Southeast Polk Wrestling: A Great Tradition
Southeast Polk came into being after consolidation of the Runnels, Altoona, and Mitchelville school districts in 1964. The wresling program was started by Hall of Fame Coach Richard "Red" Owens during the 1964-65 season. Coach Owens headed the program for the next 27 years, coaching 2 state champions and 35 state placewinners. His teams won 11 conference titles and finished in the top 10 at the stae meet twice.
When Red retired in 1993, the head coaching position was taken over by one of Red's former wrestlers, Joe Horton. Coach Horton maintained the great winning tradition at Southeast Polk during his tenure from 1994 through 2001, coaching 1 state champion and 10 state placewinners as well as finishing 7th at state in 1998. During that time, Coach Horton established a strong culture of summer wrestling that would help build the foundation that has allowed Southeast Polk wrestling to reach such great heights. Coach Horton stepped down in 2001 in order to move on to administration at Southeast Polk, where he still works today.
Coach Jason Christenson then took over the program in 2002. Many years of year-round commitment to the program and his wrestlers have resulted in the astounding accomplishments of the program during his era. During Coach Christenson's tenure, Southeast Polk wrestling has claimed 7 state team championships, 3 runner-up finishes, 19 top 8 team finishes at the State meet, 7 national top-50 finishes, 20 individual state championships, and 132 state placewinner finishes.
In summary, Southeast Polk wrestling has accomplished the following over the years:
- 7 team state championships
- 3 team runner-up finishes
- 23 team top 8 finishes
- 7 team top 50 National finishes
- 23 conference championships (all other boys sports at SEP combined - 21)
- 20 individual state championships
- 132 state placewinner finshes
- 9 Junior and Cadet national championships
- 19 Fargo Junior and Cadet All American finishes
- Only 3 head coaches in 50 years of wrestling (Red Owens, Joe Horton, Jason Christenson), with Coach Owens already in the Hall of Fame and Coach Christenson' on his way.
These accomplishments have been built on a strong foundation of alumni and community support. Please enjoy the content of these pages in honor of all who have been a part of the program over the years.