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Wrestler brings hometown tradition to Intramural mats

BY ETHAN SEBERT | FEBRUARY 17, 2010 7:30 AM

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Diet Mountain Dew, the drink of champions.

At least that was the case for sophomore Trever Olsen when he won the intramural wrestling 165-pound weight class Monday night.

Roughly five minutes before every match, the Osage, Iowa, native chugs a bottle of Diet Mountain Dew. Olsen began the tradition of guzzling the low-calorie beverage his freshman year in high school, while wrestling for the Osage High Green Devils.

“It just gets me going,” the 19-year-old said. “Diet Mountain Dew just hits the spot in me and fires me up.”

Olsen won his 165-pound match by forfeit, after his opponent didn’t show. He made it to the finals by beating sophomore Ben Morrow, 6-4, in overtime.

The semifinal matchup was a revenge match for Olsen. Morrow had pinned him in the intramural wrestling competition last year.

Olsen was a four-year starter for the tradition-rich Green Devils. He won his conference tournament twice and qualified for the Class 2A State Wrestling Tournament at 135 pounds his senior year in 2008.

The business major also helped Osage win the Iowa High School Class 2A State Dual Team Wrestling Tournament in 2006 as a sophomore.

Osage also has a long history of championship wrestling, producing two Olympians in Gerry Leeman and current Iowa assistant wrestling coach Doug Schwab.

“I’m a big fan of Doug Schwab,” Olsen said. “He’s done so much for Osage and for the state of Iowa.”

Olsen began wrestling in kindergarten, and he has been in love with the sport since, despite the rigorous training the sport requires.

“Training for wrestling is like no other training,” he said. “I like the feeling of almost dying, and that happens just about every match I wrestle.”

He admitted he didn’t do too much training for the intramural competition but said he worked out with the City High wrestling team. He thinks his fan support gave him the extra push he needed to win against Morrow.

However, some of his fans had different ideas about what gave him the edge.

“I think his roommate, Vinnie Wagner, probably helped him,” friend Abby Julius said. “I’m sure he gave him some tips.”

Wagner, who is also Olsen’s cousin, is another product of the Osage wrestling program and a sophomore 184-pounder for the Hawkeyes.

Another one of his fans, roommate Nick Ellerbroek, did more than just cheer for Olsen. He helped him train for his matches, lifting with Olsen in their makeshift weight room in their basement on Friday nights before going out.

The combination of lifting sessions and a diet full of burritos, pizza, and Diet Mountain Dew were the main factors behind the 30 pounds Olsen gained in the two years since high school.

However, he said, he had to skip a couple of meals to make weight for this year’s competition. But going hungry was a small price to pay for the prize shirt he won.

“Those T-shirts are sweet,” Olsen said. “You can’t just buy one. You have to earn it.”


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