(Council Bluffs) -- A three-time state champion with multiple school records at a KMAland wrestling power, David Kjeldgaard is our latest KMA Sports Hall of Fame announcement.
The 1996 Lewis Central graduate posted 173 wins, won his three state titles at three different weights and posted school records in takedowns (season and career) and falls (career).
“There are some specific and broader memories,” Kjeldgaard said on Wednesday’s Upon Further Review. “My senior year, when I wrestled my last match of my career at Lewis Central, was very memorable. I had my brother in my corner and Keith Massey – two guys I looked up to.
“I had a successful match, and I remember walking off realizing it was the beginning of the next chapter. I really spent the last six, seven years of my life working and training with Coach Massey and my brother. So, just realizing it was the end of that era and stepping into the next, probably stands out the most.”
The four-time Hawkeye Ten champion won state championships at 135, 140 and 152 pounds and lost just four matches in four seasons. It was a career he was destined for the moment he was born a Kjeldgaard.
“With a dad that wrestled and two older brothers, I’m told that I basically was walking around the wrestling mat in diapers,” he said. “I was around it my whole life, and I was fortunate to have older siblings and a family that was around it as long as I can remember.”
Kjeldgaard was also a three-time Cadet National Champion and a five-time Junior National Champion. He placed seventh at the Junior World Freestyle Championships in Russia in 1996 and went on to a solid career at Oklahoma, which saw him qualify for the NCAAs in 1999 and 2000 and earn a runner-up in the Big 12 in 2000.
With that long list of achievements, Kjeldgaard says he still cherishes his moments as a Titan.
“When you’re locally competing and you have the local fan support, it does feel different,” he said. “You’re wearing the Lewis Central singlet, and it just feels like it’s more at home. When you go on the national stage, there’s a whole bunch of people there, but it’s less visible to those you’re closest to.”
Kjeldgaard is the first from Lewis Central to be honored in the KMA Sports Hall of Fame. He joins Shenandoah’s Tyler McGinnis and Riverside’s Kyle Canoyer in the wrestling wing.
Hear the complete interview with Kjeldgaard from Wednesday’s UFR linked here.
Previous announcements are linked below. Listen to KMA's Upon Further Review each day in August for a new Hall of Fame announcement.
Wednesday, August 1st - Dan Martinez, Red Oak (Coach)
Thursday, August 2nd - Ricky Williams, Riverside (Basketball)
Friday, August 3rd - 1989 Glenwood Wrestling (Team)
Monday, August 6th - Bill Blay, Griswold (Track & Field/Cross Country)
Tuesday, August 7th - Madison Frain Peterson, Creston (Softball)
Wednesday, August 8th - 2008 Lenox Football (Team)
Thursday, August 9th - Megan Winkelmann Ivusic, Nodaway Valley (Cross Country)
Friday, August 10th - Connie Shafar, Bedford (Basketball)
Monday, August 13th - Kadie Subbert, Stanton (Volleyball)
Tuesday, August 14th - Joyce Tiarks, Underwood (Coach)
Wednesday, August 15th - Tom Ramsey, Farragut (Coach)
Thursday, August 16th - Chaley Rath Hempel (Track & Field)
Friday, August 17th - 1999 Tarkio Girls Basketball (Team)
Monday, August 20th - Bob Weber, Hamburg (Coach)
Tuesday, August 21st - Doug Woods, Treynor (Baseball)