Two SE Minnesotans sent to NSIC Hall of Fame

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(ABC 6 News) — Earlier this week, the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference inducted the 2022 hall of fame class into its’ ranks.

One of the new members is current Zumbrota-Mazeppa wrestling head coach Link Steffen. Steffen was a wrestler at Southwest Minnesota State from 1994 to 1998. In his senior year, he went 39-1 en route to winning the NCAA division ii national championship. He was a two-time conference champ and his 114-22 record is the third best in school history.

"[It was] so hard for me to talk that night because you’re talking about yourself, that’s hard for me to do," Steffen told ABC 6 Sports Reporter José Solís. "And so — but anyway, it was a wonderful honor…"

"You know it’s all about the mental toughness of everything," Steffen continued. "Cause you’re going to have ups and downs and there’s going to be good and bad days, you’re going to see improvement, then you might lose to a guy you lost to. It’s having the fortitude and the mental toughness to get through all that, cause life doesn’t only happen on the mat, it happens everywhere else. I learned a lot of mental toughness at Southwest State and that is the one thing I try to spread onto these guys."

Steffen wasn’t the only one inducted into the hall of fame, so was Ben Barrone, a Winona State baseball player who now lives in the Rochester area. Barrone finished as the warriors’ all-time leader in home runs, 43, and was also the 2007 NSIC Player of the Year. Furthermore, Barrone was also drafted by the Oakland Athletics in 2007 as well.