Russi wins NJCAA All-American award

The men’s’ wrestling season for the Wolves was forgotten by some as the team stayed quiet most of the spring semester because of COVID-19 restrictions.

After the cancellation of last season because of COVID-19, head coach A.J. Blahut had to wait an extended amount of time to get his men ready for the 2021 season.

Blahut and his team were finally given the go-ahead to get back to practicing, and at the same time they were given permission to compete at the National Junior College Athletic Association’s national tournament last month.

Not having a single regular season match and only having 19 days to prepare, Blahut and his team wasted no time getting to work.

Some players felt that 19 days was not enough time for preparation ahead of the tournament and chose not to participate. That was not the case for freshman Andres Russi.

The 125-pound wrestler captured an NJCAA All-American award, along with placing seventh in his weight class at the national tournament in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on April 21-22.

After losing his first match of the tournament, which knocked him out of the placement bracket, he decided his day wasn’t done yet.

Russi made it back into the placement tournament winning four matches in a row. In the second day of the tournament, he placed seventh in the nation at his weight class with an overall record of 5-2

Russi was the second player to earn a NJCAA All-American award under Blahut in his four years as Wolves’ coach.