WAYNESVILLE — Cody Steiner is back where he wants to be.
For the second straight year, the Waynesville High School sophomore qualified for the Division III Ohio State Wrestling Championships, which begin at the Jerome Schottenstein Center in Columbus today, March 4. Steiner enters the 103-pound bracket as a top seed, having won the D-III Kettering Fairmont district last weekend.
Steiner sat down with The Western Star this week to discuss his season thus far and his expectations at State.
Q How does it feel to be a district champion?
A “It is definitely cool to be the champ. It helped me in my draw at state and it was a step up from last year which shows progress. The stress of getting back to state is gone.”
Q How has this season been stressful for you?
A “If you lose, you’re out and that’s stressful for any wrestler. But it’s not just getting to state — I was also trying to get a good draw and have the best path to the semifinals as possible. Plus, there’s all the other things — making weight, school work — it all gets stressful.”
Q Has making weight been a problem this year?
A “Last year I weighed 98 pounds and didn’t have a problem making weight at 103. This year, I could easily weigh between 120-125 pounds, so I work out three times a day and eat healthy to stay at 103 pounds.
Q How has the added weight helped you?
A “I’m able to be more physical this year. Last year I was underweight and it was tough going up against guys who were dropping from 130 pounds to 103. I had to rely on technique and not strength.
“This year, I still use technique, but I can push guys around to where I want them easier.”
Q With no other lightweights on the Waynesville roster, how have you stayed sharp this season?
A “We’ve had the luxury of moving around and attending practices with other schools because our low numbers put us at club status and we have permission. We’ve practiced at Lebanon and Franklin a lot, and going against quality wrestlers like Eddie Noble and Seth Gilbert at Lebanon has helped.
“There’s lots of good coaches around, and they’ve shown me different moves that I’ve been able to use.”
Q You have a 4.49 weighted grade point average with honors classes. How do you balance wrestling and academics?
A “School comes first, then family, then wrestling. Dad (Greg) makes sure my priorities are right and that my schoolwork is done before I hit an open mat or do any wrestling.
“I just try to use my time wisely — study hall, lunch time — whatever time I have left I’m getting my schoolwork done.”
Contact this reporter at (513) 696-4526 or firstname.lastname@example.org.