebration reception for the team in Atwood this afternoon. The event was attended by faculty, staff, and other students in the main lounge area.

The coaches and student athletes all had their turn at the podium to express what a ride this year has been.

“As one of seventeen athletic programs here at St. Cloud State University, we are thankful to the University for their support and sponsoring of the sport of wrestling.” said Head Coach Steve Costanzo.

The reputation this program holds extends far beyond the St. Cloud area.

“I began to get a feel for some of the other programs [at Nationals] and without question this is a program of class, it is a program of integrity, it is a program where the sport is bigger than one person and that is very special and a tribute to Steve [Costanzo] and his coaches.” said SCSU Athletic Director Heather Weems.

With all of the success that the program has seen, some may argue that winning may lose its significance, but a senior on the team thinks the opposite.

“The third time to actually be one of the starters and one of the guys on the mat for the National Tournament, knowing that I contributed and helped put some of those points on the board was a little different feeling, but better.” said SCSU wrestler Jarred Oftedahl.

Everyone has their own opinion on sports, and one member of the team shared a bold statement about what wrestling means to him.

“Wrestling is the world’s oldest and the world’s greatest sport” said Costanzo.

Wrestling is a sport that doesn’t focus purely on an individual, but the entire team. However, there is one member of the St. Cloud State wrestling team that has shined throughout his career, and has made an impact on the lives of the people he has come into contact with.

“There used to be a commercial ‘if I could be like Mike’ [there was a] particular young man who now coaches at an opposing school told Holly Schreiner [SCSU Compliance Director] his goal in life is to be like Steve Costanzo” said Weems.

The St. Cloud State wrestling team finished the 2017-18 season with a 19-0 overall record, 8-0 in the conference, and earned their third NCAA Division II title in the past four years.

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