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Kersten makes most of Dakota State years at Logan, Iowa
May 26, 2011
Kent Kersten comes back to Madison and Dakota State on June 4 after achieving much in Iowa high school wrestling.
Kersten will be inducted into the DSU Athletic Hall of Fame at the Dakota Prairie Playhouse, along with fellow Class of 2011 inductees Bob Casagrande, Terry Kasperbauer, Marie Sample and Rob Van Laecken.
Joe Carmody, a teacher of Kersten at Logan-Magnolia High School during Kersten's high school years (1965-69) in Iowa, and Dakota State wrestling coach Dr. Neal Hattlestad, played key roles in Kersten attending the Madison college and sending him on to a very successful Iowa high school wrestling career.
"I first heard about the college from Carmody, who was a General Beadle (Dakota State) graduate and a Madison native," said Kersten.
Dakota State's name came up again for Kersten in 1971 after he graduated from Creston (Iowa) Junior College.
"My brother Kirk grarduated that year from Logan-Magnolia," added Kersten. "Dr. Hattlestad asked him to make a visit to Dakota State. I'd wrestle in junior college and I was looking to continue wrestling, so we both went up to Madison."
The next two years, Kersten wrestled for Hattlestad whose background included wrestling at the University of Northern Iowa, and his assistant Jon Walczyk.
"Kirk and I were both inspired by Hattlestad and Walczyk," admitted Kersten, who considered himself to be an average wrestler back then. "They were both role models and great coaches. They worked us hard and wanted us to succeed. I learned a lot from Coach Hattlestad. I'd have to go a long ways to find a better coach. I owe him and Dakota State a lot."
Kersten earned a biology teaching degree at Dakota State and used it to get a teaching position at Arlington High School, which he held for three years.
He then moved back to teach junior high science and coach wrestling beginning.
This spring he retired from teaching, but will enter his 30th season as Logan-Magnolia's head wrestling coach this winter.
This past winter, Kersten's team completed a perfect 32-0 dual season, along with claiming both Iowa's state dual and team Class 1A titles.
In 2008, Logan-Magnolia was the state team champion. The school also won another dual title in 2002.
As head coach at Logan-Magnolia, Kersten has achieved a 491-87-4 dual mark. He has also coached 129 state qualifiers, 57 state place-finishers and four state champions.
Kersten was the 2009 Iowa Class 1A Coach of the Year. In 2007, Kersten was inducted into the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame.
Kersten and his wife Sandy have been married for nearly 39 years. They have two daughters - Angela and Lanae.
Angela, a first-grade teacher at North Loop, Neb. is married to Tony Boyce. They have two sons - Kaden (10 years old) and Brendan (7 years old).
Lanae is a nurse for West Harrison Community School at Mondamin, Iowa. She is married to Matt Chase. They have a son Colben (7 years old) and a daughter Campbell (3 years old).
Dan Holsworth, Dakota State University Athletics Assistant
Edited by Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director