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Cutting weight Wrestling moves toward healthier habits, leaves extreme weight loss behind.

Weekly Standings Wrestling Coe Wartburg Luther Loras Central Dubuque Simpson Buena Vista

IIAC 2-0 1-0 1-0 0-0 0-1 0-1 0-1 0-1

Overall 3-0 1-0 1-1 1-2 1-2 1-2 1-2 0-2

Recent scores: -Dec. 6 vs. Dubuque W 26-16 -Dec. 5 vs. UW-La Crosse L 15-22

Spencer Hodge

Volunteer Writer

Wrestling is a sport of physical dominance. This physical competition brings a lot of attention to weight advantages; obviously the heavier and larger a person is, the more difficult it is to wrestle him or her to the ground. In the spirit of fairness, the sport of wrestling uses weight classes to eliminate excessive size advantages in matches. These weight pairings can also become stressful and dangerous for wrestlers that must drop considerable amounts of weight for their weigh-in. It’s called “cutting weight” when a competitor in a match must lose body weight in order to qualify for their own weight class. There are 10 weight classes in male collegiate wrestling, including the 125, 133-, 141-, 149-, 157-, 165-, 174-, 184-, 197- and 285-pound classes. Depending on a wrestler’s relative weight advantage in their weight class, they may wish to drop weight in order to become a heavier wrestler of a lower tier instead of a lighter wrestler of a heavier tier. This way, a wrestler can weigh in at 157 pounds prior to competition and rehydrate so that by the time they compete, they can weigh as much as 162 pounds or more. “In preseason we do body fat tests,” wrestler Brent Blaser (‘14) said. “Our body fat is measured, and then we know how much we can safely cut. The rest is a matter of keeping an eye on your weight and maybe exercising a bit more outside of practice to get rid of the extra weight.” Blaser finds cutting weight manageable but says everyone’s experiences with dropping to lower classes can be different and are sometimes tough and costly to their energy on competition day. Luther 157-pounder Jake Fox (‘14) dropped down from his summer weight of 180 pounds, but only because he had a high enough body-fat percentage to do so. These days, Fox says he weighs around 165-166 pounds before -Greg practice on Mondays. “I lose about 3-4 pounds each practice,” Fox said. “I eat three meals each day in the beginning of the week and start to cut back on Thursday and Friday, depending on when the competition is.” Fox sticks to his diet throughout the week. He eats equal portions of each food group and cuts out sweets and sodas, but allows himself to eat more on weekends. He knows not to indulge too much on Sundays since that would mean a tougher weight cut the following week. “I try to keep my workouts consistent throughout the week, but I might go on an extra run on Thursday and Friday night,” Fox said. “I wear a couple of layers of sweats

December 12, 2013

Upcoming schedule: -Dec. 13 vs. Cornell @ Home

Women’s Basketball

Photo courtesy of Pang Ramkumar

The dreaded scale. Wrestlers reduce caloric intake and lose water weight in order to wrestle at a lower weight class. Weight classes range from 125 to 285 pounds. during the run to help drop water weight.” The weekly drop in weight is somewhat of a ritual for Fox and other wrestlers who don’t want to face opponents much stronger than them. “The idea is you become a little bit stronger, and with more advantage,” Director of Wellness Greg Lonning (‘83) said. “As long as you have colleges that monitor everything and are honest and ethical everything will be in place and fine.” Lonning wrestled before coaching a team for fifteen years. He says that a healthy approach to cutting weight comes with practices of safe exercise, nutrition, hydration and slow weight loss. Lonning and other members of the wrestling community understand that health has not always been a priority over attaining the weight advantages of qualifying for a smaller weight class. “[Wrestlers] used to wear plastic suits while they would work out, and they would experience extreme dehydration for one to two hours,” Lonning said. “In a workout, a guy from a smaller weight class could drop about five pounds, and a guy from a bigger weight class could lose up to ten or fifteen.” These specialized weight-loss suits, along with other extreme weight loss practices like excessive laxatives and emetics, meager diet, fluid restrictions and hot rooms are effective in reducing Lonning (‘83) body weight, but cause dehydration and malnourishment. The consequences of losing too much weight too quickly affect many to some degree and even caused the deaths of three college wrestlers within a 33-day span in November and December 1997. Jeff Reese of the University of Michigan, Billy Jack Saylor of Campbell University and Joe LaRosa of UW-La Crosse all passed away after attempting to lose too many pounds in a short period of time. In response, the NCAA placed a prohibition on these tactics of weight loss, limited body fat loss and moved the weighin process to an hour or two before a match’s beginning, encouraging wrestlers to step on

the scale healthy and hydrated for sake of performance. Along with this governmental response to the frightening weight loss dangers, athletic directors, coaches and teams have become advocates for safe wrestling. “These guys would look terrible stepping on the scale back in the day,” Lonning said. “But these days, they look good.” Lonning says these same problems still need to be addressed in other corners of the wrestling world like the Olympics, but with continued ethical efforts in college wrestling programs, he believes student athletes will be safe.

Central Luther Wartburg Dubuque Loras Simpson Buena Vista Coe

IIAC 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0

Overall 7-1 6-1 5-2 4-2 4-3 4-3 5-4 2-4

Recent scores: -Dec. 10 vs. Martin Luther @ 81-63 -Dec. 7 vs. Viterbo W 85-57 Upcoming schedule: -Dec. 13 vs. Northwestern College @ Roseville

Men’s Swim and Dive IIAC 2-0 1-0 0-1 0-2

Loras Luther Coe Simpson

Overall 3-1 1-3 1-4 0-3

Recent scores: -Dec. 7-8 5th at Rochester Invitational -Nov. 23 4th at River City Relays Upcoming schedule: -Jan 4 vs. Loras @ Dubuque

Women’s Swim and Dive IIAC 2-0 1-0 0-1 0-2

Loras Luther Coe Simpson

“These guys would look terrible stepping on the scale back in the day, but these days, they look good.”

Overall 3-1 3-1 2-3 0-3

Recent scores: -Dec. 7-8 5th at Rochester Invitational -Nov. 23 4th at River City Relays Upcoming schedule: -Jan 4 vs. Loras @ Dubuque

Men’s Basketball Dubuque Coe Central Buena Vista Luther Loras Wartburg Simpson

IIAC 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0

Overall 6-0 4-1 5-3 4-3 4-3 3-3 4-4 1-7

Recent scores: -Dec. 10 vs. Martin Luther* -Dec. 7 vs. Viterbo L 68-71 -Nov. 30 vs. Illinois Tech W 79-65 Matt Yan/Chips

Weighing in. Jake Fox (‘14) checks his weight on Tuesday. He was six pounds over the 157-pound class after practice.

Upcoming schedule: -Dec. 20 vs. UW-River Falls @ River Falls *Results not available at production time

December 12 issue  

The final issue of the fall semester

December 12 issue  

The final issue of the fall semester