Sunday, September 13, 2020

Gone, Lost & Forgotten: Their Best = Bismarck State

 The Mystics of Bismarck State College at one time had a rather competitive wrestling program within the NJCAA. Ironically enough in the season they produced their most popular & well known wrestler, is when the program was discontinued.  Mystic wrestling came to an end after the 1997-1998 season. 

Scott Knowlen 

One of the most well known high school wrestling coaches in the state of North Dakota, Scott Knowlen began his collegiate career at Bismark State, eventually moving on to the University of North Dakota where he made NCAA Division II All American status in 1983 & 1984 with back to back seventh place finishes. 

Taking over the reigns at Bismark High School he lead his team to 368 dual meet victories verses just 16 losses.  145 of the victories were in a row.  This includes 15 traditional state titles & 12 Team State titles in his tenure. 

Jim Martinson

Martinson won a regional title taking fifth place NJCAA All American honors in 1983 for the Mystics.  Transferring to North Dakota, he was an NCAA Division II runner-up in 1985, taking sixth place All American honors in 1986. 

Duane Barnhardt

Barnhardt began his career at Bismarck State before transferring to North Dakota.  As a true junior in 1988 he placed sixth at the NCAA Division II championships.  After a redshirt year in 1989, he came back to place sixth again in 1990. 

Kris Lengenfelder

Lengenfelder who made the NCAA Division II finals in 1990 & 1991, began his career at Bismark State. 

Brock Lesnar 

The furthest Brock Lesnar ever got in high school was the state semi-finals. Yet the coaches at Bismarck State took a look at a kid no one else wanted & thought to themselves that if they locked him in the weight room & taught him a little technique that they might be able to make something out of him. 

They were right.  In his freshman season Lesnar took fifth at the 1997 NJCAA tournament and in 1998 he walked through the entire season, going undefeated to a 1998 NJCAA crown. 

Transferring to the University of Minnesota, making the NCAA finals in 1999 & winning an NCAA Division I title in 2000, Lesnar only saw defeat on three occasions.  

He then went on to have a successful career in MMA, professional wrestling, acting & football.  

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