Throughout the off-season, we’re going to be getting to know returning NCAA Division I wrestlers from around the country. We sent questionnaires to every program in the country and will be sharing the results throughout the long trek to next fall. You can find them all whenever you like under the Getting to Know tag.
Name: Nick Wanzek
Class (for 2017-18): Redshirt Senior
Weight: 165 / 174 pounds
After beginning the year at 174, Wanzek dropped down to 165 where he finished fourth at the Southern Scuffle and sixth at the Big 10 tournament, qualifying for NCAAs for the second year in a row. He was the number 16 seed but reached the round of 12 only losing to top-seeded Isaiah Martinez (Illinois) and sixth-seeded Daniel Lewis (Missouri). He returns next season intent on winning a national title.
What are you working on this off-season?
My main goal this off-season is to improve on the mat and pinning combinations. With the new 4-point near fall rule, a set of near fall can put the match out of hand. There are so many opportunities to score points so being able to capitalize on those is key in my off-season training. Naturally, I have grown up to be a very basic wrestler, but I want to change my mindset and take more risks and create scrambles. I am a great scrambler, but sometimes am too conservative. This off-season, I definitely want to change my mindset and allow me to take more risks and hang it all out there for the fans next season!
Do you plan to wrestle freestyle or Greco in the off-season?
When I came to Minnesota, my main goal was to become a national champion. I wrestled freestyle in the past, but since I only have one year left and have yet to accomplish this main goal, I am going to solely be training folk-style. I will attend Universities (freestyle tournament) this summer just to compete since the two styles are similar, but will be focusing my main effort on improving my weak areas in the college style.
What was the most interesting class you took this year?
Econometrics. It is statistical analysis of economic concepts. It sounds dry, but is very challenging and rewarding when a break-through is made. I learned a lot in the class and was able to do a lot of research regarding gender gaps in salaries and wages among different career choices and different implications that could be made. With the research I did, hopefully it will be used to influence public policy and make some changes in real life scenarios.
If you could change one rule in college wrestling what would it be?
I would change the takedown to 3 points. This would really help my style, since my strong point is on the feet. It would be a lot easier to rack up some points quickly!
What is your major and what would you like to do with it when you graduate?
My major is economics. I will graduate May 2017 and attend graduate school this following year. My overall academic goal is to receive a doctorate degree in economics and take classes in political science. After I receive my extended education, I want to use that knowledge to influence public policy, especially regarding agricultural economics and labor economics. I plan to possibly run for office or be a policy advisor around my interests. I believe that, politically, the United States has never been more partisan than it is currently. I want to fully understand these economic issues and be able to convey it to the overall population on how to improve not only the United States, but the World economy. Overall, I hope to fully understand these concepts, influence leaders, and make a difference by improving lives. I am very excited for this next step, but first, I want to win that national title!