Center Grove graduate Krejsa finishes seventh at nationals


The FargoDome, located a short drive west of the North Dakota-Minnesota border, has been a lot to many people since it opened 30 years ago.

Football stadium. Concert hall. Wrestling destination.

As for the latter, the 19,000-seat facility on the campus of North Dakota State University is where Center Grove product Anna Krejsa recently earned All-American status at the USA Wrestling Junior Women’s Freestyle National Championships.

Krejsa, who graduated in the spring, was at Sioux State July 16-23 trying to claim a top-eight spot at 122 pounds.

She placed seventh out of 91 entrants in her division, winning seven of her nine matches.

“I’m very happy with what I did. It was an incredibly tough competition,” said Krejsa, who went 1-2 last summer at the same tournament as a 127-pounder. “A big, big tournament for high school students.

“Last year, I was definitely more intimidated by it. You look at the brackets and you see some familiar names and girls that are ranked in the nation.

Krejsa took the mat as 19th in the nation’s 127-pound rankings, despite wrestling in a lighter weight class at nationals. One of her victories was against the nation’s No. 3 wrestler at 122 pounds, Savannah Witt of Pennsylvania.

“To place seventh at the Women’s Nationals is a huge accomplishment,” said Center Grove wrestling coach Maurice Swain. “In high school wrestling, Fargo is one of the toughest tournaments for high schoolers in the country, if not the toughest.

“It was one of Anna’s most important goals at the start of her senior year, and she worked so tirelessly to achieve it. As a program, we are extremely proud of her.

In Fargo in midsummer, maintaining peak cardiovascular fitness isn’t usually an issue, according to Krejsa.

“It’s always very hot there and there’s a lot of walking,” she says. “It would take me 25 minutes to walk from the FargoDome to my dorm.”

Earning a seventh-place plate proved the fitting conclusion to Krejsa’s preseason wrestling career.

A member of Center Grove’s men’s varsity team, she was 15-0 last season — every pin victory — in tournaments against women’s competition. In January, she won the 126-pound class at the Girls’ State Tournament at Kokomo’s Memorial Gymnasium.

Krejsa’s career record was 34-5. She finished fourth in girls’ state in 10th grade (her first year of competition) and runner-up in junior.

For the next two months, Krejsa will continue to train four days a week at Red Cobra Wrestling Academy in Avon.

On September 26, she is leaving for Life University in Marietta, Georgia, where she will wrestle and major in psychology. The Running Eagles won their first NAIA National Championship in head-to-head last winter.

Doing well in Fargo is the perfect farewell.

“Mentally, knowing you’ve been placed in Fargo is a big deal,” Krejsa said. “I wanted to be an All-American this year, which is the top eight in every weight class. Being All-American at Fargo is very difficult.


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