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By Amalia Justiniano   Teamwork makes the dream work. Wrestling team president Nathan Swanson-Dinsmore said in the early stages of the club, they didn’t even have access to a mat. The team was small and had a hard time growing since they had to practice at Sehome High School. It wasn’t until this year that the team was able to start practicing and hosting meets at Western, which has brought in more interest from the student body. Vice President Jack Larsen said the dynamic of the team has changed for the better, as they’ve welcomed new students and more freshmen. “My freshman year we were pretty small and it was mainly upperclassmen,” Larsen said. “Over the years we’ve been growing and we’re mainly a younger team now as opposed to mainly seniors.”

Freshman Taylor Adriance, right, ties-up with a fellow Western wrestler at practice on Monday, Feb. 5. // Photo by Amalia Justiniano
The team focuses on supporting each other, even though the sport is individual focused. “When I first showed up, I thought everyone would have their own little wrestling clique,” transfer student Michael Euliss said. “Everybody has been very welcoming. We’ve really bonded a lot between travelling and practicing so much.” Coming in as a transfer student, Euliss knew that having to build a new community was going to be a challenge. “This team has made my experience better here at Western,” Euliss said. “I really only knew a handful of people coming here but through wrestling it made it easier to make friends.” Though the wrestling team at Western is made up of mostly men, the women who do compete aren’t afraid to hit the mats. “I feel empowered,” freshman Taylor Adriance said. “I’m the only girl. They help to push me and each other to get better and we help support each other.” Adriance hopes to have a larger number of women on the team next year. She said many of her old teammates from high school are planning on coming to Western. Swanson-Dinsmore said he also hopes the team will be able to recruit more women and other college students, but with lack of visibility on campus the past five years, there have been hurdles this club has been slowly overcoming. The club encourages people to come to their practices Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the Multi-Activity Court Gym in the Wade King Student Recreation Center. More information can also be found on their website. “We like having big teams, because the more people you have the more you can push each other and the more fun it is,” Swanson-Dismore said. “After a long day of either getting beat up or having success after a meet, it’s great to ride back home with your teammates.”    


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