Austin Trotman is the most accomplished wrestler in Appalachian State University (ASU) wrestling history with 129 wins. As a three-time All-American and a four-time NCAA Championship qualifier, Trotman had a memorable performance in taking third in the 2012 NCAA Championships at ASU. He’s now a legitimate threat to represent his country at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In November 2012, he won the NYAC Holiday International Open and was also named “Outstanding Wrestler.”
As a strong representative of Christ, Trotman is using his wrestling platform to speak to young people, especially on behalf of the North Carolina Sold Out School Alcohol Abstinence Education Program. I sat down to talk about his philosophy of wrestling, his chances at the 2016 Summer Olympics and his commitment to spread the gospel.
Austin Trotman hugs one of his Appalachian State University (ASU) wrestling coaches after a match. Trotman is currently ranked in the top five for wrestlers in his weight class. He is training with the ASU team and at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado to help keep him in good condition to compete for a spot on the 2016 Summer Olympics team.
Q: You are known as a wrestler for having the reputation of outlasting your opponents. What is your mindset when you walk onto the mat to compete?
A: You do not compete to lose. A match is seven minutes long, which does not seem like much and some guys view it as a sprint. If you get opponents past three minutes you can break them. There are very few who can actually go the full seven minutes in a match. Conditioning is such a huge part of the sport.
Q: You are currently ranked as the number five wrestler in the world and in good position to make the team for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics. What has been the process for making the 2016 Team USA Wrestling team?
A: After graduating in 2012, I received a call from one of the U.S. Olympic Wrestling coaches about trying out for the 2016 Summer Games. When a wrestler places high in the NCAA Tournaments and wins a lot of matches, his odds of competing for one of the [U.S. Olympic] positions is much higher. I have been training regularly at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado and also with the ASU team. The top 10 guys in their weight class have an opportunity to compete in a handful of elite tournaments, and the top five make the U.S. team. I am currently in the top five in the 185 and a half weight class.
Q: You use your wrestling platform to tell others about your faith. Talk about this unique opportunity.
A: Every time I get the chance I tell people that I’m a Christian. Wrestling is a missional opportunity. One particularly cool story was when we were in Turkey and staying across the hall from a team with a Muslim background. They didn’t speak English, but for some reason they wanted to come and listen to our Bible study. What a great opportunity!
Q: You’re going to be with me in Avery County speaking to students from our Sold Out Alcohol Abstinence School Education Program. Speak about the experiences you’ve had with middle and high school students concerning this program.
A: I feel that if I’m going to ask young people to make an alcohol and drug abstinence commitment, then I need to be committed as well. I tell the students that it’s great to be at this level of competition but in order to be here, you have to treat your body right and put good things into it. I believe that being alcohol and drug abstinent is important whether you are or are not competing. It’s critical to success.
Q: Austin, I am inspired by your commitment to the Lord and your positive attitude about life! Tell everyone how they can follow you on this journey to the Olympic Games in 2016.
A: If someone is interested, they can follow the USA Team at Mat.com. On this site, anyone can keep up with all of the action with team USA. They can also follow me on Twitter: @A-Trotty or search on Facebook for Sold Out. Lastly, they can watch our conversations at www.soldouttv.com.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Roman’s Sold Out Sports Talk Radio program on American Family Radio can be heard in 200 cities nationally or streaming live at afr.net. It’s all about faith, family and sports. Visit his website: soldouttv.com; Facebook page: Roman Gabriel III Fan Page; connect with him on Twitter: romangabriel3rd; email him: [email protected])