COLLEGE PARK, Md. (DC News Now) — The Maryland wrestling team is sending five wrestlers to Tulsa, Oklahoma to compete in this year’s NCAA Championships.
“Traveling to Tulsa is going to be something vert cool,” said redshirt freshman 149-pounder Ethen Miller. “This is what I always wanted to do.”
“Everybody in that lineup has beaten someone that is in the top 10,” said Maryland wrestling head coach Alex Clemsen. “I don’t think they need to do anything special, they just need to wrestle well.”
Of the five wrestlers competing at nationals for Maryland, four of them are freshman. The Terps are one of three programs in the nation sending four freshman wrestlers to Tulsa.
“This is just another tournament in our eyes,” said redshirt freshman 125-pounder Braxton Brown. “So us going, and all of the young people going, just shows that you don’t have to be a senior to go to this tournament and do well.”
“I think it says a lot for what we are doing here at Maryland,” said redshirt freshman 197-pounder Jaxon Smith. “Our culture, our training. We are changing the program around right now. We are sending four Freshman to nationals. I think we are going to see more of that here in the next few years and see better results.”
This year has had it’s ups and downs for the Terps wrestling program. One of the highs of this year was winning their first Big Ten conference dual meet in seven years. Now, the team looks to put an end to another drought, and bring home their first all-American wrestler since 2019.
“We want that for ourselves,” said freshman 141-pounder Kal Miller. “We want to prove to everyone that we can do it.”
The trip to Tulsa, for all five Maryland wrestlers, is not an experience trip. It’s a business trip.
“If I’m not on the podium, then I would consider my trip a failure,” said 8-year senior 285-pounder Jaron Smith. “A lot of the guys would say the same thing. We are not going out there to spectate. We are going out there to end up on the podium. We want to put dudes on the podium at the end of the year.”
“I don’t think any of these guys are looking at it as an experience thing,” said Clemsen. “I think they are expecting a lot more than to just have an experience thing.”
The NCAA Wrestling Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma will go for three days, beginning on Thursday and ending on Saturday.