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Linfield University adds wrestling club for men, women to compete in NCWA

McMINNVILLE, ORE. -- The Associated Students of Linfield University have approved the creation of a new men's and women's wrestling club starting this fall. Linfield will join the Northwest Conference of the National Collegiate Wrestling Association, and begin competition once it is safe to do so.

Linfield is an NCAA Division III university in other sports, and has a long history of athletic success. It had a varsity wrestling program until the early 1980s, and can lay claim to many conference champions and All-Americans. Russ Thurman '59 is a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, located in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

"We're proud of the Wildcat wrestling history, and hope to rebuild and reconnect with that past," said Abram Nelson '24, president of the Linfield Wrestling Club. "We hope to promote physical fitness and good nutrition for all students, and we also hope to be competitive very soon at the club-wrestling level regionally and nationally."

Wrestling is an Olympic sport for both men and women, and the NCAA recently declared women's wrestling one of its "emerging sports." No experience is required to participate at Linfield.

Linfield will be the 16th club team to join the NCWA's Northwest Conference, which had 11 men's All-Americans and 27 women's All-Americans at the 2020 National Championships in Allen, Texas.

Linfield is an independent, non-profit university with campuses in McMinnville and Portland, Oregon. Twenty-eight percent of Linfield students are first-generation college students, and more than one-third are U.S. students of color. The U.S. State Department has honored Linfield for being a top producer of Fulbright Scholars three years in a row.

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