Intramural Athlete of the Week named


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Last week, Brian Fleshner, a fourth-year UI dental student, was voted the Daily Iowan Intramural Athlete of the Week.

Fleshner, who plays for the second-ranked Smooth Obturators in the men’s flag-football open league, has played intramurals for the last seven years. In addition to flag-football, he also competes in intramural Ping-Pong and basketball.

“It’s just something to keep me busy, a break from classes really,” he said. “I was into sports in high school. I played football, basketball, baseball, and track. I knew I was not going to be able to play sports at a school like Iowa, so I do intramurals.”

Fleshner said he thinks intramurals provide another avenue for students to exercise and change their normal routines.

“It’s a good way to get out your competitive nature. You know, let off some steam and take a break from studying,” he said. “I work out a lot, and intramurals are a good way to get out of the gym.”

The rest of the Smooth Obturators squad is made up of dental students — some in the dental graduate program. Fleshner, though, has had a variety of intramural teammates over the years.

“Early in college, I played with friends from dorms, but those guys start leaving,” he said. “Then, you just kind of play with the people you know.”

One of those people is teammate Rip Secory, a fellow fourth-year dental student.

“Brian is an all-around athlete,” Secory said. “He’s an animal out there. He plays every game like it’s the Super Bowl.”

But outside of sports, Fleshner has a more calm demeanor.

“He’s easy to get a long with,” Secory said. “He’s a good friend and a good all-around guy.”

That sort of temperament should serve Fleshner well as he works toward his future career. The Carroll, Iowa, native said he has wanted to be a dentist for a long time.

“I wanted to do something in health care, and dentistry seemed to have a laid-back, relaxed atmosphere,” he said. “It involves science and some art to it. Every patient is like a little project.”

He plans to go back home to Carroll and work as a new associate dentist in July 2010. Eventually, he hopes to own the business, although he knows that’s a goal for the distant future.

“The people already there are probably 15 to 20 years ahead of me right now,” Fleshner said. “They’ll eventually retire, and hopefully, I’ll just kind of phase into it. But I know that a lot can change, though.”

Even though it seems as if Fleshner has a busy schedule with intramurals and dental school, he still finds a little spare time to devote to his other interests.

He said he enjoys cooking, especially outdoors.

“I love to cook. For myself and whoever’s around me, really,” he said. “I’m a guy, so I love to grill. I got one as a Christmas present and have gone through probably around 20 propane tanks already.”

In addition to cooking, Fleshner is also a biking and hiking enthusiast. Last summer, he traveled to Arizona and hiked the Grand Canyon.

On a normal day, he will head over to Sugar Bottom Campground and embark on a 35-mile bike ride. Sometimes, the rides can even get up to 80 miles — on occasion farther.

“Sometimes, it gets to be even more than that,” Fleshner said. “I guess it makes my food taste better.”

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