Devin Winston wasn’t quite sure how to explain the position he is in.
“It is awesome,” the Minnesota signee said about going to a D-I school. “Whenever you start wrestling, going to a D-I and having as much success as you can is the dream. I’m ranked No. 1 in the nation and going to Minnesota. I can’t put it into words. It doesn’t feel real. It is a dream come true.”
At one point, Winston, who claimed a state title on Saturday, Feb. 16 in Columbia, was bound for North Carolina. But Winston ultimately changed course in the fall.
“I had talks with my coaches, my teammates and my parents as well,” he said. “After many weeks of discussing, after I took the visit, we decided Minnesota was the best place for us. I’m really excited for what the future has in store for me.”
Minnesota assistant coach Trevor Brandvold applauded Winston’s ability.
“Devin has won at every level of wrestling,” Brandvold said in a press release. “He’s a competitor that is a nightmare matchup for his opponents because he can level change, scramble and is a tough rider with incredible length.
“Landing a recruit like Devin Winston is another big step for our program in getting back to the top of NCAA wrestling.”
The Park Hill senior is certainly is proud of the strong high school program he comes from.
“It motivates you to want to be the best to come out of your high school and that is what pushed me,” he said. “Ke-Shawn (Hayes at Ohio State) and Alan (Waters, who went to Missouri). Alan is why I wanted to chase four (state titles) and when I lost my freshman year, he is why I wanted three and after my junior year, that is why I wanted two. It pushes me every day to see those names on the wall and the All-American board.”
Before moving on to the college ranks, Winston will compete in an elite wrestling showcase for top prep wrestlers in the country.
Winston was selected to the 2019 USA All-Star Team with 13 others as part of the Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic.
Winston and his team will take on Team Pennsylvania at the one-day annual event at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 15 inside Fitzgerald Field House, home of the University of Pittsburgh.
ON THE MOVE
Landry Shamet, a Park Hill graduate, has a new home in the NBA.
The Philadelphia 76ers traded Shamet and others to the Los Angeles Clippers in a deal ahead of the NBA trade deadline on Wednesday, Feb. 6.
The 76ers also shipped Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala and two future second-round draft picks to L.A, who sent Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott to Philadelphia.
Shamet, who played collegiately at Wichita State, is averaging 8.6 points per game in 57 games played during the current season.
Kevin Schultz, of Platte County High School, had a standout individual performance to help the Northwest Missouri State men’s squad to a second-place finish at the MIAA Championships Feb. 22-24 in Maryville.
Schultz claimed conference titles in the heptathlon and high jump and was the third leg of the Bearcats’ 4X400 relay victory. He collected 22 ½ points to earn the league’s high-point scorer award.
Schultz opened the meet with a first-place finish in the heptathlon, collecting 5,309 points. He finished 99 points ahead of second-place finisher Trey Miller of Central Missouri.
Schultz, a two-time MIAA athlete of the week this season, jumped over 7-feet in the high jump for a fourth time during the indoor season to claim that league title. He had a series-best jump of 7-0.25.
Additionally, Schultz was a part of the Bearcats’ 3:13.28 finish in the 4X400 relay. Northwest nicked second-place Central Missouri and third-place Lincoln.
Junior Jordan Hammond, a Park Hill South graduate, took third place in the 60-meter hurdle and brok her own school record in the process in 8.57 seconds.
Schultz will compete in the NCAA Division II Indoor Championships March 8-9 in Pittsburg, Kan. in the hepthathlon, 4x400 relay and high jump.
Hammonds will compete in the women’s championship in the 60 hurdles and the penthathlon.
NILSEN JUMPS TO LEAGUE TITLE
Park Hill grad Chris Nilsen claimed a Summit League championship on Friday, Feb. 22.
South Dakota’s Nilsen cleared 18 feet, 10.25 inches to top the field and collect 10 points for the Coyotes, who finished third overall with 51 points in the men’s standings.
The clearance of 18-10.25 was a new meet record for Nilsen, a junior, and ranks him third in the NCAA.
Nilsen, who earned league field honors for clearing 18-6.75 at the Jim Emmerich Alumni Invitational on Jan. 19, will compete in the NCAA Championships March 8-9 in Birmingham, Alabama.
Platte County graduate Ethan Karsten will enter the NJCAA Wrestling National Tournament as the top seed in the 157-pound bracket.
Karsten of Iowa Central, who claimed the NJCAA Central District title on Feb. 10 with a 4-3 decision over Iowa Western’s Michael Zachary, opens nationals against Labette’s Shae Chafin on Friday, March 1.
The national tournament will take place Friday, March 1-Saturday, March 2 at Iowa Western in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
SCHMITT NATIONALLY RANKED
West Virginia sophomore Matthew Schmitt checked in at No. 13 in second installment of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Coaches’ Panel Rankings, released Feb. 14.
Schmitt, a Platte County graduate, is seeking to qualify for his second straight NCAA Championships after claiming two of his last three duals.
A 133-pounder, Schmitt topped No. 19 Cam Sykora of North Dakota State on Dec. 30. He has 13 wins on the season.