Wrestlers work hard, prepare for State

If you spot a very underweight teenager wearing sweats and holding a water bottle walking through the halls of Ames High, you can almost guarantee he is a wrestler. The gruesome three hour long practices, dieting, and other weight cutting techniques leave them exhausted and hungry, yet the dedicated group of boys believe it’s rewarding in the end and essential in their ultimate goal: to place well at State. “Wrestling is one of the toughest sports at Ames High,” senior Varsity wrestler Brock Vosberg said. “Compared to wrestling, the conditioning we do in football is a breeze.” Although each day of practice varies in difficulty, the boys’ daily exercise routine consists of warming up, running drills, live wrestling, and then conditioning, all in a 90-degree room. Mondays and Tuesdays are the hardest practices, and by Wednesday, which is pre-meet, the workouts are usually less strenuous. “We use Wednesdays to loosen up and get the kinks out so we can mentally focus for our meet,” Vosberg said. Cutting weight to reach another weight class level is usually a personal choice made by the wrestler. However, because only one varsity wrestler can wrestle in each weight class, sometimes cutting weight is necessary if two varsity wrestlers are in the same weight class. “One year Joe Klinkel and I were in the same weight class, so I had to cut to the lower weight class so we could both wrestle,” Vosberg said. To cut weight, wrestlers will stop eating, work out in sweat suits, and go to the sauna. Those who need to cut weight will do almost anything to lose the weight. On the day of the meet, wrestlers weigh in one hour before they wrestle. During that hour, they are allowed to eat and their weight no longer matters. “Everyone who cuts weight brings food because they usually haven’t eaten a good meal in a couple of days. I usually gain around five pounds,” senior Nolan Currie said. Because cutting weight is so hard on the body, it is no wonder every wrestler is out sick. This year may be different, however. “In the past years, a lot of our wrestlers have gotten sick, and it was bad,” Vosberg said. “This year we are very fortunate that we are all healthy.” With the state competition in less than a month, the wrestlers are working harder than ever to get that extra push they need to qualify. To qualify, a wrestler must place in the top two positions of his weight class at Districts. Last year, both junior Taylor Knight and junior John McClelland qualified for State. This year, many more hope to qualify. Knight is ranked 3rd in the state and is hoping to place high in the 189-weight class. Support the wrestlers and all their hard work and effort and come to their next meet scheduled for tomorrow, Jan. 27 at 10 a.m. in the Ames High Gym. “Even though I concentrate on my opponent when I’m on the mat, it’s really nice to have a huge crowd because it pumps me up before I wrestle,” Currie said.