Wrestling scholarship honors fallen soldier

Scott and Tracy Bennedsen, parents of the late First Lt. Robert Bennedsen, have established a new annual wrestling scholarship fund in their son’s name.

Bennedsen was killed in Afghanistan in July 2010, at age 25, while assisting an ambulance that had been damaged. Bennedsen was one of the most successful wrestlers to pass through Vashon’s storied program. Coaches regularluy commented about him to the Vashon coaches. “That Bennedsen,” they’d say, shaking their heads, “He’s sure a beast.” And he was.

From a Pierce County Junior Wrestling League title as a Rockbuster in 1998, to multiple League Championships as a McMurray Mustang, and finally to a dominating State Championship as a Pirate in 2004, Bennedsen garnered statewide acclaim.

He was a two-time District and two-time Regional champion in 2003 and 2004. In 2003 he placed fourth at the state tournament, and in 2004 he was the state champion, where none of his matches were even close. Both years he helped the team place third at state.

The Robert Bennedsen Scholarship will help wrestlers of all ages who need financial assistance to attend summer wrestling camps and clinics. Donations can be made to the scholarship. For more information, contact Desiree Nelson at 818-2508 or


— Per-Lars Blomgren


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