Their lack of a coach did not stop Western’s wrestling team from having success on the mat.
Four students placed in their respective weight class at the National Collegiate Wrestling Association State Championship Sunday, Feb. 12, in Ellensburg.
Senior captain Kegan Mulholland placed first in the 141 pound weight class, where he competes against other 141 pound wrestlers. On top of being team captain, Mulholland has taken on the role of coach. As a club team, the wrestlers cannot afford to pay a full-time coach.
“Our captain has been doing a good job of leading the team. He has school to worry about, but he’s also competing.”
Mulholland said without a coach, the team needs to build each other up more than ever.
“We’re always in each others’ corners,” Mulholland said. “It’s not just a coach in the corner. We have the whole team in the corner cheering each other on, hyping each other up.”
Mulholland organizes all of the trips, and also drives the team to all of the tournaments.
Junior Jack Larsen likes not having a coach. He said the lack of a coach allows them to be more flexible and gives the team a way to work around everyone’s schedule.
Larsen placed sixth in the 149 pound weight class. He said he was happy with his team’s performance, but felt he could have done better.
“I [have to] improve; I [have to] get my cardio up to par,” Larsen said. “That’s my weakest point. I’m pretty technically sound. I know what to do in most positions, but that third round, when I don’t have the energy to do it, it’s so frustrating.”
The team has two weeks before the Northwest Conference Championship on Saturday, Feb. 25 at Grays Harbor College in Aberdeen, where the wrestlers will have their chance to qualify for nationals.
Senior Josue Martinez placed fifth in the 149 pound weight class. Martinez said having a real coach would benefit their team since the coach could spend time designing drills and advising each wrestler on what they need to work on.
“We [have] one more tournament and we’re definitely improving and having fun,” Martinez said. “Our captain has been doing a good job of leading the team. He has school to worry about, but he’s also competing.”
Mulholland said mental toughness is just as important as physical toughness. He said it is necessary for the team to have a strong unity and build each other up because of the mental side.
Mulholland is now looking forward to the conference tournament after his performance at Central.
“We want to represent Western, go out there, and kick some butt,” Mulholland said.