Panther Train returns three All-Americans

Back to Article
Back to Article

Panther Train returns three All-Americans




FRANK WALSH, Sports Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Dropping temperatures often herald the start of the holiday season. It also marks the start of another season—college wrestling.

The Panthers will take their first steps towards a coveted national title. This year’s roster is filled with promising hopefuls. The last wrestler to win an individual national championship for the UNI wrestling team was Tony Davis in 2000 when he defeated the University of Illinois’ Adam Tirapelle in overtime.

Returning All-Americans Drew Foster, Max Thomsen and Jacob Holschlag all have their sights on March’s national championships in Pittsburgh and look to end that 18-year drought.

Foster, a senior, was a walk-on wrestler and entered his college career with no state titles out of high school. He is well-known for surprising his opponents with his quickness and explosive attacks on his feet and is very fast-paced to the surprise of his opponents.

Foster stepped onto the national stage at the 2017 NCAA Championships in St. Louis by making it onto the All-American podium at the national level. In 2018 he was able to win the Big 12 Conference title at 184 pounds but was unable to achieve All-American status. Foster is ready to end his senior year on a good note and has walked into every practice with this attitude.

“I want to find more enjoyment in wrestling,” he said. “I will approach every practice as if my little brother is watching and hustle through every second in every match.”

Holschlag, entering his junior year, is described as a hardworking guy with determination in his eyes. Originally a 174-pound athlete, he was moved up to 197 after a fellow teammate got injured during his freshman year.

Holschlag is undersized, but his wrestling moves on top are very hard to stop while he forces opponents to surrender.

His favorite wrestling move: “the power half,” which forces his opponents to give up back points. 

At the 2017 NCAA Championships, Holschlag went 0-2, motivating him going into 2018 season. 2018 saw him earn his first All-American honor with a fifth place in Cleveland. This upcoming season, Holschlag has a plan and wants to stay as healthy as possible.

“I will be wrestling smarter,” he said. “I plan on refraining from injury so I can start this season healthy and ready to go.”

Thomsen, another returning All-American, placed fifth at the 2017 NCAA Championships at 149-pounds. “I want to focus on the mental aspect of the sport and wrestle smart,” he said.

The junior is known for his fierceness on the mat and his never-quit-attitude. He isn’t afraid to score on his favorite move, which is the single leg takedown, where he will not let go until he scores. One of the things he admits he needs to work on is getting out on bottom quicker. He believes if can get out on bottom fast and score quickly on his feet he can win a national title.

The Panthers will open this year’s wrestling season at the Harold Nichols Open at Iowa State University. UNI will host their first home dual meet against Cornell University on Sunday, Dec. 16 in the West Gym and they want fellow students to be there. They will also be facing the Air Force Falcons, Northern Colorado Bears and the Oklahoma Sooners at home later in the season.

The Big 12 Championships will be held in Tulsa, OK, hosted by the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email