Iowa prep wrestling: All-American Spencer Trenary commits to South Dakota State

Cody Goodwin
The Des Moines Register

Another elite Iowa high school wrestler made his college decision this week — and he’s headed out of state.

Spencer Trenary, a state wrestling finalist and All-American for Clarion-Goldfield-Dows, informed the Des Moines Register on Wednesday that he has committed to South Dakota State. Trenary picked the Jackrabbits over Northwestern, Brown, Campbell and Grand View, among others. He projects at 285 pounds.

Clarion-Goldfield-Dows' Spencer Trenary wrestles Solon's Tyler Linderbaum during the Iowa high school state dual team wrestling quarterfinal on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, in Wells Fargo Arena.

"I took a lot of time to make my decision, and I really wanted to make sure I made the right one for me," Trenary told the Register. "When I looked at South Dakota State, it had pretty much everything I wanted.

"I like the coaches. I like the pharmacy program they have. It just checked all the boxes."

Trenary is the latest Iowa high school wrestler to pick SDSU. In the 2019 class alone, he joins Southeast Polk star Cade DeVos and Ballard’s Skyler Noftsger. Even more, a trio of former Iowa prep wrestlers are already on the roster in Johnston alums Henry Pohlmeyer and Zach Price, as well as 2018 state champ Tanner Sloan from Alburnett.


In South Dakota State, Trenary is joining a program on the rise. The Jackrabbits took 12th at the 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships, scoring 42 points behind a program-record seven qualifiers and three All-Americans — headlined by Seth Gross, who won an individual title at 133 pounds.

In Trenary, South Dakota State is getting one of the country’s elite heavyweight prospects. He’s ranked fifth nationally at 285 pounds by The Open Mat, and seventh at the same weight by Flowrestling. He’s earned five All-American honors in wrestling’s international styles over the last three summers, including:

  • Cadet Greco-Roman national title in 2016
  • third place at the 2016 Cadet freestyle national championships
  • seventh place at the 2017 Junior greco national championships
  • seventh place at the 2018 Junior freestyle national championships
  • fourth place at the 2018 Junior greco national championships

Here in Iowa, Trenary has been one of the state’s best since his freshman year. He’s a three-time Class 2A state medalist, all at heavyweight. Entering his senior season, Trenary boasts a career record of 113-16. Last year, he went 53-5 with 32 pins en route to the state finals.

Colleges began reaching out afterward, hoping Trenary would help fortify the back-end of their respective lineups. South Dakota State made contact in July, after his double All-American performance at the Junior freestyle and greco national championships.

Clarion-Goldfield-Dows' Spencer Trenary wrestles Solon's Tyler Linderbaum during the Iowa high school state dual team wrestling quarterfinal on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, in Wells Fargo Arena.

Trenary visited Brookings in September. He saw Frost Arena, the SDSU wrestling room, but also carefully considered the academic options. He enjoyed talking with newly hired head coach Damion Hahn and assistant coaches Cam Simaz and Cody Caldwell, who is a graduate of Waverly-Shell Rock and former Northern Iowa wrestler.

"I definitely like that it's a strong program that I'm coming into, and I want to make it stronger," Trenary said. "I like the coaches a lot. That definitely helped me make my choice.

"I really enjoyed the visit, which was really helpful in making the decision. But I definitely wanted to look everywhere and then sit and talk with my family to make the decision."

A month later, Trenary decided that SDSU was the place for him. Now, he can turn his focus toward a state title this coming season, which officially begins on Nov. 12, the first official day teams in Iowa can hold practice.

"I'm really appreciative of all the other coaches and students who I talked to throughout the recruiting process," Trenary said. "I just had to make the right choice for me."

Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.