Wrestler of the Year

149 Minga Batsukh vs Tony Valek (3)

Finally, the last of the d3wrestle.com awards has arrived. The d3wrestle.com Wrestler of the Year is Minga Batsukh of St. John’s. Batsukh finished his career this March as a three time NCAA Champion, this time winning the 149 lb. weight class many considered to be the toughest in the tournament. He rode a tech fall, major decision, and three decisions to the title and the Outstanding Wrestler award for the tournament. For the season, Batsukh finished up 27-1 with 20 bonus point wins, and he avenged his only loss of the year in the national semifinals. This wrapped up an outstanding career during which Batsukh was a four time NCAA Qualifier and three time NCAA Champion, the first athlete from his school in any sport to win three national titles.

Batsukh won three titles despite only entering the tournament as the #1 seed one time. He definitely showed the ability to wrestle his best when it mattered most. When asked to comment about Batsukh, St. John’s head coach Brandon Novak said:

It has been an unbelievable experience to coach Minga.  He is an amazingly talented wrestler.  He has been a great leader for our team and his international wrestling experience has been invaluable to the rest of our team. To me what is the most amazing thing is that Minga was born and raised in the countryside of Mongolia, and didn’t know the English language until he came to the U.S. his Junior year of high school.  From there he has found success in everything that he has been involved with!  Winning 3 national titles, graduating with a degree in mathematics and a business minor.  He is on his way to being a successful business man and it is because he has always given his best effort.

Batsukh used his internationally-influenced style to rack up takedowns by the handful. One weekend in particular showcased his talent. At the North Country Open hosted by St. John’s on February 6th, Batsukh won five matches to take the title, but he also managed to score 50 takedowns on the day, a whole season’s worth for some wrestlers. Included in this total was 17 in a single match as Batsukh shot for and eclipsed the school record for takedowns in one match.

Batsukh led his team to a sixth place finish and was one of five All-Americans for the Johnnies. Both marks are the best in the team’s history, as Batukh’s 2010-2011 season was definitely one of superlatives. The former St. Benedict’s Prep All-American finished his career on a high note and has now been honored as the d3wrestle.com Wrestler of the Year for 2010-2011.

149 Batsukh vs Woszczak (5)