Ex-Packers star earns major honor
Tyler Lehmann returned to the Fargo-Moorhead area last season as a transfer from wrestling powerhouse Apple Valley (Minn.) High School.
Originally wrestling for Fargo North in his younger years, Lehmann spent his final year of high school at West Fargo. Though his time with the Packers was short, he made an unmistakable impact, nonetheless.
The culmination of his prep career came at the North Dakota state tournament, where he took the individual title in the 189-pound class, and helped the Packers win the team title.
But just because high school is complete, don't think Lehmann is content loafing the summer away. Wrestling is part of his life, and he has continued to train and compete well past graduation.
In fact, his biggest feat came recently during the FILA Junior National World Team Trials in Colorado Springs, Colo. There, Lehmann successfully earned a seat on the U.S. World Team roster by taking first place in the 96-kilogram division.
"It's the highlight of my career so far," Lehmann said.
He battled with college-aged wrestlers, some in Division I. "I didn't wrestle anyone in high school, they were all in college," he said.
Lehmann won by a 6-1, 8-1 decision over Tanner Hall in the Friday challenges, before advancing to the final trials. There, Lehmann went three rounds against Derrick Borlie, a University of Wisconsin freshman and the FILA Junior Freestyle Champion at 96 kilograms. Lehmann took the first round with a pin in 1:48 before getting pinned himself in 0:29 in the second round. Lehmann then picked up the third round and the win with a fall at 1:49.
Lehmann now will travel with the U.S. World Team to Budapest, Hungary, in July for the FILA Junior World Championships.
"My goal is to go down there and win," said Lehmann, who will spend 10 days training at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs before heading to Hungary.
"It's a bigger accomplishment than winning the Junior National tournament at the FargoDome in July," said Kayle Dangerud, West Fargo wrestling coach.
Lehmann will be wrestling alongside some of the top talent in the U.S., including NCAA D-I National Champion Matt McDonough of the University of Iowa. Seeing that level of competition should help Lehmann's own collegiate career, which begins this fall at the University of Minnesota.
For Tyler's parents, Scott and Ellen Lehmann, seeing their son's continued success is exciting.
"It's just another stepping stone in his career," Scott Lehmann said. "We hope there are bigger and better things to come."