Every year, Tony Nelson writes his goals for the upcoming year. So far in his wrestling career, he has been able to check a lot of boxes. In high school, Nelson was a two-time Minnesota state champion. He finished his senior year a national champion in the 215-pound class. In addition to his impressive 141-18 record, Nelson was also recognized as a valuable defensive end and linebacker for the Cambridge-Isanti High School football team, named the 2008 Mississippi Eight Conference Linebacker of the Year.
In college, Nelson chose to focus his athletic talents on wrestling, where he represented the University of Minnesota in a big way. Some of Nelson’s crowning achievements include being a two-time NCAA Heavyweight Champion in the 2012 and 2013 seasons and a three-time finalist in the 2012, 2013, and 2014 seasons. Nelson’s overall record of 120-15 in the maroon and gold is an outstanding achievement, but knowing that Nelson was able to accomplish it while pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering is all the more stupefying. Nelson graduated from the U of M in May 2014. He is now pivoting to the international stage.
Needless to say the Minnesota Storm is fired up about the skills and talent Nelson brings to the team. When asked how it feels to check that box after a goal has been made, Nelson responds, “it’s really good. It’s rewarding. But, it’s almost, in a way, unsettling, because then you have to make a new, bigger goal.” We can’t wait to see what he writes down next.
High school wrestling highlights:
- MSHSL state champion (2009)
- MSHSL runner-up (2008)
- MSHSL third place (2007)
College wrestling highlights:
- 2-time NCAA D1 national champion (2012, 2013),
- 3-time NCAA D1 national finalist (2012, 2013, 2014)
- 4-time NCAA D1 all American (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
Freestyle wrestling highlights:
- 2015 U.S. Open National Championships All-American (4th)
- 2015 NYAC Bill Farrell International bronze medalist (New York City)
- 2015 U.S. Open National Championships All-American (8th)
- 2015 Dave Schultz Memorial International bronze medalist
- 2012 University World Team Member
- 2012 University World Championships (5th)
- 2009 Freestyle Junior National Champion in Fargo