While after school dual meets are over within a few hours, wrestling tournaments like last weekend’s Rosemead High School tournament can last all day.
“Last year we had guys wrestling into the a.m.,” Jake Bracken ’14 said. “This same tournament started at 2 [p.m.] and we had guys wrestling at 12:45 a.m.”
Bracken and his teammates compete for at most 30 minutes in these tournaments, wrestling up to five, six minute matches in a day.
“There is a lot of downtime,” he said.
Individual wrestlers find their own way to pass the hours that can separate one match from the next. For Bracken, the time when he is not actually on the mat is spent on the sidelines.
“At a tournament you’ll generally find me watching whoever’s wrestling,” Bracken said. “I’ll be on the mat, giving advice and cheering them on next to our coach.”
For the team’s two heavyweights, it’s a social time. Charlie Nelson ’13 and Henry Schlossberg ’13 talk to their competition, the heavyweights from other teams.
“Charlie Nelson and Henry Schlossberg are very jolly guys so they’ll talk to the heavyweights and socialize with the other wrestlers,” Bracken said. “Throughout all these teams that go to these tournaments, it’s kind of known that the 220 pounders are all nice guys, but once you get down to the 130 pounders, they’re kind of mean guys who want to win.”
For others, the time when they’re not attempting to take opponents down is time to hit the books. In order to finish their homework, wrestlers will take their books to meets and study throughout the day, Bracken said.
During the relatively short time the team actually wrestles at the weekend tournaments, the goal is to put up a number of undefeated individual performances. At the season-opening Thanksgiving weekend Chaminade tournament, Bracken, Patrick Halkett ’14, and Schlossberg did not lose a single match. Bracken and James Wauer ’13 led the team as they both went 5-0 in the Camarillo Dual Meets, while Bracken, Halkett, Schlossberg and Nelson all advanced to the second day of the Rosemead tournament.
The Wolverines however remain stuck in a dual meet drought, as they have not won a dual meet since a 2010-2011 season
victory against Alemany. In its two dual meets so far this year, the team has lost by margins of 45 points and 17 points to Bishop Amat and Chaminade, respectively.
Bracken attributes the two losses in part to the lack of wrestlers in a number of weight classes, a problem he thinks can be righted in time for the team’s Jan. 16 dual meet against Alemany.
“That’s closer to the end of the year, so hopefully we’ll have our weight under control and can do well,” Bracken said.