Coach (Schwab) talked about being tough on top, what did you do to get better there?
It was definitely an attitude thing. Before I was just riding to ride, not so much looking for turns or looking to do anything on top. But having guys like Lazor, Colon, Bonin in the room, they’ve helped me out a ton this summer and I’ve learned a lot so I’m excited what I can do on top now.
Can you talk about that, you have seven post-collegiate in here helping you guys out, what does that do to help a team? To have guys that are really invested in the program, guys, most of them have been through the program too?
It helps us out a ton, especially for our younger guys who are coming in and they’re getting beat in a situation and they don’t know what to do. Maybe they can’t grab a coach, which our coaches are always here to help, but now they’ve got a post-collegiate guy that’s been there too. He knows what the person’s doing, he’s probably fought through that same position he can offer up advice about what to do there.
With the way things went in the national tournament I know you weren’t too happy with how it ended there, how much do you feel that you’ve taken that step to really get higher up on that podium and really eliminate how you felt last year?
It’s definitely a motivator for me in the room here you know. Somethings not going your way or you have a bad day you just have to keep working hard, because everyone’s training hard. You didn’t get what you wanted last year so it’s time to step up every time you come up on that line.
Coach talked about trying to be, in music terms, not being a one-hit wonder, a two-hit wonder. You’ve been 15th in the nation two years in a row, this program has been built to be a contender over the year, talk about what the team mindset is with that and trying to stay within the top 15, top 10.
That’s part of [what] Doug [says], he’s bringing in solid guys, solid partners. And we don’t even want to be 15th, we want to be up in the top 5, so Doug tells us that all the time, we’re always working. Everyone knows it’s not just the ten guys who start it’s one through 38, pushing everybody, everybody trying to make everyone be their best. That’s the good thing about our room.
Will you talk about who you just feed off one another in the room? You know at preseason practice, it seemed like you guys, kind of, were picking each other up and pushing each other, is that essential for the teams success?
Yeah, maybe you see someone getting it taken to them you know, and then you know you just have to step up. Or you have to be, you just always have to be ready to go because at anytime anyone here is going to step up and push you. There’s never an easy day in this room; guys like Colon, Levi, Lazor, Alber. So you be better come ready to wrestle every day in here.
How much do you look at yourself as a leader for this team?
I just try, I like to think that I’m a leader but I’m not very vocal. I just like to have my actions lead for me. When I’m in here I’m working hard, there’s nothing I’m not afraid to do. If someone needs help or if someone wants to learn something I’m going to help too. We’re all kind of coaches there, coaches for each other.
Can you beat a Jesse Delgado?
What do you feel that you bring to the table that he doesn’t, to finish on top of that podium?
Just got to be able to finish shots. You can’t take your time on him or he’s going to leg pass you. I’m still trying to figure out the right shot to hit, he’s leg passing doubles, he’s leg passing singles, so just quick finishes. We’ve got good guys; Lazor leg passes, Joe leg passes, we’ve got guys that can duplicate that stuff pretty well.