“Quadzilla” leaves his prints with 5th place State finish

Sera Mugeta, Staff Writer

“It’s a long story…” senior Sam Truen chuckled when asked about how he got his wrestling tag name Quadzilla. “One time, I was about to wrestle and my opponent looked at the bracket. Then told his friend ‘Who’s this kid?’ and the other guy said ‘That’s quadzilla, he has big quads.’ It’s my instagram name and everything.”

Sam Truen, a wrestler for South,  has been wrestling at South for five years but has over ten years of wrestling experience. “I’ve been wrestling since second grade at Longfellow park,” said Truen. “My two good friends wrestled a year before me, and they told me to try it out, and I liked it.”

All those years at Longfellow got him ready to join the South’s wrestling team when he started 8th grade. “South’s the best wrestling team in the city. I’ve always wanted to wrestle at South since I was a little kid.” Now flash forward a few years later, and we have one of the best wrestlers in Minnesota. In this school year, 2015-2016, Truen took first place in four wrestling competitions, and placed well in seven tournaments.

sam truen
Senior and wrestling captain Sam Truen celebrates after a defeat at the State tournament. He joined the South team in 8th grade and reached his 100th win this year. He placed 5th in State, missing the Nationals cutoff by a mere two places. He’s committed to Northern State University in South Dakota for next year. Photo courtesy of Sam Truen.

Being a wrestler is no doubt challenging and time consuming sport. You don’t only have to be physically fit and built to take down your opponents during matches, but you also need to have a healthy eating lifestyle in order to avoid setting back those hour long workouts.“Wrestling is very time consuming, it’s an everyday thing. You have to watch what you eat and work out,” Truen explained.

Now add being a senior with a hectic workload. “It’s hard, but you just have to focus and do good at school and wrestling. It’ll balance itself out.”

Truen’s years in wrestling have attracted scholarship opportunities from colleges all across the country. He chose Northern State University in South Dakota.

“I picked it for a couple reasons. My cousin’s the starting running back football player. There’s going to be someone by my side when I go there” he said. He’s also attracted to the town, the surroundings, and what they offer on an academic level.

While there, Truen plans to pursue a career in criminal justice. “I know I want to be a cop or a conservation officer, which has to do with hunting and wildlife management,” he said.

Although Truen is placed on a high pedestal for being a wrestling stud, he’s humbled that he has this opportunity. “On an ametur level, I look up to my coaches because they taught me everything I know but some wrestlers specifically could be Kyle Dick, David Tanner, and Joanie Burrows,” Truen stated, talking about everyone that has helped and inspired him to get to where he is today.

On the weekend on February 19th, Truen did what not many people get to do: wrestle at the XCEL Energy Center for the Minnesota State wrestling competition. Although he didn’t rank in the top three to proceed into Nationals, he’s definitely not holding onto any anger.  “It was one of the more awesomest experiences of my life. It’s hard to explain. There’s so many people watching you, I couldn’t even hear my coaches talking to me.”

“I’m glad I got to finish my final match with a win,” Truen continued reflected on State. “It’s definitely one of the most mentally and physically challenging things I’ve done.”

Truen can’t wait to see how his career builds as he continues to wrestle in college next year. “There’s a quote that I relate to a lot. It’s ‘Once you’ve wrestled, everything in life is easy’ by Dan Gable. I think that’s the point I’ve come to which is so cool,” he finished.