Remember The Wrestler: Nolan Hellickson; Southeast Polk ‘15/Harvard/Ubasa Wrestling Academy
I watched Nolan Hellickson wrestle since around the time he was having battles with Carter Happel (Lisbon) and Ryan McDaniel (Marshalltown) as a 2nd or 3rd grader. He was in the grade above my brother, Shea and they also were around the same weight. In fact, when Nolan won his 6th AAU title as an 8th grader, my brother placed 7th in that bracket. It was a pretty cool thing for Shea to be a part of considering Nolan made AAU Youth wrestling history that year, for winning 6 AAU titles means that you won it every year since you began the “A” division, which is 3rd and 4th grade. Essentially, a 6X AAU Champion is the youth wrestling equivalent of a 4X state champion in HS. And that’s what Nolan was. He was an unbelievably fast-paced, well-balanced, intelligent wrestler, who from a young age, always seemed to have an instinct for being aggressive and scoring points and always simultaneously knowing what the match situation was, which ensured that he routinely made the correct decisions and consistently won in convincing fashion. A highly technical kid who trained with the “Ubasa” wrestling club, which is a wrestling club that is run by former Iowa Hawkeye, Pablo Ubasa and has produced some of the highest caliber wrestlers that the state of Iowa has produced these past few decades. Pablo’s guys seem to be very intelligent wrestlers with an abundance of “mat-sense” and have a collective knowledge of the “fine-tuned,” minuscule wrestling techniques and tactics that sometimes differentiate the great wrestlers from the elite wrestlers. Nolan Hellickson epitomized this. For the overwhelming majority of his career, he was an elite-level wrestler from a technical and mental standpoint, especially when compared to other guys in his age group.
Nolan Hellickson is among the best pound-for-pound wrestlers of the new millennium. He’s also one of these guys who would have benefited from having a 98 lb. division, like they did prior to the 90’s, for he was fairly undersized as a Freshman at 106 and his results were affected to a certain degree his first year of high school. However, once he grew into the 106 lb. weight as a Sophomore, it was on. The adversity he endured as an undersized Freshman obviously made him hungrier and in turn, tougher and when it was his time to compete as a full-sized wrestler at the high school level, he was unquestionably one of the best at his weight class every year that followed. By the time he was a Senior in HS, there was not one wrestler in his grade, pound for pound, who could be considered better than him. He’s one of the best to ever do it, IMO and the line that separates him from being the 1X state champion that he was in HS from being a 4X state champion is razor thin and dependent on just a couple outcomes that could have gone either way, not to mention circumstances that were beyond his control.
The responses to the questionnaire that Nolan sent back to me contains some of the most well thought-out, inspirational, introspective, educational wrestling insight that I have ever read, not only for this series, but for any wrestling-related article, interview, etc. that I have ever seen published. Nolan Hellickson is an incredibly gifted, hard-working individual who has wrestling down to both a science and an art form. His parents and coaches have got to be so proud of how he has turned out on and off the mat and any parents of current/upcoming wrestlers should have their children read this, for Nolan reflects an elite standard in which upcoming athletes should attempt to strive for if future success (on and off the mat) is something that is prioritized and important to them. Nolan is going to accomplish some great things in his future. I have never been more confident about anything…and wrestling has played a sizable influence in this.
2013 3A 106
1st Place – Henry Pohlmeyer of Johnston 37-5, So.
2nd Place – Jacob Schwarm of Bettendorf 23-2, So.
3rd Place – Nolan Hellickson of Southeast Polk 48-1, So
4th Place – Chase Lynn of Dubuque, Senior 40-3, Jr
5th Place – Tanner Rohweder of Dowling Catholic, WDM 38-8, So
6th Place – Colton Clingenpeel of Council Bluffs, T Jefferson 44-9, Fr
7th Place – Sam Uthoff of Prairie, Cedar Rapids 32-9, Fr
8th Place – Erik Birnbaum of Fort Dodge 37-9, So.
2014 3A 120
1st Place – Alijah Jeffery of Linn-Mar, Marion 41-0, Sr.
2nd Place – Paul Glynn of Bettendorf 39-12, Jr.
3rd Place – Nolan Hellickson of Southeast Polk 44-2, Jr. o
4th Place – Michael Zachary of Dowling Catholic, WDM 36-9, So.
5th Place – Trevor Murano of Dallas Center-Grimes 43-4, Sr.
6th Place – Sam Uthoff of Prairie, Cedar Rapids 39-11, So.
7th Place – Kyle Briggs of Cedar Rapids, Jefferson 27-14, So.
8th Place – Skylar DeJong of Oskaloosa 34-11, Jr.
2015 3A 126
1st Place – Nolan Hellickson of Southeast Polk 43-0, Sr.
2nd Place – Skylar DeJong of Oskaloosa 44-2, Sr.
3rd Place – Sam Uthoff of Prairie Cedar Rapids 43-4, Jr.
4th Place – Jackson Gallagher of Bettendorf 41-9, Jr.
5th Place – Joel Shapiro of Valley, WDM 41-9, Fr.
6th Place – Darien Collins of Pleasant Valley 16-6, Jr.
7th Place – Joe Howard of Indianola 40-12, Jr
8th Place – Keenan Cook of Fort Dodge 34-13, Jr.
PINDOX: What clubs, schools, etc. did you wrestle for?
– I wrestled for Ubasa Wrestling Academy growing up, then went to Dowling for my freshman year of high school before transferring to Southeast Polk for my final 3 high school seasons. I wrestled at Harvard in college.
PINDOX: What year did you graduate?
– I graduated high school in 2015 and college in 2020.
PINDOX: Who or what encouraged you to give wrestling a try?
– I was competitive and hyper as a kid, so my parents thought wrestling would be a good sport to burn off steam and be in a competitive atmosphere. I was 4 years old when I started out and about 35lbs. I lived in Cedar Rapids at the time and began at Cedar Rapids Washington’s youth program.
PINDOX: Do you have any family who wrestled or wrestles currently? Parents, children, brothers, etc.? How did they do?
– My dad wrestled until his senior year of high school. He had a decent amount of success but ended up playing football and baseball at Drake University.
PINDOX: What were your youth results? Any rivals there?
– I had a good amount of success as a kid. I won Super-Pee Wee State in 2nd grade and competed up in the 3rd and 4th division and placed 3rd at 50lbs. That’s when my parents realized I was pretty talented and so the next year I joined Ubasa. Wrestling for Pablo (Ubasa) was instrumental in my development from that point on. I ended up winning 6 AAU State Championships and placed regularly on the national circuit.
In the state tournament I always had tough matches with Henry Pohlmeyer and Murano. Those guys were probably my main two rivals. Over the course of the year, I’d go up in weight and wrestle against Hunter Washburn, Carter Happel, Noah Ajram, and Ryan McDaniel.
PINDOX: What was your record in HS?
I was 135-3.
PINDOX: How did you place at state every year?
– Fr. – NA, So. – 3rd, Jr. – 3rd, Sr. – 1st
PINDOX: What were some of the most notable adverse challenges or moments you experienced in wrestling and how did it turn out?
– My junior year of high school I broke my thumb in the State Duals semi-finals vs. Waverly-Shell Rock. I immediately went to the hospital to get it checked out. The doctor told my parents first, and my dad – knowing that I’d compete regardless, relayed the information to me by telling me it was just some strained ligaments so I could keep a level head. We went straight back to Wells Fargo just in time for the finals vs. Bettendorf. I squeezed out a win vs. Paul Glynn in my match, but we lost the dual. I wrestled the state tournament with a broken thumb and just taped it to my hand. It wasn’t ideal for gripping, but I could easily wrestle. I ended up losing to Alijah Jeffrey in the semi-finals in ride-outs and came back to place 3rd.
Fracturing my back in two places my freshman year of college was another huge adversity to overcome. I truly didn’t think I’d be able to return to the sport given the severity of the fractures. Thankfully, I had a procedure done and was able to avoid a spinal fusion. It took me just over a year to fully come back to the sport after spending 5 months in a back brace and going through physical therapy. I’m proud of the dedication and perseverance I exhibited to make my return and compete at a high level.
My senior year of college I broke my hand in February and had to get a plate and 8 screws in my hand. After the surgery my hand looked like a softball. It was very rough timing and tough to deal with. I had an amazing support system around me and fantastic doctors that helped me get to a spot where I could attempt to come back for the conference tournament in early March. I couldn’t sweat for 3 weeks, so my weight management and conditioning took a hit. I tried to compete at EIWAs, but unfortunately did not perform up to standard.
Despite the obvious disappointment in each of those three scenarios, those are the times I learned the most about myself – my will to win, my commitment to excellence, and my ability to overcome obstacles. These adverse moments shaped me into who I am today, and I believe they happened for a reason.
PINDOX: How would you describe your wrestling style?
– Offensive, aggressive, technical, and crafty.
PINDOX: How many guys in high school did you go back and forth with or exchange wins with?
– I always had tough battles with Henry Pohlmeyer, we knew each other’s wrestling styles like the back of our own hand since we trained at Ubasa together in middle school and wrestled in probably 100 matches over the course of our careers. I also wrestled Schwarm quite a bit even though we were different weights our junior and senior seasons.
PINDOX: Who was your most influential coach?
– I was fortunate to have great coaches and mentors throughout my career, and each of them helped my development in unique and different ways.
*Pablo Ubasa was a huge influence from 3rd grade on – he was a tremendous mentor and molded my wrestling style from the ground up. He’s not only a coach and mentor, but also a close friend. I remember going through some of the toughest workouts of my life with Paul Glynn, Phillip Laux, and Logen Rodriquez over the summers growing up. When I moved to Des Moines, he opened up a Des Moines location and held practices their 2-3x a week. He constantly exhibited amazing commitment to my development.
*Coach Christenson and Jessman at Southeast Polk (and the rest of the staff) helped me develop drastically from my sophomore year on from both a technical and mental standpoint. I became a more explosive and dynamic wrestler, and always felt like I had an edge against my competition based on our preparation in the SEP room. They were also unbelievable at getting athletes to peak at the right time and knew how to mold daily training to the individual wrestler.
*Al Garrison broke down technique so intricately and precisely. I was able to make very small technical adjustments thanks to his help and grow my ability to think critically about various wrestling positions, as well as how to wrestle through them. He unfortunately passed away in 2013. He had a profound impact on the careers of many Des Moines area wrestlers.
*Nate Gallick was instrumental in helping me prepare for college wrestling. I started working with him the fall of my senior year. He opened me up to a wide range of top techniques and made key adjustments to how I penetrated on my leg attacks.
*Jay Weiss and the rest of the Harvard staff (Muzaffar Abdurakmanov, Jimmy Sheptock, Johnni DiJulius, Sean Harrington, Vic Avery) were and remain influential in my development as a person, they not only stressed hard work and performance on the mat, but also had a critical focus on character development. They invested in me as a person and emphasized building my skillset to lead others around me and become an effective communicator. They motivated me to push through barriers, overcome mental blocks, and make critical technical changes to adjust to collegiate wrestling. They showed me the importance of waking up every day with a purpose and doing everything possible to optimize for three days in March. Yet when it was all said and done, Coach Weiss was the first to say that wrestling was a vehicle to teach lessons that will carry forward through the rest of my life. The lessons learned, the friendships made, and the many great memories will be cherished for the rest of my life.
PINDOX: Was your team competitive in HS/college?
– In my 3 years at Southeast Polk we won 2 State Dual Titles and 2 State Tournament Titles. We were ranked around 10th in the country both my sophomore and senior years. We finished second to Bettendorf in each competition my junior year.
PINDOX: Who was your most influential wrestler that you looked up to growing up?
– The most influential wrestler to me really evolved over time. In middle school it was probably Matt McDonough. I went to the Iowa Wrestling Intensive camps each summer in middle school, and he was my coach /counselor for each one. He was a former Ubasa guy and took me under his wing. I also had a lot of respect for his work ethic and mentality towards the sport.
By my freshman year of high school, I became close with some of the seniors at the time. I trained over the offseason with John Meeks, and also became very close with the Miklus’s and Meyers. I had a lot of admiration and respect for John, Willie, and Alex as they strived to accomplish great things at the next level.
PINDOX: Who would you consider the GOAT Iowa HS wrestler?
– I can’t really pick one – I’m biased due to some of my relationships with the individuals…. I’ll say it’s either Jay Borschel, John Meeks, or Cory Clark.
PINDOX: Are there any wrestlers you’ve seen, past or present that you would compare your style to?
– I had a similar style to McDonough in terms of hitting singles to both sides and finishing backside well.
PINDOX: What are some interesting hypothetical matchups between guys from different eras that you would have been interesting in seeing?
– I would have loved to see a battle between SEP’s best teams. A three-way dual between the 2012 team that got 2nd (156.5 points), the 2013 team that won (180.5 points), and the 2015 that won (193 points).
Gary Miklus would always poke at Willie, Tim, and I and ask us who we thought was the best team. We would argue and go through the hypothetical matchups at each weight, I’d always argue for the 2013 or 2015 team.
PINDOX: Who are some Iowa HS wrestling guys from your era that you have an immense amount of respect for?
– I have a lot of respect for Paul Glynn. We trained together regularly and have stayed close over the years. He is extremely diligent and was one of the hardest workers I trained with. He didn’t have a ton of youth success, but was able to surpass a lot of competition by working harder than the field. He pushed me to work harder day in and day out.
Phillip Laux is another guy I hold in high regard. Like Paul, he was one of the hardest workers I’ve been around. He held himself to a high standard on and off the mat and always handled himself with class. He was a source of advice and counsel throughout my high school career and is a close friend to this day.
I also admire and respect all my SEP teammates. From the senior class that I looked up to when we won state my sophomore year (Dylan Blackford, Tim Miklus, Bryce Fisher, Dylan Buchheit) to my graduating class (Aaron Meyer, Keegan Shaw, Briar Dittmer, Deion Mikesell, Jacob Marnin, Joel Stenseth). We were all on a mission to pursue excellence and held each other accountable to live the right lifestyle. I’m proud to be a part of a group that went on to do amazing things after high school and after wrestling.
PINDOX: Who are your favorite current wrestlers?
– I’m a homer so for college it’s the current Harvard guys: AJ Jaffe, Phil Conigliaro, Yaraslav Slavikouski, Leo Tarantino, Michael Jaffe to name a few.
I still follow Southeast Polk closely and have been fortunate enough to go back into the room over the course of my college career and wrestle with the guys. I really enjoy watching the former SEP guys that are now in college (DeVos, Runyon, Anderson, etc.), as well as the current SEP wrestlers.
PINDOX: What music would you listen to back in the wrestling days?
– I’d listen to a mix of Pop and Country. We had an eclectic group of guys at SEP and during high school practices we would listen to country one moment and Katy Perry the next.
PINDOX: What was the most upset you ever felt after a loss?
– Most likely my loss to Schwarm in the State Semifinals at 106 lbs. my sophomore year of high school. I was undefeated and had just beaten him in State Duals two days prior. I was on a mission to win state and was supremely confident in my ability to do so having already knocked off nearly everyone in the field. Pressure and nerves got to me, Schwarm had a great game plan and out wrestled me in that match. I was extremely devastated to not reach my goal. I vividly remember hopping in the van to go back to SEP to cut weight that night, the coaches knew I was struggling with the loss and tasked Coach Koch with trying to get a smile on my face. He cracked joke after joke and finally got me in a good mood and looking on to the next best thing.
PINDOX: If you could go back and change one thing about your wrestling career, what would it be?
– Focus on the process and not the result. I put a lot of pressure on myself to achieve specific results and that was always at the forefront of my mind. I wish I would have instead had a mental focus on scoring the next point and letting the result be a byproduct of the work that was already done through constantly looking to score and doing the small things right in matches. I believe this not only would have bettered my performance but also made the sport more enjoyable in the moment.
PINDOX: What was your best wrestling memory or accomplishment?
– I can’t really boil it down to just one as I appreciate many of the little moments with people close to me. A few of my favorites are:
*Winning a state championship my senior year after barely falling short the previous two seasons. I remember hugging my coaches then running into the stands to hug my parents and crying as I embraced them. My parents sacrificed so much, and it was an amazing experience to be able to have that moment with them knowing the early mornings, late nights, and extra work after practice were well worth it.
*Winning the state dual championship over Bettendorf my senior year. I was the last match and following my win, I was hoisted up by my entire team as we celebrated and looked out to the stands full of Rams supporters. An unreal experience to accomplish a team goal thanks to every single person in the room.
*Placing at Midlands my senior year of college after failing to do so the previous couple years. Harvard had a fairly strong performance with two other placers, Cade DeVos placed and we had just been practicing together back in the SEP room a few days prior while back for Christmas break, plus I wrestle two Iowa guys along the way (Biscoglia and Schwarm).
PINDOX: Who were some of your most notable competitors in high school? College?
– Some of my main competition in high school was Jacob Schwarm, Henry Pohlmeyer, Trevor Murano, Tanner Rohweder, Alijah Jeffrey, and Michael Zachary. I also had really tough matches at Gardner Edgerton and the Cheesehead each year.
I didn’t wrestle a ton of guys multiple times. But always ran up against tough opponents from other EIWA schools. We always went to CKLV and Midlands so was able to wrestle against a host of guys from Big 10 and Big 12 schools as well.
PINDOX: Did you wrestle all year or was it seasonal for you?
– I started wrestling year-round in about 6th grade. I had always gone to summer camps, but it was then that I started wrestling freestyle and going to more camps. I also began staying at Pablo’s place for roughly a month each summer, along with guys like Phillip Laux, Paul Glynn, Zach Barnes, Logen Rodriguez, Jake Kadel, among others. It was an amazing environment to not only develop technique, train hard, and form strong friendships, but also build great habits off the mat. Pablo would take us to Coach Gable’s where we would sauna, chop wood, and talk for hours. Gaining those amazing insights into the core drivers of success on the mat and the sacrifices necessary to achieve greatness in this sport allowed me to hone in on my goals and exercise extreme diligence and dedication at a young age.
PINDOX: How would the guys from your day stack up against the guys from your dad’s day?
– That’s tough to say, I think technique developed drastically over the years and the ability for wrestlers in my era to have access to nearly every technique online allows for a much better proliferation of wrestling knowledge. Moreover, athletes today benefit from a more scientific approach to nutrition and recovery. A long-winded way of saying that most likely wrestlers today are more technical and likely better trained.
PINDOX: A lot of people will make the comment that “youth wrestling results or accolades” don’t matter, which I always take objection to, considering I remember how hard I worked to accomplish what I did myself at the AAU State Tournament and you would have never convinced me at the time that the work I put in doesn’t matter. With you winning a 6X AAU State champion, it makes you one of the best ever youth wrestlers to go through the state of Iowa, to this day. Is that something you are still proud of? What are your thoughts on youth wrestling? Does it matter?
– I can see both sides of the argument. I don’t believe youth wrestlers and coaches should be overly worried about results, but they are a byproduct of how you train, your dedication, and your lifestyle. I’m definitely proud of my youth career and my success enabled various opportunities. I’m a big believer in path dependence from an individual decision, so who knows where I would be if not for having a high level of success as a kid. If not for a great deal of success in 2nd grade, I may not have joined Ubasa and been exposed to many invaluable lessons that inevitably drove success and life-changing decisions that put me on a unique pathway.
At the end of the day, I do believe results matter and you obviously strive to win regardless of the level, but the end result should not really be the driving force. It’s important to love the process because everybody loses and very rarely will someone end a competitive career on a high note. That’s why I truly believe the most valuable parts of wrestling do not come in the form of wins and losses, but instead in the impression you make on others and the person you become.
PINDOX: Did you feel a lot of pressure to win state as a Senior in HS considering how close you had come in previous years? If so, how did you manage that stress? How did it feel when you officially won state?
– I felt tremendous pressure. It had been a goal of mine since I was a little kid and I believed I was going to win the tournament in both my sophomore and junior seasons. I was always pretty laser focused throughout my career, so nothing really changed in terms of my preparation. My coaches kept telling me to go out and wrestle like it was practice. I knew if I just wrestled for 6 minutes that I’d end up on top. I was about as calm as ever before my finals match – I had a great warm up, blew out my lunges, and played some 9-circle with my teammates before going out to the arena floor. Once out on the mat I just tried to soak up the moment and make the most of my last 6 minutes in the SEP Rams singlet. I felt pure joy after I won – it was a culmination of many years of hard work and dedication from both myself and my support system.
PINDOX: Considering the fact that you wrestled at Harvard, it goes without saying that you are a very intelligent, studious person. Did wrestling help you with your work ethic in the classroom? Did some of your academics help you with your wrestling?
– My parents always stressed the importance of academics from an early age. I strive for excellence in whatever I do and I’m fairly intellectually curious. Wrestling provided structure to my life and flexed my ability to be diligent and exercise delayed gratification. Most good things in life don’t come easy and I learned that at early age thanks to wrestling.
My commitment to academics forced me to live a very structured life off the mat, which led to good lifestyle habits. I also believe being intellectually curious benefitted me greatly in wrestling. I was able to pick up new techniques and break down things into small, nuanced details. On the flip side, I had a habit to overthink, which can be a hindrance, so I tried to have the right balance between the two.
PINDOX: You had to have wrestled Henry Pohlmeyer (Johnston) 100 times growing up, it seemed like. One of the first things I think of with him is how he used to stare guys down before matches… did you get the stare down treatment with him or would you say that you to wrestled enough to the point where that didn’t happen? Was he one of your best opponents of your career?
– I don’t really remember the stare down that much. We wrestled all the time in competitions and in practices. He was difficult to finish on, a very crafty scrambler, and tough on top. I always knew I’d need to get a takedown or two in the first period to be in a good position to dictate the match, easier said than done given his leg defense. He was definitely one of my best opponents I faced regularly. It was almost like we were destined to wrestle in every event – we wrestled in the SEP vs. Johnston dual my senior year because he was down at 126 for a few competitions before moving up, we’d travel down to Tulsa and somehow find ourselves wrestling in the finals or a placing match, and always battled at AAU state or other local tournaments. It was nice to be at different weight classes in college so when we’d see each other at tournaments we could root each other on instead of being rivals.
PINDOX: Did you wrestle after high school?
– Yes, I wrestled at Harvard.
PINDOX: What sports did you play? How did you do in each of them?
– I golfed until 6th grade and played soccer until 8th grade. I also played baseball and football as a kid. I was pretty good at both golf and soccer – I placed at state in golf and my team won a few state championships in soccer.
PINDOX: What are your favorite sports teams?
– I’m not really a fan of any specific pro teams. My cousin pitched in the MLB for the Rays, Phillies, Diamondbacks, Orioles, and Nationals, so I would switch allegiance to whatever team he played for at the time.
PINDOX: What are your hobbies other than wrestling?
– I enjoy golfing, fishing, and going on hikes.
PINDOX: How good does it make you feel to give back to the sport?
– I love giving back. I’ve worked a few of Pablo’s summer camps and also tried to get back into the SEP room any chance I had in college. I feel so fortunate to have amazing coaches and mentors that guided me throughout my career and set me up for success, so I hope to provide a similar impact to those coming up the youth circuit and in high school.
PINDOX: How has wrestling shaped you as a person to this day?
– When I look back at certain attributes I developed or decision’s I’ve made to get me to where I am today – it essentially all ties back to wrestling. Because of wrestling I’m comfortable being uncomfortable, I’m used to overcoming hardship and loss, and I’m experienced in sacrificing greatly for an end goal. In my opinion wrestling is the greatest teacher of delayed gratification – the ability to postpone an immediate gain in favor of greater and later reward. It is powerful skill and pays enviable dividends in life.
As I stated earlier, the path dependence from wrestling has been substantial. Thanks to wrestling I was able to attend college at Harvard and go into the career I sought after. In addition, nearly all my closest friends are wrestlers, largely due to the bond we formed through supporting each other to overcome obstacles – celebrating the successes together and picking each other up during the losses.
PINDOX: What do you do now?
– I’m a Private Equity Associate at Luminate Capital Partners in San Francisco.
PINDOX: Are you still involved with wrestling?
– Work keeps me busy, but I’m helping out some in my free time at San Francisco State.
PINDOX: Any advice for upcoming wrestlers?
– Control what you can control. There’s so much that goes into the sport that is out of your control – referees, seeding, injuries and sickness. Inevitably the end result of a match is out of your control, you can’t stress or worry about these things. Focus on development, competing as hard as you can, and scoring the next point. Doing the right things in the moment will yield great outcomes and if the result doesn’t end up in your favor, you can hold your head high knowing you did everything in your power to achieve an optimal outcome.
In addition, cherish every opportunity you have to put it on the line – both in practice and competition. Wrestling is special and one day the time will come to an end where you can spend all weekend competing and every day practicing your craft. It’s temporary and there is a life past wrestling so be thankful for the opportunity to do what you love and pour yourself into it.
PINDOX: Any chance we see you wrestle again at an Old Timer’s tournament?
– Possibly, tough to say with work. Would love to wrestle in one of the Stalemates Street League events, but living in San Francisco doesn’t lend well to that being practical at the moment.
PINDOX: Would you like to give a shout out to anyone you wrestled with, against, coached, etc.?
– Giving a shout out to some of my main training partners and teammates throughout my youth and high school career. A few guys that pushed me to become a better wrestler and person include Paul Glynn, Phillip Laux, Noah Ajram, Logen Rodriquez, Zach Barnes, Willie Miklus, Tim Miklus, Dylan Blackford, Aaron Meyer, Alex Meyer, as well as the rest of my SEP teammates – I’ll forever cherish the memories we made winning state championships and putting together dominant performances.
I also want to give a shout out to my teammates / mentors at Harvard. When I arrived at Harvard and started as a true freshman, I was forced to adapt extremely quickly to the rigors of Harvard academics and D1 wrestling. Thanks to Todd Preston, Patrick Hogan, Jeff Ott, and the rest of the upperclassmen at the time, I was able to mature and find success at Harvard. As I grew through college, my peers became mentors and people I sought advice from. Hunter Ladnier and AJ Jaffe were instrumental in helping me keep perspective and think outside the box. I was continuously pushed by them to raise the bar.
PINDOX: Do you have anything to add? Funny/interesting stories? Trivia? Etc.
– Wishing the best of luck to the current SEP and Harvard wrestlers this season!