Augustana’s Rohman seeking NCAA Division II national wrestling crown

NATIONAL RUNNER-UP — Augustana University wrestler Jaxson Rohman (right) prepares to tie up with a collegiate opponent during regular-season grappling action in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Rohman, the Martin County Red Bulls’ all-time career wins leader during his high school career, returns to the NCAA Division II wrestling canvas this winter. Rohman, who captured All-American honors via his second-place showing at the national tournament, has his sights set on capturing an NCAA Division II national crown during his current junior season. (Photo courtesy of Augustana University)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Former Martin County Red Bulls wrestling standout Jaxson Rohman has his eyes set on an NCAA Division II wrestling national title.

Rohman, a junior on the Augustana University wrestling squad, is fully aware of how difficult it will be to complete his goal after finishing as a runner-up at last year’s national competition.

Rohman reached the pinnacle of high school wrestling when he was just a freshman at Martin County West by winning the Class AA state tournament.

He figured he would keep winning state since he did it as a freshman, but even with all the hard work he put into his craft, he won state one more as a senior.

“Winning the state tournament as a freshman (in high school) showed me I was good enough to compete at a really high level,” Rohman said. “The next couple of years were kind of a let-down, but then again my senior year it kind of put me up on a pedestal.”

In his six years competing at the high school varsity level, Rohman amassed a staggering 264 total wins and earned all-state individual accolades by claiming medalist honors — via top-six showings — in all six of his seasons qualifying for the postseason tournament.

Before reaching the high school level, Rohman fell in love with the sport as a kid.

“I got into it mostly because of my family,” Rohman said. “When all of your uncles and your grandpa wrestled and found success, it inspires you to go out and give it a shot.”

After completing his four years for the Red Bulls — a co-operative program between Martin County West and Fairmont high schools, Rohman chose to attend Augustana University to continue wrestling and his education. Just like most college freshman, the transition from high school isn’t always seamless and the same applies for student-athletes.

“College is tough.Everyone you wrestle is difficult. In high school you might see five guys until the state playoffs who are good where as in college you have to work on your skills and be proficient at all three levels if you want to win each match,” Rohman said.

In high school, Rohman started out wrestling at 106 pounds, but as he matured and moved on to the college level, he as moved up in weight classes as well.

When it comes to combat sports, many athletes inevitably face the challenge of cutting weight for matches. This never proved to be an obstacle for Rohman until he got to college.

He currently is competing in the 125-pound division and in order to do so, he must shed weight before he competes each time.

Clearly cutting weight hasn’t slowed Rohman down as he finished his sophomore season at Augustana as the Division II national runner-up, claimed Division II All-American honors and proved a NWCA Scholar All-American.

He compiled an 18-6 overall record, including going 13-4 in duals as well as 2-1 against Division I opponents. Rohman also won the Jimmie Open and logged 56 takedowns, two major decisions, one technical fall and five falls.

The Augustana Vikings’ wrestling season recently got underway and there are a few programs Rohman is eagerly awaiting matches with.

“I’m excited to wrestle against Wisconsin-Parkside, St. Cloud and Augsburg,” Rohman said. “I am really looking forward to Augsburg though because some of my former high school teammates compete for them.”

Of course, like in any other sport, Rohman has to always look for ways to improve his skills and find an edge. This offseason, Rohman placed a heavy emphasis on sharpening his ability to wrestle his opponent from the bottom position.

When it comes to goals for the new season, there is really only one for Rohman, win the Division II national championship. While that is a lofty accomplishment and one he has already come so close to achieving, Rohman recognizes there is more to life than wrestling.

“Obviously I want to get back to the national finals and win,” Rohman said. “That’s my goal, it would be a pretty amazing feeling, and I know if I don’t win the title or make it as an All-American this season, I’d be disappointed, but I know that even if I don’t win I will still have God and my family to support me and I will just have to work even harder for another shot next year.”


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