EDITOR'S NOTE: The Swnews4u.com Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.
Tristian Steldt, 160 pounds, Fennimore wrestling/Team Wisconsin
FARGO, N.D. — A year ago Fennimore's Tristan Steldt was recovering from a torn ACL suffered during Fennimore's 2021 Alternate Spring football season.
Steldt returned midway through the WIAA season this past winter to qualify for the WIAA State Tournament and help Fennimore win the WIAA Team Wrestling Division 3 state title.
Last week, Steldt wrestled his way to a national championship at the U.S. Marines Corps USA Wrestling Junior and U16 National Championships in Fargo, N.D. July 15–22.
The US National Wrestling Championships, commonly referred to as Fargo nationals, feature the nation’s top-ranked wrestlers as they pursue a top-8 finish to earn an All-American status. The event also serves a recruiting expo, providing an opportunity for college coaches from across the nation to see how athletes compete against the best athletes in the country.
It is an honor for each a state to have multiple wrestlers earn All-American status.
Tiny little Fennimore, home to a population of just 2,495, earned five All-American honors alone for Team Wisconsin, and sophomore-to-be Tristan Steldt led the way by winning the 16U 160-pound Greco–Roman national championship.
Steldt finished 6–0 in the Greco–Roman championships and pinned Angelo Posada of California in the finals. He was able to execute a headlock to pin Posada in less than a minute in the championship. He had several battles on his way to the finals, including a wild 16–13 victory with Cael Weldemoyer from Pennsylvania in the round of 16.
Steldt was interviewed at a press conference following his National Championship.
“I was not as confident coming in as I should have been, but now I know I can compete with the top guys in the country,” said Steldt.
Team Wisconsin had five wrestlers make it to the finals.
Fennimore wrestling head coach Chad Steldt, who is also Tristan’s father, was obviously proud of Tristan’s performance both as a coach and dad.
“Last year he was recovering from knee surgery that took nine months to recover,” said coach Steldt. “Fargo 2022 was his motivation. Between freestyle and Greco–Roman, he finished 11–2 as a 15-year-old against the top guys in the country. I’m glad to see him competing at a high level.”
Nutter secured 16U All-American honors by winning six straight matches, while outscoring his opponents 57–3 to earn a spot in the Greco-Roman finals at 120 pounds, before losing to Kentucky’s Jordyn Raney, 6–3, in the 120-pound title bout to finish second.