FARMINGTON — Piedra Vista's Jacob Palmgren on Thursday became the third Panthers wrestler to sign with Wayland Baptist University.
Palmgren joins fellow senior Ryan Rino, who will attend the Plainview, Texas, school this fall, and 2013 PV graduate Wyatt Hardy, who wrestled this year on the team.
Palmgren said having his current and former teammates already on the squad made going to the school an easy choice.
"It's always been one of my dreams to wrestle at the college level," Palmgren said. "It's going to be nice being able to get used to the program, knowing that Wyatt was there last year."
Palmgren wrestled the Panthers for the last two seasons after transferring from Del Norte High School in Colorado, where he was a 2012 state champion at 106 pounds.
During his time at PV, Palmgren won the 120-pound title in 2013 and finished in second place at 132 pounds this year.
"He was already pretty darn tough, being a Colorado state champion," Palmgren's coach Levi Stout said. "Jacob's got intangibles that can't be coached, and that's a credit to his parents and his personality."
The PV senior credited his time with the Panthers for getting him ready to wrestler at the college level.
"Stout has helped me a lot, and so has (Michael) Bejar. All my coaches pushed me to be the best I can be," Palmgren said. "All my teammates pushed me, and I have to thank them and my coaches. Without them, I wouldn't be where I am."
During Stout's tenure at PV, Wayland Baptist, which competes at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics level, has become a destination for PV wrestlers. He said the two programs have a similar style and philosophy, which helps his wrestlers fit in at the university.
"It's a great deal. They're very happy with Wyatt Hardy, and he's a product of what comes out of PV," Stout said. "He showed well for us, and I'm sure Ryan and Jacob will do the same."