South Dakota USA Wrestling all-style championships to be held in Mitchell
Dakota Wesleyan will host over 100 competitors across six different age groups of competitors in Greco-Roman, freestyle and folkstyle wrestling
MITCHELL — Mitchell and Dakota Wesleyan University will play host to the South Dakota USA Wrestling all-style championships starting on Friday, April 29, and running through Saturday, April 30.
The event is open to all wrestlers in South Dakota, with age groups ranging from 8-and-under to 18-and-under. Wrestlers will be separated by age group and weight division, with opportunities to wrestle in Greco-Roman style, freestyle and folkstyle. On-site weigh-ins begin at 3 p.m.
The event was organized by the SDUSAW state director Ray Ringstmeyer and former DWU head wrestling coach Casey Mouw to host the championships in Mitchell for the first time. Both see the event as an opportunity for a growing program like DWU to play host to an important event in the South Dakota wrestling scene.
“Giving opportunities for local area kids to wrestle in the offseason is important,” Mouw said. “Tournaments like this are important where kids have the opportunity to wrestle in a lot of matches. It’s three different styles over two days and it's a lot of exposure to different and more wrestling.”
Mouw stepped down as the DWU head coach in March but has stayed on to help facilitate the program with the transition to the new head coach, Martin Mueller. Events like these, Mouw says, are the way programs like DWU can build on the local area talent.
“It’s just another opportunity to grow the sport,” Mouw said.
According to Ringstmeyer, over 100 participants have registered, with a larger number of high-school-age kids signed up currently than the younger age groups. And while those participation numbers aren’t striking, Ringstmeyer expects the kids who do participate to be top-tier competitors.
“These are the kids taking the next step and competing in Olympic styles in the offseason,” Ringstemeyer said. “You’re going to see some high-quality competitors at this event, at all age groups.”
Events like this are vital to putting South Dakota back in the conversation of elite wrestling states, says Ringstemeyer.
“For the first time in a long time, we had zero participants in any level of the NCAA national tournament,” Ringstemeyer said. “Our NCAA qualifiers have been dwindling, and this is the kind of programming that those kids need to get into to get into the bigger tournaments.”
Registration is open through midnight on April 29 online via TrackWrestling. The folkstyle competitions will start at 6 p.m. on Friday, while Greco-Roman and freestyle competitions are on Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.