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Road To Detroit: We Made Weight For The 2022 NCAA Wrestling Championships

As Penn State wrestling approaches the NCAA Championships in Detroit this weekend, it’s no secret that several stars will be focused on fitting into their respective weight classes ahead of the competition.

While Nittany Lions such as Roman Bravo-Young and Nick Lee are careful to make sure one too many cheeseburgers don’t slide them out of eligibility, several of our staffers decided to try their hand at a similar concept.

Four Onward State staffers picked out weight classes and did all they could to be eligible to wrestle by this weekend. Read on to find out if we succeeded.

Tobey Prime: 174 lbs.

Compared to my fellow staffers, I feel like my journey was quite easy. I started my journey at a cool 169 (nice) pounds and didn’t need to worry too much about losing weight. Actually, I was quite excited to add a few pounds, as I’ve been trying to bulk up a bit in the past few years.

Hitting the gym came quite easy, as I already have an established workout regime every week. I usually do legs twice a week, back day, chest day, and arm day. The biggest thing I really had to focus on was my diet. I did my best to consume over 100 grams of protein while pairing that with some greens. I didn’t do too much cardio, but some weekends after having a little too much fun, I would hit the stair master at the White Building to shed off those extra calories.

The day before the big weigh-in, I made sure to fast and not drink too much water to add extra weight. On the morning of the weigh-in, I took a quick trip to the bathroom and hopped on the scale. After the longest three seconds of my life, the scale finally read 174.2.

All I have to say? Carter Starocci, I’m ready for you, brother. Name a time and a place, and I’m there.

Sam Fremin: 157 lbs.

Because of my natural prowess, I did absolutely nothing differently and just hoped I wouldn’t add any unnecessary weight. When it came time to weigh, I refrained from drinking any water and stripped naked. The results? A successful cut to 157. Let this be a lesson, folks: There’s no reason to work toward your goals. Laziness is rewarded.

Will Pegler: 184 lbs.

Entering this challenge, I knew the 184-pound weight class was my most realistic option. I usually hover around that weight, and I figured a bit more of a regimented workout effort and clean diet would solidify my spot in that window.

With all of that in mind, my “clean diet” consisted of a limited beer intake while eating all of the same stuff I usually do. I had just received a shipment of Girl Scout Cookies when I set my mind to the 184-pound goal, but there was no chance I wasn’t going to eat those. Let’s just say the Thin Mints and Tagalongs did not last long in my apartment.

Along with my new diet, I made an effort to get up to the IM Building a few times a week. Those trips included a couple of games with my IM basketball team, the Ball Knowers, so I was certainly able to burn some calories while hustling up and down those legendary courts.

Long story short, I weighed in at a clean 187 pounds to finish this challenge. That is just enough to lock me in at the 184-pound weight class and line me up with Nittany Lion star Aaron Brooks. I’m not sure I carry that weight the same way as Brooks, but either way, that’s where I’d slot in for Cael Sanderson’s squad.

Ryan Parsons: 157 lbs.

I lost.

I’m not really a big guy. At 6′ flat, I came into this little challenge weighing 150.5 pounds, which is admittedly even a bit on the heavy side for me. I took this as a challenge to gain nearly seven pounds in basically a month — a tall order, but nothing too impossible.

My strategy was to gain most of my mass through muscle rather than fat, which is where my troubles started. I say I “go to the gym,” but I actually don’t really lift or anything. I only rock climb, which I’m starting to think impacts fewer muscle groups than I originally thought.

I started off strong and things were going well. I was eating upwards of 160 grams of protein per day and cracking into the 3,000-calorie range. I even started tracking my micros and macros in MyFitnessPal. I made it up to 152.5 before one of my IM basketball games, which embarrassingly was probably the most I’ve ever weighed. But, when THON came around, everything was derailed.

I don’t remember if I even ate during THON. Sure, some coffees and chicken baskets were involved, but I had nowhere close to the three square meals per day I needed to gain seven pounds. After the good ol’ dance marathon I honestly lost a lot of motivation because I knew how much progress I lost and I kind of gave up.

I drank a lot of Guinness in Ireland over spring break, but that didn’t even make a dent. I didn’t come close to my goal. There’s probably something wrong with my metabolism, and I’m very excited for the day it catches up with me.

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