Why he was selected:
Allen Swanson won the 160-pound championship at the Conant Invite, and ran his record to 9-0 with wins at the St. Charles East Mega-Duals.
Swanson, 38-15 last year, is a returning state qualifier for the defending Southwest Prairie Conference champion Panthers. Swanson is two wins away from 100 for his high school career. He talked with Ledger sports editor Joshua Welge about his start to the season, his family background in wrestling and more: Here is an edited version of the transcript:
Welge: Coach said you were pretty dominant at Conant. How do you feel about it:
Swanson: I went out every match and pushed the pace. I moved people around, tried to get points, make sure everybody knows who I am.
Welge: Did any of your matches there stand out:
Swanson: The kid I wrestled in the finals, Tim Houston, was pretty good. I gave everything I had and got the job done [at 15-0 win]. My semifinals match [a 12-1 win] was kind of hard. I continued to work on my takedowns and kept pushing the pace.
Welge: You've bumped up weight classes [from 145] this year. What was the driver of that:
Swanson: So over the offseason I went and lifted with an Olympic lifting coach Tom Kraus, he lives in Yorkville. I would go out there and lift almost every day, two and a half hours, grind it out and when I got home I'd eat and eat and eat.
Welge: Are you glad you moved up:
Swanson: Yes, it's closer to my natural weight. Everyone I wrestle I feel like I've manhandled. I've felt super duper strong against all of them.
Welge: How significant is wrestling in your household [Swanson's dad, Jeremy, wrestled for the last Oswego conference champion and coaches the Team No Ego club team]:
Swanson: It's a bloodbath at home. It's very competitive all the time. I can't explain it. We even have a wrestling mat in our sun room. We'll start off on the couch and end up halfway across the living room.
Welge: And you help coach [with Team No Ego]:
Swanson: I help him out, we have kids from fifth to eighth grade. It's great to help the kids. It helps me break down moves and put new combinations together.
Welge: So are there any matches or opponents you have circled on the calendar:
Swanson: I really want to wrestle everybody in my weight class. I don't really care what I'm ranked. It doesn't matter to me – I'm going to work my stuff and try to beat you. I want to show them what I know and what I can do.