Editor’s Note: Welcome to Bison Illustrated’s 2014-15 Yearbook! Tuesday, we’ll be releasing our highlights from the wrestling and volleyball season.
“They’ve put themselves on the national scene in great form and we’re just really proud that we got a group of guys that are able to compete and perform at a high level and know that they’re here to work hard and train and have success. That’s an important piece for us knowing that we have the right kids in the room and we’re ready to move forward.”
For the first time in program history, the Bison had two wrestlers earn Division I All-American honors. Senior Kurtis Julson (eighth) and junior Hayden Zillmer (sixth) added their names to the elite list of Bison wrestlers to ever achieve college wrestling’s highest honor. It was also the third year in a row the Bison placed a wrestler on the All-American list.
After losing his first match of the NCAA Championships, the Western Wrestling Conference Wrestler of the Year Hayden Zillmer won five-straight wrestlebacks becoming one of the two All-Americans for the Bison. In his first season at the 184-pound weight division, Zillmer finished the season with a record of 36-7 and was 13-0 in duals.
The Future Is Now
The 125-pound sophomore Josh Rodriguez overcame an early-season knee injury to win his weight division in the Western Wrestling Conference championships and earn his first trip to the NCAA Championships. Rodriguez lost his first match by a point and then battled his way back to finish the tournament 2-2 and one match away from qualifying as an All-American.
Chew on This
The wrestling team set a school record by sending six wrestlers to the NCAA Championships. Senior Evan Knutson made his third trip to the NCAAs, Kurtis Julson and Hayden Zillmer made their second trip while sophomore Josh Rodriguez and freshmen Mitch Bengston and Clay Ream earned their first trip to the NCAA Championships.