The Greco-Roman portion of the 2017 Dave Schultz Memorial, which wrapped up on Thursday night and featured two champs from the US along with 18 overall medalists, also served as a sneak peek at the new two-day weigh-in format. The same-day weigh-ins and updated weight classes are going to be implemented officially come 2018, so there is still some time for wrestlers to make adjustments based on how they performed this week. But that is also what makes their initial impressions so important.
When rule or procedural changes are talked about, or in this case, actually rolled out, we like to see what the athletes themselves have to say. And as you will find out here, opinions, unsurprisingly, tend to vary. But we’re keeping it even. Two of the wrestlers below, Jon Anderson and Cody Pack, possess credible collegiate experience, so weighing in on the same day of an event is something they can draw a lot of experience from. The other two, RaVaughn Perkins and Travis Rice, have been full-time Greco-Roman competitors since high school and bring a little bit of a different perspective, though Perkins, who is committed to going up in weight, didn’t find the format to be too challenging.
USA Greco-Roman Seniors On The New Weigh-In Format
Cody Pack — 72 kg, Legends of Gold
What’d you expect beforehand regarding the weigh-in format and did you prepare differently? “You know, not really. Wrestling in college was really helpful, going through that grind in college and making weight an hour before a dual and then two hours before a tournament. I minded my weight a lot better, I started cutting about three weeks out instead of the night before or the week of. Seven pounds over, that’s what I started training at and it helped me feel good about everything else. It was easy at that point.”
How did it feel actually weighing in and did it affect you competitively? “A little bit. I would just say that the whole 24-hour recovery, it’s really nice so we can get our minds and everything right. But I actually think it made us more focused as far as managing our weight and everything. Performance-wise, you have to be ready to wrestle at any time. That’s what is expected of us and we knew that was the schedule for how we were going to wrestle and we just went with it.”
What kind of adjustments might you make going forward? “Maybe getting a harder warm-up in the beginning. After that first weigh-in, you only have two hours and you want to kind of lay down, relax a little bit, and try to get fluids. But that would probably be the only thing I’d do differently, getting a harder warm-up in the beginning. Maybe get a workout in before the weigh-ins, depending on what time they are. That would be the only thing I’d do differently.”
RaVaughn Perkins — 77 kg, NYAC
What’d you expect beforehand regarding the weigh-in format and did you prepare differently? “I didn’t really expect too much because I heard it was still going to be the old rules, no forced par terre, so I was ready for that. I came in ready. We worked a lot of par terre in practice just to see what the rules were, no one really knew. I felt ready. Being on the feet for six minutes, that’s a long time. Some people like to go to par terre to get a little rest in, but we’ve been preparing for both, getting six minutes in and going a lot of live on our feet, so I was prepared. I didn’t have any trouble there until I got to the Korean (World and Olympic champ Kim Hyeon-Woo), which he is one of the best guys in the world on the feet. He just pushes the pace the whole time.
“I felt good, there weren’t any problems, but with the weight, I feel like they are going to stick with it. Even though I went up in weight, a lot of people, I feel, liked it also. I saw Jesse Thielke, you know how he’s not that good with his weight. The first day was kind of shaky, but the next day he came in like it was nothing. He felt good and was healthy. The two kilos helped a lot of guys. I like it, though. I like where they are going with it, but next year, they are going to cancel out the two kilo allowance the second day, so we’ll see where that goes. But I’m all for it, I have no problem with it.
“I prepared for it well. I talked to our strength and conditioning coach Morgan (Flaherty), I asked him the night before what was the best way to get over this with the two-hour weigh because I hadn’t done it since high school. He told me, ‘Even if you’re not overweight, just go in, get a quick warm-up, 30-45 minutes, and then go weigh in, go eat a little bit, and then come back to the tournament to get a nice little warm up in before your match.’ That’s what I did and I felt great. I didn’t have any problems.”
How did it feel actually weighing in and did it affect you competitively? “It didn’t affect me because I went up to 77 and I weighed 76. I weighed 76 on the second day when there was the two kilo allowance. I weighed 76 and they had to make 79. I was just wrestling what I weighed in at, really.”
What kind of adjustments might you make going forward? “It’s just how you prepare for it. You have to get a nice little warm-up just like I said. You have to stay healthy, keep water in you, stay hydrated.”
Jon Anderson — 87 kg, Army/WCAP
What’d you expect beforehand regarding the weigh-in format and did you prepare differently? “For me, it’s kind of a flashback to college wrestling, two-day weigh-ins or two hours prior to competing, so I think collegiate wrestlers have a big advantage with these new weigh-ins, at least until the classical Greco guys get used to it. But for me, I come back to some of the things I did in college. You want to keep your weight closer so you don’t have to do a huge weight cut right before weigh-ins because you only have two hours and that flies by. So I kept my weight closer and I had to get up early on the morning of weigh-ins and lose two pounds, but it was easy the way I did it. I weighed in and recovered very quickly. I felt great.
“I would say the two-day format, they’re long days. I wrestled twice, then I had five hours, wrestled again, and then checked my weight. I had weigh-ins the next morning and then wrestled again, then I had seven hours and wrestled for third. It was a couple more matches than that, but there were long breaks.
“Managing your energy and having a plan for that is huge. Just knowing what that feels like and having experience, it wasn’t a huge shock to me. I liked it and I think it’ll even the playing field. You won’t get guys coming down five, ten kilos that week of to make weight and then wrestle well. You have to be closer to your weight class and really, it just comes down to scrapping and scoring points, not worrying about your weight the whole time.”
How did it feel actually weighing in and did it affect you competitively? “Felt fine weighing in. It didn’t affect me wrestling, I don’t think. I kind of felt the tug in my mind, I started thinking about the next weigh-in halfway through that first day. I had to catch myself like, Hey, don’t worry about that, focus on the next match. So you have some of those competing thoughts shooting in and out. But for me, it came down to a day of wrestling. I felt good and I’ve always been pretty good with my hydration and my nutrition. You just got to have a good plan for it and keep that steady force of energy pouring in and those good thoughts, and focus on yourself, not those external factors.”
What kind of adjustments might you make going forward? “I think I am going to get a little bit leaner so I’m closer to my weight class, so that takes time. I’ll just focus on getting as strong as I can and as lean as I can, and stay closer to my weight class so I won’t have to do that final cut hopefully as much. That way, I’m training the same way I compete, I don’t feel different, I’m not bloated, that kind of thing. I’m in the room and I’m only a few kilos away from my competition weight, that’s where I want to be. Typically, I’m more than a few kilos away (laughs). That’s why my focus is getting better at wrestling, staying lean, getting leaner, and just continuing to fight and improve.”
Travis Rice — 67 kg, NMU/OTS
What’d you expect beforehand regarding the weigh-in format and did you prepare differently? “What did I expect beforehand? I thought the major thing that was going to be the big change was, of course, the weigh-in time. Having a day ahead or at least 12 hours to now having two hours, I thought that was a big thing. The day before I kind of planned out what I was going to do as far as what I am going to eat, what I am going to drink, stuff like that to make sure I was going to feel good for the day. Usually with the day-before weigh-ins, it’s more relaxed, you have plenty of time to do it. But with the whole two-hour window, you really had to plan ahead, so I thought that was a big thing change-wise.”
How did it feel actually weighing in and did it affect you competitively? “I don’t think it affected me. Maybe a little bit. But I can definitely tell it affected some guys. It definitely did affect them. I mean, it wasn’t a big deal for me, but for some of the guys who were cutting more weight, I could tell by how they were wrestling and it just wasn’t the same.”
What kind of adjustments might you make going forward? “I thought I planned pretty well about what I was going to do after weigh-ins but one thing I was possibly looking at that I did the first day that I didn’t do the second day, was the first day I was a little overweight and instead of just doing something like going to the sauna, I did a warm-up. I got a little bit of a push. Instead of doing that an hour after weigh-ins, I did that a good hour before weigh-ins. I just kind of opened up my time window to get ready. Nothing too hard, just to get the rest of the weight off and wake myself up, stuff like that. So maybe doing that the second day might help, or not doing it the first day might help. I felt like I wrestled better the second day. I thought I felt good in the morning, until I wrestled. Just how you’re preparing during that window an hour before weigh-ins and then the hour after, what is it that you’re doing between that time is what I’m describing.”