Tristan Weirich always ready for a challenge

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Tristan Weirich

Senior wrestler Tristan Weirich competing at a wrestling match.

Sean Repuyan, AU-TV 20 NEWS TALENT

Tristen Weirich grips his opponent tightly. Sweat drips from his forehead as the two wrestlers struggle to gain their footing and get the upper hand. 

Weirich stares back at the bleachers full of crowd members who are bursting with anticipation. His eyebrows knit together with determination. With one swift movement, Weirich pins his opponent against the mat. 

One… Two… Three… And it’s all over. 

Tristen Weirich has been wrestling consistently for 15 years. Weighing in at 285 pounds, Weirich is a heavyweight wrestler associated with Ashland University’s men’s wrestling team. As a senior now at Ashland, Weirich has built quite the reputation for himself both on and off the mat.

Weirich is a double major in Cyber Security and Criminal Justice, with a 10-0 record under his belt as a senior. Being a home-grown ashland athlete, Weirich got his start in wrestling in the second grade. 

“I had a few behavioral problems when I was younger,” Weirich recalled. “In second grade, my teachers recommended using wrestling as an outlet for my behavior.” 

As Weirich continued his journey with the sport at Ashland High School, he said he felt that he did not feel like he was where he wanted to be when it came to his progress. 

“My first two years, I wasn’t where I wanted to be,” Weirich said. “I suffered an injury and I felt like I had no support from my first coach. But still, you can’t let a coach decide how good you are at your own sport.”

It was until his junior year in high school when things started picking up for him. 

“The progression was a lot better with a new coach,” Weirich said. “The new lifting program he started really helped me get motivated.” 

Weirich’s motivation with wrestling has seen some ups and downs. However, that is what he loves about the sport. The saying, “practice makes perfect” doesn’t come lightly to him, but Weirich loves the drive that comes with learning new things. 

“All the practicing and practicing and practicing and practicing, until it finally comes to fruition is great,” Weirich continued. “It drives me to be better and motivates me to be a better person.”

In his senior year of highschool, Weirich managed to place fourth at the state championships and had a 110-32 record and 32 pins. 

When it came to college, Weirich decided to stay close to home and enroll in Ashland University. However, he joined the wrestling team in the spring semester. 

“I don’t think I came in at the right time for what I was expecting,” Weirich said. “I expected hard practices, but my sophomore year was a lot more intense and I enjoyed the challenge it brought.”

Weirich wants and enjoys people around him to push him to be his best. As he got to know his teammates and fellow players, he built close bonds with them.

“I started hanging out with the national qualifier on the team, and I ended up beating him in a match,” Weirich continued. “But they still took him over me to take to regionals, but I guess that just meant I didn’t earn it yet.”

His drive and motivation kicked in once more. By his junior year at Ashland University, he considered himself to have skyrocketed athletically. 

Weirich spent more time with the lifting program and put all of his effort into improving himself, saying he is always striving to be better.

“Things were going well,” Weirich said. “I placed sixth, and beat the guy who won nationals. I was getting a lot of coaching and looking for scouting, but for some reason I wasn’t happy.” 

Although many things were looking up, Weirich says his drive to keep getting better clouded his mental health. He was then faced with a season-ending injury, separating a bone and ripping out the cartilage. 

The next fall, his senior year, Weirich was in the Navy. That semester he was redshirted, unattached and not competing under Ashland University. 

“Mentally, I felt sharper,” Weirich said. “I did more things that I wanted in a match.”

However, at nationals, Weirich placed similarly to his junior year. He considered his sixth placement a let-down at nationals. 

Regardless of the many challenges he has faced, Weirich currently has a record of 10-0, being one of the three undefeated grapplers on the team. 

“Although my placing was kind of a let-down, wrestling has taught me that it isn’t fun to be afraid of losing,” Weirich concluded. “I’ve always had the most fun and it has changed the way I see competition.” 

For Weirich, sports are about opening up about yourself and being able to love what you do and do what you love. 

When it comes to his future, Weirich wants to incorporate wrestling into his career path, alongside Cybersecurity and Criminal Justice.

“I want to be able to finish up my degree, wrestle and go for a fourth All-American,” Weirich concluded. “I’ll just kind of have to see where it takes me after that.”