Part of being a wrestler for any program is to buy into the system set in place. Our "pantherstyle" mantra preaches to our wrestlers to work hard and let the world be your teacher. One Panther that is leading the charge is 7th grader Owen Foster. Owen has been wrestling a few years, coming up through the Little Panthers program and has risen to compete on the national stage with several travel teams. We sat down with Foster to discuss his cross training regiment, his time training with Olympians, and his over commitment to excellence.
How did you prepare for this season?
To prepare for this season as well as last season, I would go to off season practices like the West Ottawa fall camp, Myrmidon practices, and participate in other sports. I also did strength and conditioning during the summer to help myself get stronger.
What was the Olympic Training Center like?
The Olympic Training Center was a great experience for me. It was really cool to be able to practice with Olympic wrestlers and hopefuls such as Andy Bisek, Austin Morrow, Corey Fitzgerald, and Dalton Roberts.The Olympic warm-up actually seemed a lot like the warm-ups we do at West Ottawa and Myrmidon. One thing I learned from the wrestlers there, is to always do a hard warm-up before you wrestle in order to get your body ready for your match. Both Andy Bisek and Austin Morrow told my brother and I a similar message that I have heard many times before, of always keep working and you will succeed, and do not ever give up on your goals as a wrestler. This message is something that I will definitely take away from this opportunity.
Why did you decide on the Grand River Rumble?
I decided to do the Grand River Rumble in order to get some national competition as well as wrestling some extremely good wrestlers. Wrestling good wrestlers only makes me better and lets me gain experience. While I did get beat pretty bad in some matches, afterwards I knew that doing this only makes me a better wrestler.
What are some of the challenges you have to face?
Some hurdles I have had to face are things such as balancing schoolwork and wrestling. When I am getting ready for regional or state, I have little time to do homework. On some days I may have about 45 minutes to do 6 classes of homework, so I must use my time wisely. Another hurdle is watching what I eat. At school there can be some food that is not good to eat during wrestling season. I have to really keep my mind off food like pizza, extras like chips, ice cream, and sugary drinks.
How has Cross Country helped you prepare in the fall?
Cross country for me is a good form of cross training for wrestling. It keeps me healthy and builds my stamina. Running helps strengthen my legs which are key in wrestling. It also builds up my core which helps with stamina.
Who is your wrestling hero?
My wrestling hero is Cael Sanderson. He has been since I was little. I actually met him and got his autograph at a Penn State - Michigan wrestling dual. That was really awesome. What he did was amazing with winning four high school state titles, an undefeated college career, and an Olympic gold medalist. He is someone I look up to when I do wrestling.