With only a week left until the Lawrence University wrestling team heads off to the Great Lakes Regional, held at North Central College, final preparations are being made. Whether it is extra practice or rest, the wrestlers are preparing themselves for the biggest meet of the season so far. Star wrestler Andy Kazik is no exception. He had been resting the past week, and will be ready to win his weight category and head to the National Tournament. “I am looking forward to it, and I think I will make it to Nationals,” Kazik said.
The senior from DePere, Wisconsin is ranked first in the nation with an astounding 33-0 season record in his 184-pound weight class, and is the obvious favorite to make it to Nationals. There he hopes to improve on his performance as a junior, where he finished third. “There were supposed to be three All-Americans in my bracket at regionals, but one is injured, and one decided to wrestle up one weight class, so I am the sole All-American left.” This bodes very well for Kazik’s chances at the regional championship.
In the Great Lakes Region, the winner from every weight class goes to the National Tournament, and there are three wild card slots available for wrestlers from all ten weight classes available. The coaches at the meet vote after the competition on which three lucky wrestlers will get their ticket to Nationals. That way, if Kazik were to slip up at regionals, there still would be a very good chance of him making it to the National Tournament with his amazing season record. However he doesn’t see himself needing one. “I think my biggest challenger right now is myself. At Nationals everyone is on the same playing field, if I can wrestle the way I know I can, I will do very well.”