photo courtesy of Augustana athletics
Another long-time NCAA Division II program led by an alumni National Champion head coach, the Augustana Vikings have sent 12 to the top of the podium in program history. In a storied history in NCAA Division II, the Vikings have finished as team national runners-up three times, third once, and fourth twice, but have never won a title as a team. Augustana is currently led by former Viking Jason Reitmeier, who won the 142 lb National Championship in 1997 and was also an All-American for Augustana in 1996.
The Vikings, who will leave Division II for a move to NCAA Division I after the 2020-21 season, were the hosts of the 2020 NCAA Division II National Championships, with three Augustana wrestlers representing the program in their home city of Sioux Falls. Of those three, two will return for next season, with Viking 141 Hunter Burnett coming off of an All-American honor from the NWCA. Heavyweight Steven Hajas also returns for Reitmeier’s team, which has eight starters coming back for next season with 2020 All-American 174 Ben Kelvington lost to graduation.
In addition to the three National Qualifiers, three more Vikings placed just a spot out of going to the NCAA Division II National Championships. Two of those three also return, with Reitmeier’s lineup bringing a wealth of experience into next season. With five Vikings coming off of redshirt, and another handful of incoming recruits from Minnesota and Illinois, Augustana’s roster will look to number around 30 for next season.