The saying goes that it takes a village to raise a person. Well, if that is true, Owen is the mayor of that village. Seldom the man to turn down a challenge, we sat down with Owen to discuss his big debut at the high school, his dedicated regiment, and his experience at the national level.
How did you prepare for this season?
To prepare for this upcoming season, especially being my first High School wrestling season, I have done multiple things. The first one, and most likely, the best thing was working out over the summer. This summer I really focused on lifting, primarily keeping a good schedule with lifting to reach my full potential and strength for the season. I lifted through the West Ottawa Wrestling Weight Training Program set up by Dr. Nadolsky, and it showed really good results. Another thing I did to prepare for the upcoming season was running cross-country throughout the summer and this fall. Cross-country is one of the best conditioning sports I could do to help increase lung capacity, and get me in good shape for the season. It helps with keeping a good mindset, to always keep going, even if it hurts. It has helped my mental game a lot because of the adversity it makes me face when I am running at my hardest. Cross-Country will definitely help my mental game and conditioning for the season. The final main thing to prepare me for the upcoming season was that I kept wrestling through the spring and summer through practices, camps, and competitions. During the spring I attended open mats at the High School, myrmidon practices and also competed at the Michigan Freestyle/Greco states. During the summer I also attended Myrmidon, trained up at Muskegon Community College through Jayhawk wrestling, and went to multiple camps across the state. To name a few, the Hudson Wrestling Camp, Richmond Wrestling Camp, and West Ottawa's Wrestling Camp. I also competed in multiple events such as the Barn Brawl in Ludington, and the Beast of the Beach in Grand Haven.
What was has travel baseball helped your wrestling?
To be honest, travel baseball didn't fully help my wrestling, as much as wrestling has helped my baseball skills. From positioning to explosiveness on the field, it all comes back to wrestling. When fielding grounders, the ready position is extremely similar to a wrestling stance. Being a wrestler, allows me to have really good footwork and explosiveness in that position. This corresponds to everything in baseball, from catching and pitching, and batting.
How was the wrestling combine at Cornell?
The wrestling combine at Cornell University was an extremely cool experience. I got to train with some of the best kids in the country under some of the best coaches in the country. The people there pushed me and showed me that I can compete at a high level, but I still have a lot to work on to become the best wrestler I can be. There was high level technique, but also basic technique, which cemented the fact that basic moves and positions are just as important, if not more, than advanced ones. I also got to explore the campus of Cornell, which was absolutely stunning.
What are some of the hurdles you have to face?
Throughout my career in wrestling, I have faced many hurdles. One hurdle I have overcome is placing at MYWAY states, which I finally achieved last season. I had qualified for states the previous two years but always lost in the blood round to get to the finals. Last season, I did not want that to happen again. I worked on my technique in the off season and in season, constantly drilling (meaning missing some games at practice). I pushed myself to my limits knowing that it will pay off in the end. Due to my hard work, I achieved my goal and passed a major hurdle in my career. Another hurdle that I will face this season, One that I have not overcome is competing and winning in the OK Red. Coming into the season, many kids I have lost to, or wrestle close matches with will be wrestling for schools in the OK Red. This season I have to really push myself and work to match and beat my opponents that I have had trouble with in the past. If I do this, I know I have a shot for an OK Red title and even a state title.
What has been like transitioning from middle school?
The transition from middle school to high school hasn't been as tough as it could have been. The walking between buildings and changes in schedule from normal to seminar days hasn't been very hard for me. The main aspect of the transition that was difficult was the workload of homework and projects, as well as managing my time so that I can turn everything in and maintain my grades. I have already learned that procrastination cannot happen.
Who is your wrestling hero?
Personally, I don't have much of a wrestling hero at this point in time. There are many extraordinary wrestlers right now, but the people I look up to most are my instructors and coaches that I've had through my years as a wrestler. They are the ones that have helped me, and shaped me into the wrestler I am today.