The Waynesburg University wrestling team lost several key pieces at the end of last season.
The Yellow Jackets will need to atone for the losses of, two-time national qualifier Ken Burrs, Presidents’ Athletic Conference Champion Tony Welsh and, most significantly heavyweight NCAA National Champion Jake Evans coach Ron Headlee needs performers to step up, and one of those performers is junior Josh Kuslock.
Kuslock was the PAC champion last season in the 133-pound weight class. He struggled at the start of the season, however, holding a 6-11 record, went 13-6 the rest of the way to finish the year with a 19-17 record.
Now, as an upperclassman, Kuslock looks to take the next step. To make it to the NCAA D-III Wrestling National Championships, a Jackets wrestler must place third or higher at Southeast Regionals.
Kuslock had a strong showing at regionals compiling a 3-2 record at the tournament, but he fell one point short of nationals, losing in the third-place match 10-9. Over the summer, Kuslock picked up a new hobby which has enhanced his physical frame, and further prepared him for 2019.
Question: Last season you struggled at the beginning of the season, but you turned it around in the second semester. Was there any reason for the turnaround?
Answer: Well, Coach Headlee bases our practices and everything on the late season peaks. That’s what I really focused on.”
Q: How did it feel coming so close to becoming an NCAA Division Three National Championships qualifier, but ultimately falling one match short?
A: It just motivated me to come into this season and actually accomplish that.
Q: Would you say that’s your goal this season?
A: I’d say that my goal is a little higher and to become an All-American, but we’ll still follow the same philosophy of peaking at the end.
Q: Now over the offseason you’ve become a bodybuilder. What was the reason for it?
A: Pretty much to stay focused throughout the whole summer and it’s always something that I was interested in doing.
Q: How did you do in your competition?
A: It was my first competition and I got third in open bodybuilding and first in novice, but it’s a different sport [as you] mainly just compete with yourself.
Q: What are the similarities between wrestling and bodybuilding?
A: Pretty much just dieting is the key to bodybuilding, so you have to really eat clean because it is mainly about dieting. So, you have to cut body fat instead of weight, but in wrestling you have to have that same mindset to do both, cut body fat and weight which is what I like.
Q: Why did you decide to come to Waynesburg University?
A: It had my major and I wanted to wrestle for four years, that’s why I’m here.
Q: What’s your favorite part of wrestling at Waynesburg?
A: Just competing.
Q: If you had to be stuck on an island with one teammate who would it be and why?
A: *Chuckles* “That’s tough. I’d probably have to say Scotty Miller honestly.