Nick Beuter… A few things that stick out to me when I think of him is that 1.) he was one of the best overall wrestlers in the 2003 class; 2.) that he comes from an amazing wrestling family and 3.) that he was a guy who was universally respected by anyone and everyone you talked to at the time, whether it be on or off the mat… No one had anything negative to say about Nick Beuter and a couple of the most shining examples of this were reflected in the high regard that the two 4Xers of that grade, Mack Reiter from Don Bosco and CJ Ettelson from Hudson seemed to hold him in when interviewed or simply in casual conversation. Especially with CJ. I remember CJ having an interview where he made it a point to give Nick props for being an outstanding wrestler, practice partner and friend. I feel like he did this multiple times and even when you talk to him now, he will fill you in on how great of a wrestler Nick was. This was the general consensus with everyone.
We had a kid in our club who was at the same weight as Beuter a couple years when they were at AAU State (youth). His name was Christopher Johnson from West Burlington and he was one of the best guys on our squad. Beuter was one of the guys at their weight range that Chris had a genuine respect for and knew he had to be sharp of and when they’d ever meet up. And that was really the only thing I remember about Nick prior to high school. When he got into HS, he kind of became my brother, Justin’s wrestling counterpart from the 3A division. Justin was also a 2003 graduate, but was in the 2A division. Both those two wrestled 103 and 112 their first two years in high school, both placed 2nd at state and both lost in the finals in frustratingly close finals matches. As a Freshman, Justin was tied with 30 seconds left in the 3rd when he got caught on his back and pinned by Dusty Pollard from Osage and as a Sophomore was tied 4-4 with 5 seconds left in the 3rd period when he got caught for nearfall to lose vs. Jacob Naig of Emmetsburg. Beuter lost in the finals by a close score of 3-1 both years. His Freshman year vs. returning state champion, Dominick Moyer of Oskaloosa and his Sophomore year vs. Ryan Osgood of Mason City. He redeemed his loss vs. Moyer at state the following year, which ended Moyer’s quest for becoming a 4X state champion.
So Justin and Nick weighed the same and wrestled a lot of the same competition and had similar results and state finishes, but never actually met up in competition. We weren’t from the same area, so they didn’t compete at the same events other than state. After both of them finished 2nd as Sophomores, they were probably more frustrated than anyone, for they were the only 2X runner-ups in their grade going into their Junior year. When they were Juniors, both were at 125, except Justin won it finally and Nick fell just short of making the finals when he lost in OT to eventual state champion, Travis Snover or DM Lincoln. He fought back to get 3rd place. After Justin won, my family and the Mepo fans were obviously elated and ran to the gate near the podium so we could all hug him the moment he stepped off the podium. While we were waiting, Nick did something that we always thought was so cool of him. 2A stepped off the podium and Justin was talking to Moza (Fay) a little bit while he slowly made his way to us and while approaching us, Nick (3A) finished up and immediately after Nick stepped off the podium for the 3A 125 awards, he did a bee-line to Justin and reached him shortly before he got to us, patted him on the back, shook his hand, gave him a big smile and said, “congratulations man! I’m happy for you!” Justin smiled back and nodded and a few seconds later was mobbed by us. Nick Beuter was the first person to congratulate Justin after winning state (after awards)… and he did so after having his own dreams crushed that weekend. He could have stepped off the podium and quickly found the nearest hole to sulk in, but nope… He congratulated Justin. It was pretty clear to us at that point that Nick’s character as well as his incredible wrestling were factors in him being so well-liked and respected by the wrestling community.
On the way home from Des Moines, my family did the regular “reminisce about the tourney” thing and it didn’t take long before I mentioned, “hey did you guys see Nick Beuter go out of his way to congratulate Justin after they got off the podium?! That was cool of him… Justin, I didn’t realize you knew him that well?” Justin replied, “I don’t know him that well at all, but that was awesome of him. If there’s anyone here who knows how frustrated I was coming into the tournament and how badly I wanted this, it’s him considering how similar our careers have been. I can’t wait to congratulate him next year!” And I don’t know if he got the chance to congratulate Nick or not the next year, but Nick finally took home the gold his Senior season after defeating Josh Marker of Ames in the finals in a close match. I can’t imagine how great it felt for someone like Nick who had such immense pressure to win a state title as he did due to being so close the 3 previous years along with the fact that his uncles, Greg and Steve Randall were a couple of the best HS wrestlers to ever step on a mat in the state of Iowa and won 6 titles between the two of them. Not to mention, his father, John Beuter was a decorated wrestler for Buena Vista… Nick naturally had some huge expectations before he even began wrestling and he lived up to them when he added a 7th title to the family with his state title. We didn’t know Nick personally at all, but my entire family was very happy for him. One of the highlights of that entire 2003 tournament for us.
FRESHMAN FINALS MATCH:
SOPHOMORE FINALS MATCH:
Ok, so he fell barely short in those first two videos, but still wrestling well… but knowing that, it puts things in perspective in terms of how badly he wanted to get that title as a Senior… Here is the video for that year and make sure to watch him on the podium at the end… You won’t ever see a happier person than Nick Beuter was in that moment! So cool.
SENIOR YEAR STATE CHAMPIONSHIP:
Who or what encouraged you to give wrestling a try?
I was born into a wrestling family. My uncles, Greg and Steve Randall, wrestled for Iowa when I was young (about 4-5 yrs old.) At the time, we lived close to the University and I still have fond memories of running around the Iowa wrestling room, watching practices, and hanging out with Dan Gable and the other wrestlers.
I think I was 4 yrs old when I went to my first tournament.
Do you have any family who wrestled or wrestles currently? Parents, children, brothers, etc.? How did they do?
Wrestling runs deep on both sides of my family. My dad, Jon Beuter, was an All-American at Buena Vista. My uncle through marriage on my Dad’s side, Gary Bentrim, was a 3x National champ for UNI when they were D2. My two uncles on my Mother’s side, Greg and Steve Randall. Greg was a 4x Iowa state champ, Steve was a 2x champ. Both went on to wrestle at Univ of Iowa. Greg was a 3x All-American, (2x runner-up) wrestling under Dan Gable. Also, shout out to my Mom, growing up as the older sister of 2 stud brothers, she knew her way around the wrestling mat as well. Funny side story on that. Apparently, after my uncle Greg won his 1st state title, my Mom challenged him to a match back at the hotel the night of the state finals. She was a cheerleader for the team at the time. Long story short, in front the whole team, she took him down in OT, still in her cheerleading uniform. Greg still can’t live this one down for those who have heard. – sorry Greg…
What were your youth results? Any rivals there?
I do not really remember any real rivals in competition, but I will never forget the training partners I had growing up in the Wahawk Wrestling Club. At the time, this was the premiere wrestling club to go to in the area. Many H.S state titles were produced from the Wahawk club during that time.
Up until 7th grade, I lived in Hudson, IA, where I grew up as best friends and neighbors with CJ and Charlie Ettelson. The three of us grew up as brothers really. On a daily basis, we had the battles and competitions as brothers do, in pretty much anything we could think of, not just wrestling. I give that relationship with that whole family a lot of credit to the success and development I had with wrestling.
Another notable wrestling family I had the privilege of growing up training with was the Reiter’s. That whole extended family was spread out in every which way of neighboring towns, and they were all tough as nails. Mack and I were the same age so we trained a lot together. Aside from training together at the Wahawk club, I can remember going to their farm in Gilbertville where they had a whole wrestling room built in a small barn. Man, I can remember the battles there and balling my eyes out in that room – in a good way.
What was your record in HS?
140(something) – 7. Not sure of the total wins, but the 7 losses I do remember, and can probably name all of them still.
How did you do at state?
Freshman – 2nd at 103
Sophomore- 2nd at 112
Junior – 3rd at 125
Senior – 1st at 130
What were some of the most notable adverse challenges or moments you experienced in wrestling and how did it turn out?
Definitely the injury my senior year. It happened in our conference tournament, just 2 weeks before districts. I was wrestling in the semis against a super tough kid from Cedar Rapids Kennedy, Justin Hauge. We got in to a flurry towards the side of the mat, I went to post, and dislocated my shoulder. Trainers came out and tugged the shoulder back into place on the mat, I attempted to continue, but seconds later, it came out again and I was forced to injury default.
After seeing a specialist the following week, they determined I blew out many of the ligaments in my shoulder and I needed surgery right away. They said there was no way I could wrestle, and my season was over. Being my senior year, and so dang close to that gold medal all three years prior, and just a few weeks away from state tourney, I was completely devastated.
We decided to sleep on it and hold off on the surgery for a few days. It wasn’t until a phone call I had with my uncle Steve, that I still remember to this day, that I made up my mind. He pretty much just told me that if I don’t at least try, or make an attempt, that I would have to live with that decision my whole life. He said, “if you show up and try to wrestle through it, even if you lose or are forced to default, you can at least look back and say that you made the attempt.” He explained there was absolutely nothing to lose, and that just having the courage to show up and try your best, that in itself is a win and something to be proud of. So with that, we decided to just go for it and see what happened.
After the decision to wrestle through it, my whole mentality really changed. Any pressure I had felt to win was gone and any fear of losing kind of escaped me. For the following weeks up until districts, I let the shoulder heal the best I could and just tried to stay off the mat. I got through districts on one working arm, barely. Come state tourney, I can remember I just tried to keep the mindset that I was grateful to be there and whatever the outcome, I was just happy to be able to compete. Match after match, I literally squeaked by with wins (especially in the semi final match.) Going into the finals I remember I was not nervous at all. I really did not care what happened. I wanted to just do the best I could. Luckily enough, I won the match and finally got that state title.
Looking back, the whole experience taught me a lot of lessons about adversity and overcoming obstacles. It was a great lesson on just making an attempt, doing your best, even if you think you may fail.
Who was your most influential coach?
I had many great coaches throughout my wrestling career. But the most influential, I would have to say would be my HS assistant coach Jeff Gaard. Coach Gaard was the kind of coach that believed that the greatest attribute a wrestler can have is his mindset. He wasn’t the most technical coach I have had, but he was the one that really made me believe in myself.
Was your team competitive in HS/college?
In H.S, we had did have a competitive team, but we never really did produce the all the results of expectation.
In college, with the 5 years at Boise State, we had multiple competitive teams. We won the Pac-10s twice, had multiple all americans, and one National champ, Ben Cherrington.
Who was your most influential wrestler that you looked up to growing up?
Growing up, I looked up to my uncles, Greg and Steve Randall, as idols. I enjoyed watching many of the Iowa wrestlers at the time, Lincoln Mcllravy, Mark Ironside, Eric Juergens, just to name a few. But the most influential or greatest impact on me, would definitely have to be my Dad.
Who are your favorite current wrestlers?
I really like what Cael Sanderson has done at Penn State. To me, he has kind of shaped a different style to college wrestling. His guys have a way of bringing a new excitement to the sport where they can, and are always looking, to score from any position. They just wrestle free and seems like they are almost making stuff up as they go. I love to see the innovation they bring to the sport.
What was the most upset you ever felt after a loss?
That’s a tough one to answer, because I was upset after every loss. But if I had to narrow down one, it would have to be in the semi-finals at the state tournament my junior year. Going in, I was undefeated on the year, and had gotten 2nd the two years prior, so I felt a lot was riding on that alone. I had a lot of momentum going into the tournament that year, and felt I was wrestling my best. I lost a close match to the eventual champ, Travis Snover. It took a lot for me to rebound my mindset and come back in the wrestle-backs and get 3rd.
What was your best wrestling memory/accomplishment?
Aside from the adverse challenge my senior year, as mentioned before, I think the best memory or win I had was the very first round at the state tournament my sophomore year. The match was against a notable name, Dominick Moyer. To make this match what it was, I had wrestled against Moyer the year prior, in the state finals. I can remember staying up after the district tournament, waiting for the district matchups to be drawn. I had gotten 2nd in districts that year, so I knew first rd. of state I would be matched against whoever got 1st at districts. Our district randomly drew the Oskaloosa district and I knew Moyer had won it. I can remember how excited I was for the chance to avenge not only my state finals loss the year before, but also my very last loss at the state tournament. Plus, Moyer was 2 for 2 in state titles going in (he was on track for 4), so all the hype going in to that match gave me a lot of motivation. I can remember after I had won that match, I felt like, at the time, it was the best match I had wrestled in my life.
Who were some of your most notable competitors in high school? College?
My biggest rival in HS was Ryan Osgood. He accounted for 3 of the 7 total losses. Every match we had was very close. My sophomore year, we wrestled in the finals at districts and at state – he beat me both times. In college, my most notable competitor was whoever I was against in the practice room that day. Wrestling at the D1 level, every guy is tough. I had to compete to the very fullest on a daily basis. I did beat Jacob Naig in a college tournament one year, I think he won a national title or two at Wartburg.
Who was the fiercest competitor you ever faced?
That’s a tough one to narrow to one. But probably the “fiercest” competitor I wrestled I would have to say Brent Metcalf. I wrestled him in HS at a freestyle regional tournament. The guy just had a different feel of speed and strength to him, that I had not ever felt before. I think “fierce” would be a perfect way to describe him.
Did you wrestle all year or was it seasonal for you?
I wrestled all year.
Did you wrestle after high school?
After High School, I moved away to wrestle for my uncle Greg, who was the head coach at Boise State University in Idaho.
How would you describe your wrestling style?
I would describe my wrestling style as controlled and technical. I was never too much of the high flying, high risk, score as many points as possible type you see a lot in current wrestling. I seemed to keep the match score close (sorry Mom).
What other sports did you play?
I played soccer growing up, football in junior high and freshman year. I played baseball competitively all through youth and into my sophomore year in HS. I loved baseball, but with the season being in the summer, it conflicted with the freestyle and greco season. So after my sophomore year, I decided to focus solely on wrestling year round.
Did you have good practice partners to help push you in the room?
Absolutely! All the way from youth to college wrestling, I had great practice partners.
What are your favorite sports teams?
I do have preferences on pro sports teams, but honestly, I just like to see good games.
What are your hobbies other than wrestling?
After I graduated college and was done competing in wrestling, I was introduced to jiu-jitsu. There were a few guys I wrestled with at Boise State that immediately moved on full into the MMA scene so they brought me in to train with them to keep their wrestling game up. Jiu jitsu and wrestling are somewhat similar, so it was pretty easy for me to pick it up fairly quickly and it was something I could stay competitive with after wrestling. At first it was just a fun way to stay in shape, but for the last 7 or so years, I started to take it pretty seriously. I have competed in some local tournaments, also a few national and World tournaments. 2 years ago, I received my black belt.
Other hobbies include anything outdoors; Mountain biking, snowboarding, camping, fishing, hiking/backpacking, golfing and traveling with my fiancé.
How has wrestling shaped you as a person to this day?
Wrestling has had a huge impact on who I am today. Wrestling has taught me a lot about discipline, hard work, and how to rely on yourself to accomplish whatever you set out to do.
What do you do now?
I work for a transportation and logistics company. We broker and facilitate transportation for commercial freight.
How fun is wrestling history to you?
I still follow current wrestling at all levels, and I probably always will.
Are you still involved with wrestling?
I am still involved in wrestling. I teach wrestling classes at my jiu-jitsu academy.
This last year I have started coaching at a local High School here in Boise, ID.
Any advice for upcoming wrestlers?
My best advice for young wrestlers, is to enjoy the journey and remember to have fun. Do not focus wrestling just on winning and losing. Try to focus on and find the many lessons learned through the process. Focus on always trying to learn from every experience to better yourself as a wrestler and a person. The rest will fall into place. Also – don’t cut weight!
Any chance we see you wrestle again at an Old Timer’s tournament?
There are not really any old timer wrestling tournaments here in Idaho, unfortunately. But if there was, I’d give it a shot!
But, I still plan on continuing to compete in jiu-jitsu tournaments.
Nick was two years above me in high school and watching him regularly hand out beatings on the mat was a highlight of wrestling practice and meets/tournaments. Thankfully I never had to wrestle him in practice!