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Gone, Lost and Forgotten…Their Best: Kansas

By Stephen Stonebraker


You’d think in a state that produces such talent as NCAA Champion Zach Roberson and NCAA runner-up Shawn Bunch that out of the three Division I schools one of them would offer varsity wrestling. That’s not the case, although at one time all three did.

Kansas University fielded wrestling during the 1920’s and 1930’s and had a fair amount of success during this time crowing five All Americans and five (What would become the) BIG 12 champions.  The Jayhawks would also reinstate wrestling for a short amount of time in the mid 1960’s.While information regarding the program is scarce, most agree on who the best Jayhawk wrestler is.

Peter “Kansas Whirlwind” Mehringer

The case of Pete Mehringer is quite an interesting story.  Mehringer attended Kingsley high school in Kingsley, Kansas.  A member of the football team, he excelled on the gridiron. Kingsley did not offer a wrestling program but Mehringer became interested in the sport when he took a correspondence course on it.  Acting as his own coach and teaching himself the techniques he managed to win the state title that season.  Two years later he hitchhiked to the State tournament and again won the state title.

In college Mehringer would go on to become a star athlete on both the mat and the football field.  Capturing second place at the 1932 NCAA Championships he’d do himself one better that summer and capture a gold medal at the Olympic games.   In football he was every bit as successful garnering all conference honors and being selected as a member of the first ever college All-Star game.

Post College Mehringer played professional football, dabbled in professional wrestling and worked in Hollywood as both a stuntman and an actor.

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