Each time Richmond heavyweight Nate Trawick comes off the mat, the junior has learned something new.
What Trawick will learn this weekend is what it’s like to wrestle at the state’s highest level.
Trawick is a quick study. His lessons have translated into a regional championship and a first trip to Indiana’s state wrestling meet. Trawick will compete starting Friday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis at 285 pounds.
“He’s really progressed,” said RHS coach Jeremy Bane. “He asks a lot of questions. He comes off the mat knowing if he’s made a mistake. We continue to work on those things and on different areas. We’re doing things to fine-tune it with a third-year wrestler.
“A lot of the time, his strength and athleticism help with his lack of experience.”
Trawick did not start wrestling until his freshman season. Also a standout football player, Trawick picked things up on the mat swiftly, and advanced to semistate his first year.
Another trip to semistate followed as a sophomore, but it wasn’t until earlier this month that Trawick secured his first regional championship.
He followed that with two wins at the New Castle semistate to punch his ticket to state. Trawick finished third there, earning his 100th career victory in the process.
“That is one of the best semistates in the state,” Trawick said. “I always look forward to placing higher than third, but just getting out and placing and winning three matches was pretty good.
“It’s been a good experience the past couple of years. It’s a really fun sport, and I enjoy doing it. I keep getting better and better and improving.”
Competition begins at 6 p.m. Friday and continues Saturday, starting at 9:30 a.m. with the quarterfinals.
Finals begin at 7:30 p.m. Cost is $8 per session or $20 both days.
Trawick will face John Duvall of West Lafayette in his opening match. Duvall is 34-1.
Duvall was runner-up at the Merrillville semistate, falling to Shawn Streck of Merrillville.
The Trawick-Duvall winner advances to face either unbeaten Eric Hemmelgarn of Jay County or Guss Dajani of Bloomington South.
Dajani is 39-5. Cathedral’s Wesley Bernard (45-0) is the other unbeaten in the 285 field.
“I know he’s a big, strong kid,” Trawick said of Duvall. “He’s going to be a good competitor.
“I’m very excited for this weekend. It’s something I’ve been working for all season.”
That work has resulted in a 41-3 record for Trawick, along with a second straight sectional championship.
“Every time after each match, I always learn something new, something I can get better at, things I can do better on in the next match,” Trawick said.
Added Bane: “He’s a great young man. It’s a great opportunity and a great event.
“It’s a great experience and an exciting time. We’re looking forward to getting over there and seeing if we can get on the podium.”