Caledonia High School graduate Austin Goergen has spent his summer getting ready for a sophomore wrestling season at St. Cloud State.
Part of that training took him to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, at the end of June, and Goergen turned an experience through Athletes in Action into a tournament victory.
Goergen was extended an invitation by St. Cloud volunteer assistant coach John Peterson, who has been making the trip for years. The tournament that Goergen won was named after Hamilton this year.
“He asked if I wanted to go, and I’d never been overseas before, so I went,” Goergen said. “I was excited to go, not just for the wrestling, but for the experience of being there.”
Goergen, who posted a 35-8 record and placed sixth in the NCAA Division II 285-pound national bracket, said his opposition in this tournament was made up from wrestlers from Mongolia and Russia.
“They are big on foot sweeps and things like that, so it helped to keep my feet moving,” said Goergen, who returned home on July 3. “I learned a lot from them, and I taught them things when we worked together, too.”
Goergen set a St. Cloud record with 19 pins as a freshman and hopes to follow the lead of Shamus O’Grady, the last St. Cloud wrestler to accompany Peterson to Mongolia. O’Grady won a national championship the year after he went.