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Kauffman has solid season at NIU

Kauffman has solid season at NIU Kauffman has solid season at NIU

Stratford grad wrestled hard for D-1 Huskies

By Casey Krautkramer

Stratford High School alum Mason Kauffman wrestled against top-notch competition during his college redshirt sophomore season competing for Division 1 Northern Illinois University (NIU). He finished the 2019-20 season with a 13-10 match record, after going 1-2 in matches in the tough Mid-American Conference Wrestling Championships held in early March in DeKalb, Ill..

Kauffman failed to qualify for the NCAA Division 1 National Championships, which were scheduled to occur on March 19-21 in Minneapolis, Minn., before it was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Despite not qualifying for nationals, he was still pleased with his season.

“I would’ve needed to place in the top six wrestlers in my weight class in the country to qualify for nationals,” Kauffman said. “I thought I had a good season and I wrestled the best I could. I reached new heights in my college wrestling career by beating 15th ranked Eric Barrone of Illinois University and being nationally ranked at No. 21 in the country for a few weeks.”

He believes competing against tough competition in the conference championships can only help him in his final two years of college.

“I drew last year’s All-American Larry Early of Old Dominion in the first round and lost 3-1,” Kauffman said. “I then beat a wrestler from Kent State before losing to Logan Parks of Central Michigan, who is a multiple time NCAA nationals qualifier and he was highly ranked in the country this season.”

He is the son of Roland and Jennifer Kauffman of Stratford. Mason is finishing the remainder of his college semester online at his parent’s house during the coronavirus pandemic. He is majoring in kinesiology.

Mason compiled a 133-0 match record at Stratford. He earned a college Division 1 scholarship to wrestle at Eastern Michigan, where he competed one season before the school ended its wrestling program. He then transferred to Northern Illinois.