Wrestling team hopes to improve in face of rising COVID-19 cases

January 23, 2022 — by Mitchell Chen
The unconditioned wrestling team struggled to find athletes willing to wrestle due to COVID-19 concerns.

The wrestling team has faced an uninvited opponent early in its 0-4 start to the season: COVID-19 concerns and absences. 

With increasing rates of COVID-19 transmission, wrestling has been hit especially hard because athletes aren’t willing to risk their health on the mat, members on the team said. Forfeits have been common.

As a result, of the 20 athletes on the team, only 12 have been willing to go on the mat during meets and tournaments. 

Sophomore Andy Cao is among those sitting out.

“I am hesitant to wrestle in meets because I wanted to take extra COVID-19 precautions,” he said. “It really sucks because I was really looking forward to using some of the new techniques we learned in practice.” 

While the pandemic has greatly impacted the team, it wasn’t the only thing that factored into the rough start to the season. The lack of conditioning and preparation the team has done this year has also contributed to their losses, senior captain Kendal Jarvis said. Wrestlers haven’t pushed themselves and each other to the best of their abilities — and they have much room for improvement, he said.

As a result, in addition to regular practices, the team also conditions twice a week, either on the track or in the weight room.

“I think our conditioning at the moment may not be the best, but as long as we incorporate live wrestling with other workouts, we should be fine,” Jarvis said. 

During a recent dual meet with Santa Clara on Jan. 20, members of the team felt that while conditioning has helped their performances, there is still more to be done. 

“I think we still need more conditioning,” sophomore Justin Jiang said. “During my match at Santa Clara, I was tired after the first round. If we had more conditioning in the beginning of the season, it would be more effective.” 

Despite losses, the team is trying to stay healthy and work harder to better prepare themselves for future meets and tournaments. Their next meet was scheduled for Jan. 27 against Mountain View.

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