Womens Wrestling Begins the Season Ranked 18
Angie Leno, staff writer
Although it is one of only two women’s wrestling programs in Minnesota, the Augsburg womens wrestling team is looking to keep their national ranking going into this season. Last year the Augsburg womens wrestling team finished 3rd out of 12 teams regionally and 5th out of the 30 national division three teams that have womens wrestling programs. Augsburg had a solid 7-2 dual record.
If you take a glimpse at an Augsburg womens wrestling practice, you’ll notice the team is looking a bit different this year. The roster has decreased from 20 wrestlers in the 2022-2023 season to 12 wrestlers for this season. Augsburg lost 2023 national champion Marlynne Deede to the transfer portal. Also no longer on the roster is 2023 national champion Katie Lange. New Head Coach Ali Sprenger also contributes to Augsburg’s different look. Coach Sprenger started with the program in mid July and is more than qualified for the job as a two-time Olympian and five-time collegiate national champion. She competed in the Summer Olympics in 2008 in Beijing and 2012 in London. Sprenger also has coaching experience dating back to 2009.
Despite some changes to the program, Augsburg is starting their fifth season ranked number 18 nationally out of the 50 division three schools that have womens wrestling teams.
A wrestler to watch is junior Nina Makem. She placed fifth at the 2023 NCWWC national meet in the 136 pound weight class. Makem placed third at the USA wrestling womens nationals in the 76 kilogram weight class and finished the season with a fantastic 27-6 record. A newcomer to watch is first year Aleka London. She is a dual-sport collegiate athlete who competes in both cross country and wrestling. As the cross country season wraps up, it’s fair to say that she’ll be in great shape going into wrestling. London will be competing in the 136 pound weight class. Another great addition to the team is first year Gigi Gammell. Gammell will wrestle in the 101 pound weight class. Last year, Augsburg suffered multiple forfeits at the 101 weight class because they didn’t have a wrestler at that weight, resulting in an automatic six points to the opponent in a dual meet. Gammell will ensure that Augsburg isn’t leaving team points for the taking in dual meets.
The Auggies will start their season on Nov. 4 at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Open. Auggie fans are encouraged to attend the womens wrestling team’s first home dual on Nov. 28 against unranked Buena Vista University in Si Melby Hall.