Mar 1990: Making 114.5

Gable made an 8-week training calendar for me from now through freestyle Nationals to help me stay on pace, get my weight down, and peak physically at the right time. Next two weeks will be training with the NCAA team, longer workouts, working on controlling my caloric intake. My weight needs to be stabilized by early April so that being near 114.5 feels "almost normal," according to Gable. (I don't think that being 114.5 will ever feel normal.) Weeks 4-6 should be the most intense, then tapering off in weeks 7-8 leading up to Nationals.

I'm in College Park, Maryland, for the NCAA championships. It's enjoyable so far, but a lot of these wrestlers get on my nerves very quickly, chief among them Royce and Lewis and Melchiore.

Steve Martin is out of the tournament. He went 0-2. Horrible showing, and we needed his points to win. He was seeded 8th after being ranked in the top 5 most of the season (and placing 7th last year). Just kind of faded. For all the bad things I say about him, this is not how I wanted to see him go out.

Everyone else is still in the championship bracket (final 8). It's still real close but probably a 3-team race (ASU, OSU, Iowa). Tomorrow's quarterfinal round will be very important.

I wrestled hard with Barry today and didn't wrestle well. Or yesterday, for that matter. I'm still just sort of on the periphery. I don't know if I can place at 114.5 this year. I don't know if my offense is good enough, or my defense, for that matter. I've got about four weeks left to prepare. I blew it with my diet last week. I've been doing better this week, but I'm way behind. I've got to make a 17-18-pound cut next week for another freestyle tournament in Michigan. I really do need to get down there and wrestle at scratch.

Iowa took third at NCAAs, behind Okie State and ASU. Three finalists, 6 All-Americans, over 100 points, which is usually enough to win it, but Okie State and ASU were tough. Credit to them.

118: Martin (did not place)
126: Terry Brands (1st)
134: Tom Brands (1st)
142: Troy Steiner (5th)
150: Doug Streicher (6th)
167: Bart Chelesvig (3rd)
190: Brooks Simpson (2nd)
Hwt: John Oostendorp (did not place)

Great to see Terry and Tom win it--Iowa's first champs in a couple years, and they're just sophomores. Everyone wrestled to seed or higher except Rat Martin and Oostendorp. Had they wrestled to seed we would've won it by a point or two.

I've been doing 2-3 practices a day this week to get down to 114.5 for Michigan. Weigh-in is tomorrow. I've been doing sauna/jump rope sessions every morning with Barry, then live wrestling in the afternoons, and sometimes another sauna session in the evening. I'm probably 126 now, need to go out at 121. Then tonight I need to do another sauna session and get down to 120. Tomorrow I need to get down to 117.5 mopping mats in plastics and sitting in sauna. I can cut another 1.5 running upstairs around the arena in plastics, then another pound in the sauna. And the last half pound will be by the grace of God.

Wel, I f---ing did it.

I made 114.5.

I cut 14 pounds in 3 days--5.5 the final day when I didn't have a f---ing ounce of water left in my entire body and couldn't will myself to sweat for a million bucks.

The last 24 hours were basically shuffling ahead one foot at a time trying to remain upright without keeling over. I hadn't been below 118 since my junior year in high school, 11 years ago.

But I made it.

When I got to Michigan for the tournament this morning, there was nobody at 114.5.

So I wrestled at 125.5. And I won. I beat a 2-time NCAA Div III All-American named Scott Marvin in the finals by a few points. He was pissed off at the end of the match when he shook my hand. And I was thinking, "F--- you if you thought you were going to beat me."

Since I technically won both weight classes, I got two medals to give to my two little nieces.

I'm feeling good about freestyle Nationals again. Now I know it's physically possible to make 114.5 and still wrestle fairly well.

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