CIHS students celebrate Tony Nelson’s national wrestling title

By Elizabeth Sias

Tony Nelson wrestles with Todd Champion in a fun exhibition match during the April 27 celebration. Photos by Elizabeth Sias

The cheers of Cambridge-Isanti High School students filled the gymnasium Friday afternoon for class of 2009 graduate Tony Nelson.

The pep fest was held to celebrate Nelson’s national wrestling championship won for the U of M Golden Gophers.

Nelson is a former class valedictorian, three-sport athlete in football, wrestling and golf, state high school champion in wrestling and 2009 Bluejacket graduate.

Speaking on Friday was Cambridge Mayor Marlys Palmer, who proclaimed April 27, 2012, as “Tony Nelson Day” in the city of Cambridge.

Tony Nelson spoke to students about working hard and sticking to their goals.

U of M Coach Luke Becker also spoke to students, encouraging them to stay focused.

“If you’re willing to outwork, no matter what it is—whether it’s your career, academics—whatever it is, if you’re willing outwork everybody else, then you can have great success,” he said. “That’s what Tony’s been able to do.”

Students then watched as Nelson competed in a wrestling match with current CIHS student Todd Champion and was overtaken.

Nelson said writing down his goals each year has helped him work hard and stay on track to success.

Tony Nelson and Todd Champion high five after their match.

“You’ve got to have something to look forward to,” he said. “You’ve got to see it; you can’t just think it in your head. You’ve got to write something down so you can look at it every day. In everything you do, you have to give 100 percent. Give it all you’ve got. Hard work is going to bring you far.”

After the pep fest, Nelson and Becker signed autographs and a Tony Nelson ‘Meet and Greet’ was held at Cambridge Pizza Hut that night.