C-I’s Jennissen signs with SCSU Wrestling

Cambridge-Isanti standout wrestler Clayton Jennissen signed a national letter of intent and scholarship agreement to compete at St. Cloud State University this coming school year. Jennissen follows in the footsteps of parents Neil and Amy Jennissen who were both SCSU graduates.

Seated next to Clayton Jennissen at the April 12 Division II signing ceremony were his parents Neil and Amy Jennissen, with more C-I wrestling coaches (back l-r) Travis Fuhol, John Droubie, Jesse Jennissen and Tommy Companaro present.

“My parents are pretty excited about me going to their school– SCSU. Coach Costanzo seems like a really nice guy. I went on a visit there and liked all the guys on the team, so it just made it a pretty easy decision,” said Jennissen about his signing choice. “They could have won the national title this season except they had their senior all-star Tad Merritt break his wrist while warming up for a match.”

The Huskies are coming off a great 2012 season under head coach Steve Costanzo where they finished 2nd in the nation to the University of Nebraska-Kearney by a mere 12 points at the NCAA DII tourney. Senior Derek Skala won a national title at 184 for SCSU. Junior heavyweight Jake Kahnke finished 2nd in the nation.

Jennissen foresees wrestling at the 174 lb. weight class at college. The Huskies also signed Taylor Lewandowski from Foley last week.

“I’ve known Taylor for a really long time, and we’re actually going to be roommates, so that will be exciting,” he said.

This past weekend, Jennissen stayed sharp by wrestling at the Freestyle Junior State tourney at Augsburg College. There, he placed 3rd at 182 by going 5-1.

“I’ll just keep wrestling this summer, lift weights and be working out with (C-I Coach) Travis Fuhol,” said Jennissen on his workout plans before leaving to school. He may pursue a degree in Education as are his siblings Matt and Amanda at UMD.

“One of the things which helps adjust to college wrestling well is if they’ve done freestyle and individual tournaments on their own, where they’ve had to stand alone without familiar faces, teammates, around all the time,” said Neil Jennissen. “It’s a little bit of a struggle to fit into that grueling work ethic of college. Our program has produced several college wrestlers, so I think Clayton knows what the work is going to be like.”

Clayton finished his Bluejacket career 2nd in all-time victories behind Luke Becker with 178 wins. He was 44-4 this senior season, finishing 3rd at 182. He also brought home a 2nd-place State medal in 2011 and a 4th-place medal in 2010.

– Story & photo by Greg Hunt