Pinning down national experience
Drew Hoskin couldn’t remember if this summer was the seventh or eighth time in his career that he had toed the line in a national wrestling competition.
And considering that he’s been wrestling most his life, he said sometimes all the wins, pins, tournaments and travel seem to just blur together.
Still, moments like those he experienced last month aren’t so soon forgotten.
Hoskin, a 12-year-old seventh grader at Lyman Gilmore School who began wrestling at the age of three, took fifth place in the 80-pound Novice weight class of the Greco Roman division of the Western States Regionals in Winnemucca, Nev.
Rather than resting on his laurels, Hoskin headed back out to compete one week later in USA Wrestling’s Greco Roman & Freestyle Nationals in Menomonie, Wisc., where he finished fourth in the 80-pound Novice divisions of both Greco Roman and Freestyle.
“I think this is going to help me,” said Hoskin of facing national-level competition. “Wrestling’s not really competitive until high school, That’s when state is really hard to win. The nationals will get me ready for high school and college.”
Taking state titles are somewhat old hat to Hoskin, who scored his third state crown in May, winning the 75-pound Novice bracket at the California Kids & Cadet Freestyle State Championships in San Jose.
Hoskin isn’t the only western Nevada County wrestler making some noise in the summer season, as he was joined by 14-year-old Matt Manuel, a freshman at Nevada Union this fall, at the regionals in Nevada.
Manuel took fourth place in the 100-pound class of the Schoolboy (13-14 age group) division of freestyle competition.
“I’m getting ready for (high school competition) by practicing and by wrestling over the summer,” said Manuel.
The summer action for these and other area wrestlers isn’t only limited to competition, but also involves attending camps as well as tending to their own training sessions.
A trio of returning NU wrestlers have also been busy this summer, including Manuel’s older brother Luke, who will compete in the Cadet Nationals in Fargo, N.D. from July 20-27. A junior at NU, Luke won the 125-pound Cadet (15-16) state title in May. He also competed alongside NU classmate and teammate Zach Callas – state runner-up in the 160-pound Cadet division – in the Cadet National Dual Tournament last month in Colorado, where the two Miners helped Team California to a ninth-place finish in Greco Roman.
“The offseason is definitely when we improve the most,” Luke said. “This definitely makes me appreciate wrestling in California. There are a lot tougher kids on the national level.”
Also headed to Fargo later this month is NU senior Drew Maraglia, who has qualified for the Junior Nationals.
Such a strong showing by the local contingent on the national level doesn’t seem like much of a surprise to those doing the wrestling.
Many members of the local Goldmine Wrestling Club, such as Hoskin, have drawn inspiration from Nevada Union’s Wade Sauer, who graduated in June after capturing the California State Heavyweight Championship and a scholarship to wrestle at Frenso State.
“I think that motivates me a lot,” Hoskin said of Sauer’s success. “I want to be a four-time state champion in high school. That’s been a goal of mine since I knew about the high school state (championships).
“A lot of wrestling is mental. When you’re training to do these things and you’re getting tired and start feeling pain, you’ve got to push yourself to reach this level. And you keep on doing it until you can’t anymore. I think this is going to help me do that.”
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