Former NDSU All-American Stensgard Wins Gold at Veterans World Championships
Release: September 20, 2012
Former North Dakota State All-American and assistant wrestling coach Gregg Stensgard claimed a gold medal at 85 kg in Div. D (51 - 55 years old) in Greco-Roman at the Veterans World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, on Wednesday, Sept. 19.
A Fargo native, Stensgard wrestled for the Bison from 1977-82. He earned All-American honors with a fourth-place national finish at 167 pounds in 1982 and proceeded to serve 12 years as an assistant coach for the Bison. Stensgard still ranks No. 9 in NDSU history with 98 career victories.
Stensgard won four matches on the way to the title, defeating Hehadziv Rudziak of Belarus in the finals.
Stensgard had his toughest two bouts right off the bat, beating past Veterans World champion Wilhelm Schroeder of Germany in the first round, then stopping Ari Markola of Sweden in the quarterfinals. His semifinal win was over Endel Uppin of Estonia.
"I wanted to hear our national anthem played," said Stensgard. "It is like achieving a childhood dream. I have been close a few times. This is very gratifying."
Stensgard joins a short list of U.S. Greco-Roman wrestlers who have won World Veterans titles, joining California natives Valentin Kalika and Ronald Hughes as Veterans champions in the style.
"That's why I trained so hard in Greco-Roman. I didn't put in nearly the amount of time in freestyle. I know it hasn't been done often. I wanted to be one of the Americans who did it. I look all beat up right now. I look like I have been in a fight, but it is one that I won," said Stensgard.
Last year, Stensgard won a silver medal in Greco-Roman at the Veterans World Championships. He also won a bronze medal at the 2008 Veterans Worlds in Greco-Roman. He is also entered in the freestyle competition later in the week.